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Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland.

The club was inaugurated in 1907.

Following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Berwickshire News and General Advertiser on Tuesday 11th December 1906:-

“Golf has broken out on Holy Island. James Braid was lately commissioned to lay out a new course on Holy Island. He has performed his task, and has been telling “The Tatler” that the new course, one of the wildest and most natural to be found anywhere, will furnish fine golf that will gladden the hearts of the players of the heroic school. On Holy Island the making of bunkers is a business of the utmost simplicity. You just remove the top turf and the wind does the rest, scooping out the sand and shaping the bunkers in the proper way, proving once again how golf, of all games, is most akin to simple nature.”

The following is an extract from an article that appeared in the Berwick Advertiser December 18th 1908. The image below the article accompanied it:-

“It is just about two years since Mr James Braid visited the links and planned their general outlines. On the 11th June 1907 the club was formally instituted by Mr and Mrs Morley Crossman, who presented two cups for the opening day of play. Among other players were Mr Horace Hutchinson and Mr Winkworth, the guests of Edward Hudson Esq., of Lindisfarne Castle.  With two exceptions, the putting greens are perfectly natural, and all are guarded with excellent natural bunkers. The length of the holes with bogey are as follows; 161 (3); 428 (6); 192 (4); 395 (5); 182 (4); 317 (5); 421 (6); 200 (4); 374 (5); Total 2,760 yards, bogey 42. The only requisite not supplied is a pavilion which the committee hope shortly to get provided. Great credit is due to the secretary, Mr H G Winship, for his unwearied and unstinted efforts to advance the club.”

 

Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland. Location of the James Braid course in 1908.

The above plan shows the course to the north of the Island. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland. Layout of the nine-hole Gowf course.

Clearer layout of the nine-hole Holy Island "Gowf" course with variations.

 

In June 1911 Mr H G Winship retired as secretary after five years in the position. The club presented him with a Smoker’s Cabinet with the inscription “Presented to H G Winship, Esq., honorary secretary, Holy Island Golf Club, 1906-1911.” He was succeeded by the Rev Irvine Cranshaw.  

Result of a competition for the vice-president’s prize played on Saturday 7th September 1912; W Carter , 77net; Geo Cromarty, 79; Rev I Crawshaw, 84; John Grey, 88; W Halliday, 91; A Wilson, 96.

 

Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland. From The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News January 1913.

From The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News January 4th 1913. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

In 1914 the secretary was the Reverend I Crawshaw, Holy Island. A 9-hole course with a membership of 70. There was no entry fee. Subs for gents were 15/- and ladies 7/6. Visitors’ fees 1/- a day, 2/6 a week and 7/6 a month. There was no Sunday play. The Station at Beal was 4 miles away.

 

Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland. Article from The Sphere April 1914.

Article from The Sphere April 18th 1914. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Throughout most of the 1920s the secretary was R Wharton Riley, Holy Island, Beal. 9 holes with a membership of 80. Visitors’ fees; 1/6 a day, 3/6 a week and 10/6 a month.

In 1928/9 the secretary was the Reverend R Davies, The Vicarage, Holy Island. Visitors’ fees; 1/6 a day, 5/- a week and 15/- a month. Sunday play was still not allowed at this time.

From 1930 to the clubs closure the secretary was G Douglas and the greenkeeper  J E Walker who continued in their respective positions until the club finally disappeared in the 1960s. Visitors’ fees throughout this time were 1/6 a day, 2/6 on Sundays, 5/- a week and 15/- a month.

The course was requisitioned by the R.A.F. from 1942 to 1946

It was reported in 1947 that the club planned to spend £73/10s on repairs and decoration to the clubhouse. The Public Health Committee of Norham and Islandshires Council rejected the appeal stating that they considered the work not essential and it should be deferred.

In May 1949 there was a move to reform the club but it would have required considerable expenditure to put the course back in order. If this plan was approved by the Public Health Committee there would be little chance of playing golf that year. The ladies’ working committee were to continue with functions to raise funds.  

You will notice that the position of the course on the image below differs from the James Braid layout shown earlier which was to the north. Could there have been a change of location?

 

Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland. Postcard showing the course.

Postcard printed by J W Hindson & Sons, Newcsatle on Tyne, posted in the 1930s. Authors Collection. The golf course is marked in the centre with the clubhouse just to the south.

 

Holy Island Golf Club, Northumberland. Location of the golf course.

Holy Island Golf Club disappeared in the mid 1960s.
Grid reference, NU12195,43340, co-ordinates, 412195,643340.