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Gatwick Golf Club, Horley.

The club was founded in 1907 when the professional was Robert Glass until 1908 then; M J Lewis 1908-10, A Elphick 1911; A Steer 1911-13; J Paterson 1914/5, Harry Brown 1915; W J Kennett 1915/6.

In June 1908 the final tie for the mixed foursome was played. Mr G Baker and Miss Webber beat Rev H T Lewis and Miss R Webber by 4 & 3.

Result of the July 1908 monthly medal; G Baker, 87-10-77; H Dawes, 92-12-80; F H Cathcart, 95-15-80; T V Low, 105-18-87; R S Tobey, 101-12-89; L F Cathcart, 111-18-93.

At the annual general meeting held in July 1908 Sir Francis Montefiore, Bart., was elected president of the club, and Mr Herbert C Mappin of Ifield Court, Crawley, captain.

Result of the August 1908 monthly medal; H Dawes, 92-12-80; R E Cornwall, 97-16-81; A Baker, 87-5-82; A H Eve, 97-11-86; G Baker, 98-9-89; C L Hansen, 107-18-89. Result of the ladies' medal; Mrs G Baker, 108-19-89; Mrs Dawes, 119-25-94; Miss Jean O'Bryan, 116-20-96; Miss M G Patterson, 134-25-109; Miss Marion Patterson, 136-25-111.

Result of the August 1908 monthly bogey; Herbert Dawes (12), 1down; H C Mappin (4), 2down; W D Waller (16), 3down; C Knight (20), 6down; Leonard Williams (9), 7down.

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 12th September 1908; R S Tobey, 87-12-75; J W P White, 91-12-79; A Baker, 85-5-80; Rev H T Lewis, 101-14-97.

On Saturday 24th October 1908 an exhibition match was played between Harry Vardon and J H Taylor. Admission was 2s/6d , members free. Eighteen-holes of match play took place in the in the morning with Vardon winning by 2&1. In the afternoon eighteen-holes of stroke play was played, when Vardon again won with a score of 69 (course record) against Taylor's 78. In justice to Taylor he was suffering from a severe cold.

Stroke play scorecard details:-

 Harry Vardon - Out; 4,4,3,3,4,3,5,5,4 = 35; Home - 5,3,4,4,3,4,4,4,3 = 34 - Total, 69.

John H Taylor - Out; 4,4,3,4,5,3,4,5,5 = 37; Home - 6,3,5,5,3,4,3,5,7 = 41 - Total, 78

In September 1909 John H Usman  and Mark Allerton, editor of "The World of Golf" presented cups to the club for competitions.

In 1909/10 the secretary was J P White. There was no entry fee and subs were £3/3s.

In July 1910 a start was made on the new clubhouse. It was situated about 300 yards from the Brighton Road, close to Gatwick Manor.

Result of the October 1910 monthly medal; R S Tobey, 82-6-76; G Baker, 90-11-79; Rev H T Lewis, 91-12-79; P H Head, 89-10-79; H G Andrews, 103-24-79; L Williams, 92-12-80; F M Butler, 100-14-86.

The new clubhouse was formally opened on Saturday 15th October 1910 by Mr John H Usmar. The building had been erected at a cost of about £500, it contained a lounge, dining-room, ladies' and gentlemen's sitting rooms, there was also accommodation for the professional. Mr Usmar declared the clubhouse open and drove the ball from the "new" first tee, which was the eighth hole on the original course. He had Mr G Freeman has his partner. The course had been re-measured by Mr Arthur Barker.

 

Gatwick Golf Club, Horley. Sammy Golf Club mage by Elphick of Gatwick.

SAMMY Golf Club made by Elphick of Gatwick professional in 1911. Image courtesy of http://www.oldsportsauction.com/

 

John H Usmar, club captain, was in the chair at a meeting held in April 1911. Mr S C Pitt, hon. secretary announced that subs for new members would be £4/4s. The brothers Elphick, the professionals of the club, who came to Gatwick from Ashdown Forest, were to leave for America. Mr Steer, of Copthorne, had been appointed as the new professional. John Goddard was to be captain for the next year. It was stated that the committee had taken a five year lease on the premises.

 

Gatwick Golf Club, Sussex. North Lodge, Gatwick Manor.

North Lodge, Gatwick Manor. Demolished in the mid 1950s to construct Longbridge Roundabout.

 

On Easter Monday in March 1913 John Goddard won the Gatwick Challenge Cup by one stroke from Mr R S Tobey.

In April 1914 the winner of the monthly bogey competition was H Stocken with a score of 3 down.

In 1913/4 the managers at the Gatwick Race Course and Golf Club Ltd., were Charles Edward Robison, Frederick Cathcart and G H Verrall, the secretary was C S Pitt, Capital & Counties Bank, Horley. Club telephone number was Horley 59. The professionals were A Steer in 1913 and J Paterson in 1914. It was described as a good 18-hole course with splendid turf. It had the river Mole for a hazard on four of the holes. The greens had been greatly improved and the course fully bunkered. A new clubhouse has been completed close to the main Brighton Road. The club had a membership of 260. There was no entry fee. Subs for gents were £4/4/0 and ladies £2/2/0. Members of Gatwick Racing Club paid £2/12/6, their wives and daughters paid £1/11/6. Visitors had two days free on introduction then paid 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and 30/- a month. Sunday play allowed with caddies. The station was 1 mile away.

The Gatwick Challenge Cup, which was presented to the club by Mr John Goddard, was competed for on Easter Monday in April 1914, it was won by Mr F M Barton with net scores of 80 and 74 for a 36 hole total of 154.

The winner of the monthly bogey played in April 1914 was H Stocken with a score of 3down.

The final for the Goddard Challenge Cup was played in July 1914 and was won by Mr R Seymour Tobey.

The Gatwick Challenge Cup was played on Easter Monday in 1915. Arthur Baker (scratch) scored 80 and 77, total 157. The entrance fees were given to the Red Cross fund.

It was announced in May 1915 that Harry Brown of Elmstead had been appointed professional. He replaced J Paterson who had moved to Old Ford Manor.

The annual meeting was held in the clubhouse in June 1915, the retiring captain, Rev H T Lewis, in the chair. Arthur Baker was appointed captain for the ensuing year. Arthur Baker was a scratch golfer and in conjunction with C S Pitt (hon. secretary), had done much of the spade work with the development of the club. The excellent condition of the course was due in great measure to both men. It was probable that the course would have to be reduced temporarily to 12-holes. It was resolved to leave future arrangements of the club in the hands of the committee, with power to take any steps they might deem necessary in the interests of the club.

It was announced on Friday 4th August 1916 that Lieut. Henry Webber, of the South Lancashire Regiment, and the first captain of the Gatwick Golf Club, had been killed at the front. Probably the first organisation to pass a vote of condolence to the widow and family was the Gatwick Golf Club. The proposal was passed at a meeting held on Saturday 29th July 1916 by Mr J St J Johnson who had been elected captain, it was seconded by the Vicar of Horley.

Another sad report appeared in the Surrey Mirror on Friday 27th October 1916. "Horley Man Killed In Action - We regret to announce that Frank Miller, aged 20, youngest son of Mrs Miller, Church Road, Horley was killed on October 13th. The gallant soldier was well known to members of the Gatwick Golf Club as assistant to the professional for many years. He was very popular with the members, and much sympathy will be felt with Mrs Miller in her loss."

Following information courtesy of "The PGA Remembers" project - Frank Miller, Gatwick Golf Club; Regiment - Gunner ‘C’ Battery 183Rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery; Service Number 43652; Died - Killed in action. 13th October 1916. Age 20; Buried - Thiepval Memorial. Ref: Pier and Face 1 A and 8 A; Notes - Born in 1886 the son of Fredrick Miller a shepherd on the Gatwick Estate Franks interest was in golf and he became the assistant to J Patterson the Gatwick Clubs Professional. He was very popular according to the obituary in the Surrey Mirror and County Post, which appeared in October 1916. Young Frank fell in action at the Battle Ancre during the Somme offensive. He died at the tender age of 20.

  

Thanks to Horley Local History Society for their help with the research.

At a meeting of the members held at the Constitutional Hall, Horley. in March 1917, the question of the future of the club was raised. After considerable discussion it was decided to attempt to keep the club going in the interests of members serving in the forces, so that the facility would be available on their return. The course had been reduced to eight-holes and it was decided that greens should be mowed and kept in order by the members.

The following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Surrey Mirror on  Friday 22nd June 1917 - "Golf Suspended at Gatwick - At a meeting of the club held on Friday last it was decided that golf should be abandoned. for the period of the war. This decision was arrived at with regret, but with so many members of the club serving with His Majesty's Forces, and other members actively engaged in war work, it was felt that no other course could be adopted, notwithstanding the generous offer received from the directors of the Gatwick Race Course. It is hoped to resuscitate the club at the conclusion of the war."

 

Gatwick Golf Club, Sussex. Location of the golf course.

Location of the Gatwick course at the time of WW1. Grid reference TQ28065,41550, co-ordinates 528065,141550.

 

Although Gatwick Golf Club disappeared following WW1  horse racing seemed to flourish at Gatwick up until the 1930s.

When Aintree Racecourse was closed during WW1, Gatwick Racecourse hosted the Grand National, although it’s not always recognised as the official “Grand National” during these years. In 1916 it was called the Racecourse Association Steeplechase and in 1917/8 the War National Steeplechase.