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Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. (1890 - WW2)

The club was founded in 1890. The professional in 1893/4 was H Britt and from 1894 to 1896 G Britt.

In January 1891 came the return of mild weather which enabled work to progress on the “Bexhill Golf Ground”.  Mr Balfour, the chief secretary, accepted the position of hon. captain and the Hon. Gilbert Sackville had become a member. 

On Saturday 7th February 1891 the inaugural club dinner was held at the club-room at the Sackville Hotel, Bexhill. There was a very elite assembly including; Viscount Cantelupe, chairman; Mr Robert Keep, founder of the club; Mr Hardwicke, club secretary; Colonel H Lane; C A Egerton; Lieut H L M Dunn; Captain Matthews; Dr Hunt; Dr Carter; Mr Penrose-Warren; E O Burbidge; Mr Sutherland- Graeme and many others.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Galley Hill. The former course.

Galley Hill, Bexhill. Postcard published by The Photocron Co Ltd, London and Tunbridge Wells. “Celesque Series” Authors Collection.


A general meeting was held at the Sackville Hotel on Tuesday 5th September 1893. It was announced that the Duc de Llitta had given a handsome silver cup, to be known as the “Italia” to the club.

On Wednesday 28th March 1894 the competition for the Italia Cup took place in fine weather, there were 16 entrants, result as follows; A MacGregor, 106-20-86; Rev F W Pawson, 116-27-89; A E MacDonnell, 107-17-90; H N Fowler, 113-22-91; N G MacGregor, 104-12-92; D H Benwell, 121-27-94; W C Beeching, 126-30-96; W J Harris, 116-20-96; Dr G Garrard, 110-12-98; W G Carpenter, 136-36-100.

Below, result of a club match played at Seaford on Wednesday 27th March 1895.

Seaford   Bexhill  
Captain Nugent 0 H S Colt 0
Hugh Thomson 2 W G McGregor 0
Davenport Knight 0 G Garrand 7
W M Cundell 3 J H Escoline 0
O E Winston 0 M Makalua 2
W Lambe 5 Rev H H Fowler 0
L Crawshay 0 H McDougall 0
  10   9


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Article from The Sketch May 1896.

From The Sketch May 20th 1896. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Bexhill on Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Early 1900s postcard of the course.

Early 1900s postcard for Bexhill. Image courtesy of Frank Accleton


In January 1902 the Garforth Cup and momento was won by E J Chippendale.

The following is taken from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Secretary, G Graham; captain, Dr Murdock; Number of members 180; Entrance fee, £4/4s and subs £2/2s; Professional course record Douglas Rolland, 73 on November 2nd 1897; Amateur course record G N Richardson 73, on June 14th 1902. "The course is a sporting one and the hazards consist of sand bunkers, pot bunkers and ditches. There are 7 holes on the sea side of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, and 11 holes on the north side of the railway. The course is beautifully situated close to the sea and the turf is excellent."  

In 1906 the secretary was George Graham and the professional was Douglas Rolland who had been at the club since 1897. Course records were, amateur  G Noble Richardson  with a score of 68 and professional A Mitchell 65. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 5/- for 3 days, 10/- a week, 20/- a month.

Also in 1906 was the Bexhill Ladies Golf Club. The secretary was Miss A L Tyrrwhitt Drake, Bexhill-on-Sea. This was stated to be a 9 hole course although its not clear whether it was a separate course or if the ladies played over the main course. The professional was Douglas Rolland. The Ladies Amateur record was held by Miss A Wallis with a score of 35. Bexhill ladies club was also in existence in 1913 when the secretary was Miss Parsons, 111 Dorset Road, Bexhill. A membership of 127. Entry fees were £1/11/6 and subs £1/11/6.

In 1906 James Braid and J H Taylor played an exhibition match over the Bexhill course.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Competition on the course in 1906.

The Braid and Taylor match at Bexhill in 1906.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club. The course in 1906.

Early days, on the course at Bexhill. Postcard from A. B. C. Stores, Bexhill, posted in 1906. Authors Collection.


Below is the result of a ladies’ match played at Tunbridge Wells on the Culverden course (now defunct) on Monday 4th November 1907. 

Culverden   Bexhill  
Miss Andrews 1 Miss A Wallis 0
Mrs R Homan 1 Miss A T Drake 0
Miss Beeching 1 Mrs Richardson 0
Miss Vanderzee 0 Mrs Barker 1
Miss Homan 1 Mrs Saison 0
Miss R Boddington 0 Miss Hickens 1
Miss Satire 1 Miss Parsons 0
  5   2

Below is a picture of the Bexhill Ladies’ autumn meeting played in October 1909.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. The ladies' autumn meeting in October 1909.

From the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News October 9th 1909. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In 1909/10 the secretary was George Graham and the professional J H Jones. Entrance fee was £4/4s and subs £2/2s. Membership of 300. Sunday play was permitted without caddies.

Competition results from September 1911; Scratch Gold Medal, C S Skarratt, 76; Monthly medals - Senior; C S Skarratt, 73 net; Junior - E C Coleman, 71 net. 

Result of the December 1911 monthly medal; Senior - J W McNair, 75 net; Junior - F Talbot Price, 80 net; Scratch Gold Medal - Dr Murdock.

In 1913 the professional was J H Jones, from 1914 and into the 1920s Tom Gillespie. There was a membership of 400 gents and 187 ladies (Bexhill Ladies Golf Club did not appear as a separate club) The entry fee was £3/3/0 and the subs £3/3/0. Visitors' fees 2/6 a day, 3 days 6/6, 12/- a week, 20/- a fortnight, 30/- a month. Sunday play was allowed with caddies.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club. Early postcard of the golf links.

Early postcard of the Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Links.


The secretary just prior to WW1 and into the 1920s was H W G Crawford at The Golf Club, Bexhill.  "An 18 hole challenging course with hazards consisting of sand bunkers, pot bunkers and ditches. The local advertised hotel was the Riposo which was situated on the sea front, 2 minutes from the golf links and clubhouse. The station at Bexhill on Sea was ½ mile away mile and Hastings 5 miles"

The third annual general meeting of the shareholders was held on Saturday 13th February 1915. In the annual report the amount raised in green fees was £1,089 and for subs and entrance fees £936/16s. The club membership was; Ladies 190; Gentlemen 254. It was decided that all members on active service should not be liable for subs for the present year. Sir Ernest Birch was elected as president.  

The annual meeting was held on Saturday 17th February 1917, Sir Ernest Woodford Birch, K.C., C.M.G was re-elected president. The captaincy was left open for the present. The annual report showed an improved financial position. The green fees also showed an increase. 

The original clubhouse was south of the railway line and was originally known as  Marine Cottages, it was extended in 1912. It survived the two World Wars but was demolished in 1966.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. The "Golf Links Pavilion".

The "Golf Links Pavilion" Bexhill.


In 1922 the professional was Arthur Mitchell and the greenkeeper E Vidler. There was a membership of 460. Visitors’ fess from the 1st October to 30th June were, 3/6 a day, 5/- at weekend, £1/2/6 a week, £1/15/0 a fortnight, £3 a month. From 1st July to 30th September 4/- a day, 6/6 at weekend, £1/8/0 a week, £2/10/0 a fortnight, £3/10/0 a month.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club. The eighteenth green in the 1920s.

The eighteenth green and clubhouse in the 1920s. Authors Collection.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club. The seventeenth green and clubhouse.

The seventeenth green and clubhouse in the 1920s. Authors Collection.


At the annual meeting held on Saturday 11th February 1928 it was reported that Earl De La Warr, the landlord, had again kindly made a reduction of £200 in the rent, reducing the loss on the year to £272/5s/8½d as compared with £306/9/10½ in the previous year. It was stated that if the club continued to exist solely on the generosity of Earl De La Warr the end must surely come.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Article from The Sketch June 1928.

From The Sketch Wednesday June 6th 1928. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Article from The Bexhill-on-sea-Observer May 1931.

From the Bexhill-on-sea-Observer Saturday May 16th 1931. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Below is the result of two matches played against Nevill Golf Club On Saturday June 4th 1932.

Match played at Nevill.

Nevill   Bexhill  
H N Brooks 1 J H Greer 0
A J Mitchell 1 C S Parker 0
J S Hollis 1 E Austin 0
W F Haward 1 Major T T Oaks 0
Colonel R Taylor 1 E J G Smee 0
R N Torpy (half) 0 J M Ilott (half) 0
R P O Knox 1 G F Herron 0
Jan McDowall 1 Lieut-Col T Leeson Ball 0
  7   0

Match played at Bexhill. 

Bexhill   Nevill  
Major R J Cargell 1 G H Blanksby 0
J T Scotson 0 T W J Noel Thomas 1
Surgeon-Captain J A Moon R.N 0 Col E Boileau 1
Brig-General Marshall 0 H Odell 1
D H Frazer 1 R Woods 0
G E J Foster 1 J S Cowling 1
Lieut-Col C W Bowie 0 E T Morris 1
Lieut-Col F S Dallas 0 E C H Thomas 1
  2   6

Below is the result of a match played at Bexhill against Nevill on Saturday April 24th 1934.  

Bexhill   Nevill  
Major Oaks 0 G R Kinder (3&2) 1
W N Cuthbert 0 W F Haward (1up) 1
J W Revell (2up) 1 H Churchill 0
Dr O'Malley 0 A J Haward (4&2) 1
C W Parker 0 J S Hollis (1up) 1
General Marshall 0 C W Snazell (4&3) 1
Surgeon-Captain Moon (half) 0 F S Harries (half) 0
C C Austen (half) 0 G S Clayton (half) 0
  1   4


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Characters from the 1930s.

Bexhill Golf Club - By "Mel" from the 1930s.


Characters on above image - Top left to right -  Neville Medley, Secretary; Dr A Murdoch, Captain 1904/5; Mrs E Lawrence, Ladies' Captain; Brig.-Gen. H Marshall C.B., Committee; Lt.-Col. T Leeson Ball.

Middle - F A Scott, Committee; Councillor W N Cuthbert, Captain 1933/4/5; Maj.-Gen. R S Hannay C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., Committee; A R Ingram, Committee; Major T T Oakes, plays right handed putts left.

Bottom - W G Morant, Vice-President; W E Hooper; Arthur Mitchell, The Professional (Cousin of Abe Mitchell); P C H de Satgê, Committee; F C Sheppard, Committee; J B Duncan, Committee.

Centre - One of the two giant periscopes on the course, through which one may watch others footling ahead at the blind holes. 


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Sussex. Plan of the Bexhill Golf & Sports Club course.

Plan of the Bexhill Golf & Sports Club - New Course.


Below is the result of a match played at Bexhill Golf and Sports Club against Nevill Golf Club on 1st April 1939.

Bexhill Sports and Golf Club   Nevill Golf Club  
J S Jonstone & Captain J B Haly (3&1) 1 W J Hatcher & H A Stevens 0
Dr J P O'Malley & F R Hobbs 0 G Scott Page & C W Snazell (4&3) 1
J H Walton & Colonel J S Barger 0 F S Harries & H Churchill (3&2) 1
C E Emerson & General H Marshall 0 F G Plummer & H G Wallis (5&4) 1
  1   3


Below results of two matches played against Nevill Golf Club on Saturday 10th June 1939.

Singles played at Nevill.

Nevill Golf Club   Bexhill Golf and Sports Club  
W J Hatcher (7&6) 1 J S Johnstone 0
G E Work (1up) 1 A R Fielder 0
H Churchill (5&3) 1 M B Drake Lee 0
C W Snazell (4&3) 1 R Worthington 0
Dr J E H Cogan  0 F R Hobbs (4&3) 1
H G Wallis (4&2) 1 C V Bailey 0
F G Plummer 0 Major T T Oakes (1up) 1
D H Dabbs (1up) 1 A L Purnell 0
  6   2


Fourballs played at Bexhill.

Bexhill Golf & Sports Club   Nevill Golf Club  
J H Walton & Colonel T Kelly (3&2) 1 E C H Thomas & T N Strange 0
Commander B C Martin & C G May 0 G T Dean & A L J Ewbank (4&3) 1
L G Peake & E J G Smee (5&4) 1 Colonel E Boileau & Dr W J Rankine 0
J E Barker & General H Marshall (4&2) 1 E D Strain & H E Odell 0
  3   1


Result of a ladies’ match played at Bexhill against Hastings Downs on Monday 12th June 1939.

Bexhill Ladies   Hastings Downs Ladies  
Mrs Cross 0 Mrs Blackman (4&2) 1
Mrs Heisch 0 Mrs Bradman (3&2) 1
Mrs Urquhart 0 Mrs Skinner (5&4) 1
Mrs Tullerton (4&2) 1 Mrs Bennett 0
Mrs Simpkin 0 Mrs Taylor (7&6) 1
Miss Robinson 0 Mrs Finlay (4&3) 1
Miss Prenderville 0 Mrs Clennett (2&1) 1
  1   6


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club, Galley Hill. The course from Galley Hill.

Bexhill Promenade and Golf Links from Galley Hill.


In 1940 and 1947 it was listed as the Bexhill Golf and Sports Club, telephone number 431. The secretary was Major A H Vergin, telephone 2112. The professional was Arthur Mitchell and the greenkeeper E Vidler. The 18 hole course had a SSS of 72 and a membership of 430. Course records were, amateur Captain J B Haly 70, professional A D Locke 64. Visitors’ fees were now 3/6 a day, 5/- a day at weekend and Bank Holiday.

The above information is taken from the Golfer's Handbook. It is sometimes the case that the information provided in these volumes may not have been updated at the time of WW2. We have been informed by a relation that the secretary listed, Major A H Vergin, was not actually at the club on the above dates. He did however serve as secretary during the 1930s.  

The link below shows the Bexhill course and is taken from Britain From Above.

Bexhill disappeared shortly after the above date. Most of the land has been used for building although some of the features can still be made out on the land nearest the sea.


Bexhill-on-Sea Golf Club. The former course at Galley Hill.

Location of the course at Bexhill. Grid reference TQ75440,07600, co-ordinates 575440,107600.