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Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk.

There is evidence of a golf course at Felixstowe Grove prior to WW1. This 18-hole course was designed by Mr H H Hilton.

The club was re-established after the war and the new 18-hole course was designed by James Braid. The plan of the course shows that the majority of the holes were behind Links Avenue and to the East of the Grove spreading back towards Gulpher Road. The length of the course was 5921 yards with a par of 72. The clubhouse was situated at the entrance to the course in Beatrice Avenue. The clubhouse had its own car park and all the usual facilities including a professional’s shop. The club flourished during the twenties and thirties, but things were about to change with WW2 looming.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe. Golf club button.

Eastward Ho! Golf Club button. Image Courtesy of GolfTracer

 

There were only 9 holes available in 1923, it was later extended to 18. Situated in a delightful position with glorious views, three minutes from the station. Refreshments were available at the licensed clubhouse, perfect place for a golfing holiday. The membership was 150. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 10/6 a week, 21/- a month from October to May. During June, July, August, September fees were 4/- a day, 15/- a week, £2/2/0 a month. Sunday play was allowed with caddies. The station at Felixstowe Town was 3 minutes walk away. Local hotel was the Orwell Hotel, Felixstowe.

The image below was supplied by Michael Thomas. It shows  three silver spoons (probably for medals) all inscribed "Eastward Ho! G C" One has the date "July 1923", one has "Aug. 1923" and the third is inscribed "F.W. Rogers". 

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. Golf club competition spoons.

Eastward Ho! Competition Spoons. Image courtesy Michael Thomas.

 

The captain of the club in 1932/33 was William Wise Cowap.

On Saturday 25th May 1935 J Mackie (Hunstanton) won the thirty-six hole final of the £200 Professional Golf Tournament at Eastward Ho! beating James Adams (Romford) by 3 and 1. 

Thanks to Michael V Thomas, member at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, for helping with the history, and supplying the following information on the Eastward Ho! Golf Club. The club issued a handbook in 1936 and the text and images are reproduced from this.

"The Eastward Ho! golf course is pleasantly  situated in as charming and diversified a piece of country as can be found on the East Coast, and as is as within five minutes' walk of Felixstowe Station, it forms a convenient and attractive venue for golfers, whether residents or visitors. The course is picturesque, and the player enjoys , in addition to his game, a succession of pleasant views, embracing woodland and river scenery. The countryside is gently undulating, and there are no fatiguing steep ascents to tire the player.

During the Great War part of the course was used for national purposes, and the present 18-hole course is the outcome of the work of re-construction, on modern lines, undertaken after the war. The ground was viewed and reported on by James Braid, and full use was made of the advise and suggestions offered by the well-known Professional. The layout of the course is designed to make full use of the features of the land, and while not presenting difficulties calculated to discourage the moderate golfer, yet offers to the competent player full opportunities for testing his skill and judgement.

The fairways throughout are of soft and natural turf, and the natural drainage of the sub-soil is sufficient to ensure play in all seasons of the year. The greens, though not heavily bunkered, are sufficiently guarded to present an interesting problem to the player, and there are just sufficient hazards to punish the over-daring or loose exponent of the game.  

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. Layout of the 18-hole course.

Layout of the course with yardages.

 

Scorecard.

Hole Men Bogey SI Ladies Bogey SI Hole Men Bogey SI Ladies Bogey SI
1 330 4 13 300 4 4 10 274 4 14 202 3 14
2 378 4 4 340 4 13 11 373 4 3 296 4 1
3 309 4 7 286 4 7 12 343 4 10 300 4 10
4 155 3 15 135 3 15 13 299 4 8 299 4 8
5 447 5 9 382 5 9 14 164 3 16 148 3 16
6 511 5 2 435 5 2 15 400 4 1 353 5 3
7 145 3 17 133 3 17 16 143 3 18 136 3 18
8 355 4 5 298 4 5 17 466 5 6 416 5 6
9 422 5 11 377 5 11 18 407 4 12 360 4 12
Out 3052 37   2686 37   Home 2869 35   2510 35  
              Out 3052 37   2686 37  
              Total 5921 72   5196 72  

Course records - Amateur; H W Howlett, 71; Professional, A H Monk, 71; Ladies - Mrs G T Greaves, 79.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. The first green.

The first green.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. The second green.

The second green.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. The seventh green.

The seventh green.

 

Officials in 1936;Captain, Major H Hussey M.B.E; Vice-Captain, W F Cross J.P; Hon. Secretary, F M Paternoster; Treasurer, G T Greaves; Auditor, P J Petch; Professional, W A Rush; Committee - C J Andrews, H J Bannister, T S Barnard, L Bevan, W W Cowap, R Dobbie, E L K Frost, L Hancock, P Lindley, P J Petch, C Sorrell, E P Teastall, S Warth. Ladies Section; Captain, Mrs H C Brown; Hon. Secretary, Mrs G T Greaves; Committee - Mrs W H Cocks, Mrs W P Curry, Mrs M Lacour, Mrs F M Paternoster, Miss I Platt, Mrs R M Stammers.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. The fourteenth tee.

The fourteenth tee.

 

Close study of the map indicates that the above might be the fifteenth tee not the fourteenth (M V Thomas.)

Gentlemen - Trophies and Winners.

Eastward Ho! Challenge Cup Tetsall Challenge Cup Bracewell-Smith-Peters Memorial
1923 - F V Girling    
1924 - F W Rogers    
1925 - H C M Morgan    
1926 - J Rush    
1927 - E C Tetsall    
1928 - C J Andrews 1928 - P F Keele  
1929 - A J Parry 1929 - S  G Catchpole 1929 - F V Girling
1930 - L E Evans 1930 - L Bevan 1930 - L E Evans
1931 - J R Girling 1931 - W W Cowap 1931 - J L Girling
1932 - A E Priest 1932 - P C Warner 1932 - B J Doran
1933 - R Short 1933 - T S Barnard 1933 - H W Howlett
1934 - H O Blosse 1934 - S G Catchpole 1934 - H W Howlett
1935 - J H Bowen 1935 - W A Blackburn 1935 - H W Howlett
1936 - A Howlett    

 

Bevan Shield (18-hole Bogey) Bloomfield Cup (18-hole Bogey) Girling Scratch Score Prize
1928 - F V Girling    
1929 - Mrs C T Greaves    
1930 - L E Evans    
1931 - H W Howlett    
1932 - A V E Cook 1932 - C R Smith  
1933 - R Bloomfield 1933 - J Newson  
1934 - S G Catchpole 1934 - S G Catchpole 1934 - J Newson (147)
1935 - P Hazell 1935 - E L K Frost 1935 - H W Howlett (150)

Ladies Section  - Trophies and Winners.

Bevan Challenge Plate Warth Rose Bowl  Bloomfield Challenge Cup
1931 - Mrs C Ward 1931 - Mrs R Mulley  
1932 - Mrs W P Curry 1932 - Mrs W P Curry 1932 - Mrs E W Godfrey
1933 - Mrs C Ward 1933- Mrs A H Perry 1933 - Mrs E W Godfrey 
1934 - Mrs C Ward 1934 - Mrs A Knight 1934 - Miss M Newson
1935 - Mrs G T Greaves 1935 - Mrs A J Waring 1935 - Mrs A H Perry

Professional Matches at Eastward Ho! - In April 1934, mainly through the generous help of W Cross, Esq., J.P., a series of professional matches was arranged on the Eastward Ho! links. The players included the following noted professionals; A H Padgham, P Alliss, C H Whitcombe and Abe Mitchell, and also the following local professionals; A H Monk, S G Rush, B Seymour and W A Rush. These matches attracted considerable interest and the public had the opportunity of seeing some excellent golf. The best scores were ; A H Padgham, 72; P Alliss, 72; C H Whitcombe, 73; A Mitchell, 74.

The next year in 1935, a more ambitious and more interesting event was staged in an Invitation Professional Tournament, spread over four days in May, W F Cross, again provided prizes etc., to the value of £200. The starting list contained 66 names of professionals, and these included, beside the leading Eastern Section Professionals, such noted players as; A H Padgham, C A Whitcombe, S Easterbrook C S Denny, J J Taylor, W T Twine and Mark Seymour.

Past Captains - W O Jolly, 1920/21; Capt. J Worrall, 1921/22; R J Girling, 1922/23; W F Cross, 1923/24; E P Testall, 1924/25; G T Greaves, 1925/26; E P Tetsall, 1926/27; H F Douthwaite, 1927/28; C J Andrews, 1928/29; L Bevan, 1929/30; J R Girling, 1930/31; R Bloomfield, 1931/32; W W Cowap, 1932/33; L Bevan, 1933/34; S Warth, 1934/35.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. Golf club marked W A Rush Felixstowe.

Golf club marked W A Rush, Eastward Ho!

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. Club nameplate.

Eastward Ho! nameplate.

 

The clubhouse is situated at the entrance to the course in Beatrice Avenue, a car park is provided. Teas and light refreshments are provided for members and visitors. The professional's shop adjoins the clubhouse.

Subscriptions; Gentlemen, 4 guineas; Ladies, 3 guineas. Green fees; 1st October to Whitsuntide, 2s/6d a day (Christmas and Easter, 3/6) 10/6 a week, 21/- a month; Whitsuntide to 30th September, round, 3/-, day 4/-, week 15/- , month 2 guineas."

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe, Suffolk. Walter Hagen on the Eastward Ho! golf course.

Undated picture of Walter Hagen playing on the Eastward Ho! course.

 

The above information provided by Michael V Thomas. 

In 1940 there was a membership of 260. Course records were, amateur J Newson 70 and professional A H Monk 71. Visitors’ fees from 1st October to Whitsuntide were 2/6 a day (except Xmas and Easter when the fee was 3/6 per day), 10/6 per week, £1 1s per month from Whitsun to 30th September it was 3/- a round, 4/- a day, 15/- a week and £2 month. These details are still listed for 1947, although it is likely that they had never been updated throughout the War.

At the outbreak of the Second World War the course was again requisitioned for the war effort, and the club was closed formally for the duration of hostilities on Friday 12th July 1940. On 2nd August 1951, following a statement by the War Department that the course could not be released, the clubs affairs were finally wound up and the remaining assets sold. In 1952 the War Department finally released the course, but golf was never played there again.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe. The eighteenth green.

The eighteenth green from the clubhouse. Author's Collection.

 

Eastward Ho! Golf Club, Felixstowe. Plan of the former course.

Plan of the course. Author's Collection.