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Oxford University Golf Club.

Oxford University Golf Club (OUGC) was founded in 1875.

OUGC's first home was on Cowley Marsh which was used for university cricket, the obstacles here where hedges marshes and trying to avoid the twelve university cricket pavilions. The golf club did not have a pavilion of its own, Balliol allowed the golfers to use their pavilion rent free.

in the Birmingham Daily Gazette on Thursday 2nd July 1942 the death was announced at the age of 88 of Bishop Hamilton Baines. He was the first secretary of the Oxford University Golf Club, assisting to arrange the first match with Cambridge at Wimbledon Common in 1878. 

Result of a handicap played on December 2nd 1881 at Cowley; Mr Ludwick Grant, 67-6-61; W Galbraith, 67-4-63; A N Cumming, 71-4-67; Guy W Hogg, 101-30-71; F R Oliphant, 90-9-71; W C Sidgwick, 93-18-75; W K Adam, 88-12-76.

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Officers for the term and competition result November 1882.

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Saturday 11th November 1882. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Oxford University Golf Club. The Golfing Annual 1888/89.

 

Oxford University Golf Club. The Golfing Annual 1888/89.

From The Golfing Annual 1888/89.

 

The club then moved to Castle Park, Headington 1889-1891, where it spent two happy years.

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Club button.

Oxford University Golf Club button.

 

On Wednesday 25th February 1891 the University entertained the Warwickshire Golf Club at Headington Hill, it resulted in a landslide victory for the home team.

Oxford University Golf Club   Warwickshire Golf Club  
J B Pease 3 Colonel Boothby 0
H J Whigham 8 W O S Pell 0
R H Dun 2 Hon and Rev R C Moncrieff 0
G H Stewart 7 E C Hunter Blair 0
W D Davidson 3 T Latham 0
A E Ripley 7 Hon R H Lyttelton 0
G B Grundy 7 R O Milne 0
G M Style 3 A Rotherham 0
A Gordon 0 G F Twist 6
G E King 0 N W Brown 0
H C Stewart 1 F Smith 0
Hon D H Cairns 0 S H le Fleming 0
  41   6

In 1891 it moved to Boars Hill, South Hinksey where it remained until 1904/5. Bernard Darwin referring to the Boars Hill course said “Hinksey was certainly amusing and I have spent some not wholly unpleasant afternoons there squelching through mud and trying vainly to hole putts by coming off alternate worm casts. There was a short hole, on the fourth I think, where one played a pitching shot into the heart of a wood which was distinctly entertaining; but on the whole, it was not a good test of golf, or, if it was, then I would rather have my golf tested in some other way”

Below are two images of the South Hinksey course in 1904, not a favourite of Bernard Darwin. On the left on the third green (Mr J Graham jun., putting) on the right the eleventh green.

 

Oxford University Golf Club, South Hinksey. Images from The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News 1904.

From The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News December 24th 1904. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Below is the result of a match played at Oxford against Coventry Golf Club on Monday 14th March 1892. 

Oxford University Golf Club   Coventry Golf Club  
H J Wigham 0 Harold Smith 2
W D Davidson 9 A Rotherham 0
H Nicholls 10 F C Hunter Blair 0
F H Stewart 0 H Rotherham 6
C F Balfour 1 H W Bainbridge 0
P Balfour 0 W Hillman 0
L Armistead 2 T Latham 0
A R Hamilton 0 Rev F R Evans 1
A Pelham 0 J Powers 7
T Smythe 0 F A Moncrief 2
  22   18

Below, result of a match played at Oxford against the Worcestershire Golf Club on Saturday 12th November 1892. Included in the Worcestershire team was Harry S Colt who played his early golf at Malvern. 

Oxford University Golf Club   Worcestershire Golf Club  
H J Whigham 0 E H Blackwell 1
F H Stewart 0 Rev H Foster 6
R B Pearson 0 H S Colt 6
P Balfour 2 E F Chance 0
L Robertson 10 E G M Carmichael 0
H T Knight 3 L S Milward 0
R H Dunn 7 Rev C Black 0
H Nicholls 0 A S Archdale 1
Viscount Encombe 0 W M Binns 5
R Lodge 0 H D Acland 3
F H Campion 4 H K Foster 0
  26   22

Below, result of a match played against Royal Ascot at Oxford on Saturday 26th October 1894. The course was heavy but Mr Lushington (OU) managed to go round in 68.

Oxford University Golf Club   Royal Ascot Golf Club  
R H Mitchell 0 F J Patton 1
R B R Mair 0 G W Rickets 0
A C M Croome 8 H Sawyer 0
G B Grundy 4 L B Keyser 0
F T Hope 0 F E Lidnell 6
P A Lushington 15 H C Clarke 0
  27   7

On Saturday 10th March 1900 the Oxford University team visited Royal Ascot, the visitors recording a convincing victory, result below. 

Royal Ascot Golf Club   Oxford University Golf Club  
R H Mitchell 0 E C Lee  2
H Blackett 0 T M Hunter 1
G W Rickets 0 F H Mitchell 2
Captain Quinton 0 A Horne 7
E G North 0 C T Lawrence 1
S S Wollaston  0 J Bramston 6
R Creasy 0 H Beveridge 8
H H Longman 3 S Gillon 0
  3   27

Result of a match played at Oxford on Saturday 3rd November 1900 against the Oxford and Cambridge Golf Society. Oxford ran out winners by 33 holes to 13; leading matches as follows; F A Mitchell (OU) beat T M Hunter (O and CGS) 2up; J A T Brampston (OU) beat H G Ellis (OCGS) 2up; H W Beveridge (OU) halved with B Darwin (OCGS); O T Falk (OU) beat J L Low (OCGS) 1up; H M Braybrooke (OCGS) beat J C Watt (OU) 4up; S D Barne (OU) beat E C Lee (OCGS) 8up; A C M Croome (OCGS) beat A C Hamilton (OU) 6up.

It then moved to the eighteen hole course at Radley and Kennington, 1904/5-15.

Below is a report on the move to the Radley course in March 1905.

 

Oxford University Golf Club. The move to the Radley golf course March 1905.

From the Western Daily Press Tuesday 7th March 1905. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

From the 1905 Nibet's Golf Yearbook; Number of members 450; Hon. secretary - L D Brownlee, Oriel College, Oxford; Permanent assistant secretary - J W Gynes, 4 Glebe Terrace, Oxford; Captain, A J Graham; Entrance fee £1/10s and subs £1/10s; 18-holes; Professional, J Sherlock; Terms for visitors, 2s/6d a day on introduction. "The University Club left the course at Hincksey in March, as it was too short and muddy, though there were many uninteresting shots to be played. The new course at Radley offers the hard-hitting undergraduate more opportunity of using his brassey, but woe betide him if he slices! he will be out of bounds at every hole but four." - A C M Croome. 

Result of a trial match held at Radley in January 1911; M Tennant beat D Lyell 7 and 5; S Henderson beat G Forrester 5 and 3; E W Holderness beat F W H Roulston 2up; J C Craigie beat Mr Seton Gordon 4 and 3.

Result of a trial match played at Radley on Saturday 19th October 1912; G C Craigie beat R V Bardsley, 4 and 2; W McClure beat R N Jobson, 1up; G Platt beat R Lefevre, 4 and 2; G Barnard beat L Craig, 3 and 2; G Polson beat T Darley, 7 and 6; L de Gough beat N Curran, 3 and 2; L Blamley beat J Crole, 4 and 3; W Birch and A Mellor halved.

Below is the result of a trial match played at Radley in January 1914. The course condition was described as being “in such a frozen state that play was rather fluky”

H B Stokoe (2&1)  1 A R Melllor 0
J W Allen (4&2) 1 H S Malik 0
O C Bristoe (4&2) 1 B Woodbury 0
E J Lossen (3&2) 1 C H Jenner 0
R J Johnston (5&4) 1 T B Simpson 0
E C Russell (2&1) 1 F J Cristison 0
R W May (2&1) 1 E L Bury 0

In 1914 the honorary secretary was G B Crole, University College and the captain W F McLure, Trinity College. The permanent secretary was J W Gynes, 4 Hill Top Row, Oxford and the professional C H Gibson junior. The Oxford University 18-hole course at Radley was laid out undulating hilly ground. The line of play was along the hill rather than straight up and down. This, it was thought,  made allowances for the “carefree player”. The club had a membership of 450.

Also listed at this time  was the Oxford City Golf Club Founded 1899 and the Oxford Ladies Golf Club, originally called the Cowley Ladies which was Founded in 1901. The Ladies club moved to Southfield Park in 1912, this site was to become Southfield Golf Club (current Club). The secretary at the ladies club prior to WW1 was Mrs How, 21 Merton Street, Oxford. There was a membership of 83. Entry fee was 10/- and subs were 18/-. Visitors’ fees on introduction were, 1/- a day. Ladies were only allowed to play to 1.30 in term time, at all times during vacation. Sunday play was not allowed.

The competition for the  Oxford University President's gold medal was played at Radley on Wednesday 4th March 1914, result as follows; R W May (Brasenose,) 77; O C Bristowe (Christ Church,) 78; W F C McClure (Trinity,) 79.

It was reported in the Pall Mall Gazette in August 1915 that the course at Radley had been closed until the termination of the war.

The following is an extract from a report from the Scotsman in February 1922. "Oxford University Golf Club have embarked on a notable enterprise. They have launched a company, limited by guarantee, to take over the lease of suitable ground, and to make a course that will compare with any first-rate inland green. They are fortunate in locating ground in the locality, within two miles of Carfax, which has had the benediction of Mr H S Colt, who is to lay out the course."

In October 1924 the Probables beat the Possibles in a 21-aside singles golf trial on the Southfield course. It seems that the club had settled at the course at Southfield.

The following is from the Golfer's Handbook 1933; Oxford University Golf Club, Southfield; Membership 600; Hon. secretary, C Middleton; Permanent secretary, Major J R Mullings; Professional, F H Taylor; Green-keeper, J E Gibbons; Eighteen-holes; Amateur course record R H Baugh, 71; Visitors' fees, 3s/6d a day, 5s Sunday. There is no separate listing for Southfield Golf Club prior to WW2.

In the 1947 Golfer's Handbook the club is listed as Southfield Golf Club (Incorporated with Oxford University Golf Club.) It continues to appear in the Golfer's Handbook with this title until the mid 1950s. After this the Oxford University Golf Club name disappears. 

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Oxford University Golf Club Presidents Medal from 1926.

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Oxford University Golf Club Presidents Medal from 1926.

Oxford University Golf Club Presidents Medal from 1926. Image courtesy http://www.oldsportsauction.com/

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Location of the Cowley Marsh golf course.

Cowley Marsh, the club's first home with unusual hazards, twelve college cricket pavilions, approximate positions marked.

Grid reference SP54075,04830, co-ordinates 454075,204830.

 

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Boars Hill golf course.

The course on Boars Hill. The Oxford Preservation Trust bought the land in 1946 and it’s now a Memorial Field.

Grid reference SP49415,02200, co-ordinates 449415,202200.

 

 

Oxford University Golf Club. Location of the Radley golf course.

Location of the Radley course.

Grid reference SP51600,01135, co-ordinates 451600,201135.

 

 

Thanks to Mrs S A Durbridge for the following information in 2003 -

“Cranbrook Drive is built on the original site of Oxford Golf Club before Southfield was constructed. It is reputed that the Duke of Windsor played on this course when up at Oxford. The original golf house is still standing but could soon be demolished to make way for further housing development”