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Great Yarmouth Golf Club.

Founded 1882, the original Great Yarmouth Club and course was situated at North Denes.

Due to an encroaching road development prior to WW1 the neighbouring clubs amalgamated and this brought about the creation of the Great Yarmouth & Caister Golf Club.

The former Great Yarmouth clubhouse was situated to the east of where Balmoral Avenue is nowadays, the course extended north to North Denes.

Extract from the Great Yarmouth Independent December 2nd 1882 – “Now that the season for lawn tennis and cricket is fairly over, the ancient royal game of golf has hardly a rival amongst our outdoor sports. Several strangers from a distance have been attaracted by the project of a round over our links, and after playing over the course, have expressed themselves much pleased with the excellent and general character of the ground. The putting greens are the only weak points on the links, but a little fresh turf laid round the holes would remove this cause for complaint. It is hoped that the secretary of the club may soon see its way to a little improvement in this direction, so that our visitors may carry away the best possible impresions of our links. Except the defective putting greens, the strangers have pronounced the links to be very good indeed, the bunkers and hazards are everything that could be desired, with plenty of variety. One enthusiastic gentleman, and a good player to boot, appears on the links with the most orthodox of red coats. We hope to see more like him, as it gives life and gaiety to our formerly deserted North-denes. Some good scores have been made lately, but the best yet accomplished since golf was first played on the links, was pulled off by Commander Poynder, who made the round of thirteen holes in the remarkably low score of 59 strokes. Some of his drives were long, precise and most effective, as when he gained the putting green on the fifth hole in two strokes from the tee, and , holed his ball by a long put in the third shot. We have much pleasure in announcing that our most popular Deputy-Mayor, T Burton Steward, himself a golfer, has contacted the hon secretary, Dr Thomas Browne, to offer a prize to be played for by the members of the Great Yarmouth Golf Club. This will no doubt stimulate the golfers to increased practice during the winter months.”    

At the October meeting in 1885 it was stated that the 18-hole course had been steadily improving under the new professional, Thomas Fernie. The monthly medal was won by Dr Thomas Browne, 95-14-81; The Tantalus presented by W E Bell, was won by C W Horne, 90-12-78; The Loving Cup, presented by T Burton Steward was won by Frank Gilbert, 97-10-87; Challenge Cup, presented by Commander W W Poynder, was won by W E Hughes, 86-12-74.    

The following is from the 1888/89 Golfing Annual; "Entrance fee, £1/1s; Annual Subscription, £1; Number of members, 230; Captain, John George Gibson; Committee - J Taylor, T Skene, H A Lamb, C Hope, W E Hughes, John Penn, W P Fulcher; Secretary - Dr Thomas Brown, R.N Hospital, Great Yarmouth; Green-keeper, George Fernie; Prize winners 1888 - Penn Gold Medal (scratch), H Hutchinson, 78; Corporation Silver Fruit Stand, value 20 guineas (scratch), H Hutchinson, 76; Cup - Major C C RichR.A, 99-20-79; Travelling Clock - W E Hughes, 90-1-80; Prize Winners' Prize - W Morris, 93-16-77. The Yarmouth green has 18-holes and the circuit is about three miles. The surface is undulating, there are sand bunkers and furze, and altogether a splendid course.

The lowest scratch score in a club competition is 76, made by Mr Horace G Hutchinson at the Easter Meeting in 1888.   

George Fernie, the newly-appointed custodian of the Great Yarmouth links, recently made the round of eighteen-holes in 72 strokes - the lowest score on record. His figures were; Out, 33 - In, 39."  

The result below appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 27th February 1894. The match was played at Cambridge against the University and it’s interesting to note that the away team was called the “ROYAL YARMOUTH GOLF CLUB”. 

Cambridge University   Royal Yarmouth  
J L Low 6 P M Lucas 0
A M Chance 3 F S Ireland 0
D D Robertson 0 J G Gibson 0
H Glasier 0 L Horner 3
F R Upcher 0 "L De Maurice" 6
C Pigg 3 R Whyte 0
H M Siddall 6 E G Ashton 0
H M Marshall 0 H Mann 0
E K Le Fleming 0 W E Hughes 0
F E G Johnson 2 Charles Hope 0
W L De B Thorold 0 C Young 0
  20   9

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated and Dramatic News 1894.

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated and Dramatic News 1894.

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated and Dramatic News 1894.

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated and Dramatic News 1894.

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated and Dramatic News 1894.

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News March 24th 1894. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Result of the April 1897 medal; G H A Lock, 86 scratch.

The monthly medal, played on January 1st 1898, was won by Mr Ernest de M Lacon with a score of 99-10-89.

The Workmen’s Golf Club held their meeting in January 1898 and it was stated that the club was in “a most prosperous position” The previous year there had been 18 competitions with 48 prizes. The president, Mr Mathison, had obtained through the Yarmouth Golf Club a challenge cup, to be played for twice a year. The accounts showed a balance in hand of £1/17s/2d. The following officers were elected; A Wright, captain, F Burman, vice-president; W Dennington, treasurer; F Cooper, secretary.

Result of the monthly competition for the Ladies’ Golf Club played in February 1898. Miss A P Barwell won the compass with a gross score of 52. Miss Mottram won the medal with 47 net. The March monthly medal and compass was won by Miss Reeve.  

There was a record attendance for the Easter Meeting in April 1898. Below is the result of the competition for the Young Cup played on Saturday, the weather was wet and windy. There was much praise for the condition of the course. 

Capt Du Cane 85 3 82 C J Glanfield 107 12 95
C Lethbridge 103 18 85 W O Smith 110 15 95
J E Brown 91 5 86 W Kemsley 102 6 96
Gordon Barrett 100 14 86 F W Thompson 102 6 96
C B Lindsay 100 14 86 F Graves 114 18 96
R H Glanfield 95 8 87 H E Burton 109 12 97
E de M Lacon 97 10 87 C Frean 106 8 98
C F Badeley 89 1 88 Sir J Taylor KCB 111 13 98
F S Ireland 86 +3 89 R Whyte 101 2 99
G H Ireland 89 scr 89 W R Portal 114 15 99
W E Hughes 92 3 89 A Farey 115 16 99
W C S Pell 90 scr 90 R Young 110 10 100
N H Wykes 93 3 90 C H A Lock 101 scr 101
F P Telfer 104 14 90 Dr Thomas Browne 111 10 101
R J Pinney 93 2 91 C W Troughton 111 10 101
G Draper 105 14 91 B G Fabian 109 7 102
A T Young 94 2 92 A E Walker 120 18 102
A H Mathison 97 5 92 Dr  A Roper 120 17 103
M H Richardson  100 8 92 D R Fowler  121 18 103
O Sparks 102 10 92 A Hibbert 121 16 105
H A Rapkin 113 20 93 A Sales 122 16 106
Rev J N Dredge 104 10 94 R M Richardson 120 8 112
J B Gibson 95 scr 95        

The weather was much better for the second day. Mr Pell took the Penn medal. The Rev K Bagnall secured both the Young Cup and the Ladies’ Challenge Bowl, leading scores; Rev K Bagnall Oakeley, 87-6-81; W O S Pell, 83 scratch; A Hibbert, 100-16-84; Dr Thomas Thomas RN, 96-10-85; C B Lindsay, 99-14-85. 

The weather had deteriorated for the third and final day when the bogey competition was played, leading scores; F S Ireland (+2), 4up; C F Badeley (1), 1up; Dr H C Burton (8), 3down; A E Walker (10), 4down; Capt Du Cane RA, (1), 5down.

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club, Norfolk. Article from The Sketch June 1898.

From The Sketch Wednesday June 1st 1898. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Another mention for the ROYAL YARMOUTH GOLF CLUB. A ladies match was played on October 9th 1902 on the Waveney Valley golf course at Bungay between Waveney Valley and Royal Yarmouth Ladies Golf Club. 

Waveney Valley Ladies' Golf Club   Royal Yarmouth Ladies' Golf Club  
Miss E B Tracy 0 Miss Cozens-Hardy 1
Mrs Rider Haggard (half) 0 Miss Chapman (half) 0
Miss Hilda Tuck 1 Mrs R Skelton 0
Miss Jessie Hartcup 1 Mrs E Walker 0
Mrs Savill 1 Miss Nutman 0
Miss L Long 1 Miss Harrison 0
  4   1

From the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Membership of 300; Secretary - H W Boulter, 6 South Quay, Great Yarmouth; Captain - Col. A G Lucas, C.B., M.V.O; Professional - Thomas Aitken; 18-holes; Entrance fee, £3/3s and subs £2/2s; Whitsun Meeting 1904 medals won by Colonel Lucas, J A Healing, Rev. W A Green; Autumn Meeting 1904 - Blackheath Medal won by E Burr; Visitors' fees, 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and £1 a month.

Also listed is the Great Yarmouth Ladies' Golf Club; Instituted 1886; Membership of 100; Hon. Secretary - Mrs Ernest Walker, Bon Accord, Marine Parade; Captain - Mrs K Bagnall-Oakeley; Entrance fee £1/1s and subs 10s; Nine-holes; Professional Thomas Aitken; Visitors' fees, 1s aday,5s a week and 10s a month. The ladies have a very sporting 9-hole course. Members and visitors may play on the gentlemen's full course of 18-holes in mixed matches on payment of 25s per year, or 1s/6d a day.     

On New Year’s Day 1908 the Ladies’ club was taken over by the Great Yarmouth Golf Club, they would now be run as one club. Ladies would in future play over the men’s course with forward tees at certain holes. The ladies annual subscription was raised to one guinea, with an entrance fee of one guinea, but any member who belonged to the Ladies’ Club on December 31st 1907 would be exempt from any entrance fee. The bogey and eclectic competitions were both won by Mrs Meadows, the prize in the latter was passed to Mrs Vickers. 

The annual Easter meeting began in windy weather on Saturday 18th April 1908. The winner of the Young Cup was Mr  H J Ruddock with a score of 96-1-78. On Monday Mr Legh Barratt won the Pin, Medal, the Lacon Cup and the captain’s prize. The meeting concluded on the Tuesday when Mr Legh Barratt was again the winner of the day’s event, the Great Yarmouth ladies’ golf bowl.  

Mr C J Wiltshire with a score of 90-18-72 won the monthly medal played on Saturday 2nd May 1908. The 36-hole competition for the Driver Cup was played by the Yarmouth Working Men’s in the same month, it was won by G Bales with a score of 154 nett.

Dr P G Gilmour won the monthly medal for October 1908 with a score of 84-14-70.   

In 1909/10 the secretary was F Florence-Florent and the professional T Aitken; Amateur course record - J E Pease, 73; Bogey score 79; Entrance £3/3s and subs £2/2s. Membership of 300; Visitors' fees 2s/6d a day. Seaside course with fine turf. The course is to be very much extended and will then claim to be one of the best in the Eastern Counties.

Future of the Yarmouth golf course is in doubt. Extract from the Great Yarmouth Independent April 2nd 1910 – “The members of the Yarmouth Golf Club have not been slow to acknowledge their delight at the completion of the negotiations with the Corporation which have so long been pending. The object was to secure for the club modified conditions under which golf could be played, now that the change of circumstances upon the North Denes cuts off the clubhouse from the course, and makes a large portion of the Denes unsuitable for playing golf. Twenty-eight or thirty years ago, when the Denes were prepared for golf, some of the pioneers of the club imagined that the town would creep right up to their course. In the interval the New Town has sprung up, and beyond it a small town of streets and terraces beyond the railway loop. The Marine Parade, too, has been extended to the north beyond all expectations, and the new town and the new Parade must be connected by roadways, which must now inevitably cross the links. It was this dilemma that led up to the negotiations which have recently been concluded, whereby, virtually, the Corporation has bought the clubhouse built for the golfers many years ago, and has let them, for a similar purpose, the Beach House, which stands in a fairly central position in respect of the course, and, to all present appearances, promises the club many years of undisturbed possession. Meanwhile with the Yarmouth end of the links in considerable jeopardy, the club is endeavouring , as that excellent golfer, Mr W Kemley, remarked after the annual club dinner, to come to an agreement with the Caister Club for the amalgamation of the two courses; and this idea, if carried to a successful issue, will put our golfers in possession of quite the most  extensive, picturesque, and diversified links in East Anglia.”  

The following report appeared in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph Thursday 3rd July 1913; "The Great Yarmouth Club is taking over the Caister links, which, amalgamated with its current course, will in the opinion of Mr H S Colt, whom all golfers will acknowledge to be the final court of appeal, be one of the best courses in the country."    

 

Great Yarmouth Golf Club, Norfolk. Location of the earlier golf course.

The early Yarmouth course at North Denes. Grid reference TG52790,10310, co-ordinates 652790,310310. Caister Golf Club is to the north.