Hastings & St Leonards/Hastings Downs Golf Club, Sussex.
Originally known as Hastings & St Leonards Golf Club it became Hastings following WW1, it eventually became Hastings Downs Golf Club prior to WW2 until closure.
Founded 1893. From the Manchester Courier and Lancs General Advertiser, Saturday 11th March 1893 "A club is likely to be formed on an excellent tract of ground on East Hill at Hastings. The course will be without a "tame hole"
At a packed public meeting held at the Town Hall on Wednesday the 8th March it was agreed that a golf club should be started in Hastings. The meeting had been called by the mayor in response to an offer by the Rev WC Sayer-Milward to grant 12 acres of his ground on the East Hill at a very nominal rent. The key campaigner was the “clever caricaturist” Harry Furniss, who had done much work before the meeting. He was the first speaker, saying “in an able and humorous speech” that golf was becoming increasingly popular in fashionable circles, and he was surprised links had not been established in Hastings long ago. He had many friends in London who would join the club and come to Hastings. “Golfers would only come in the winter, and not in the summer, when the ‘cheap tripper’, who was ruining Hastings, could have the hill to himself.” The club was formed at the end of the meeting, with £70 being promised by many subscribers. It was Dr Frith and Dr Cecil Christopherson who began the movement to form the club. The first president was Mr Sayer-Milward, Dr Frith was captain and joint secretary with Dr Christopherson.
The club held its first AGM on the 5th April 1894. There was a membership of about 170 at this time. The club held its first golf week starting on Monday 2nd April, it was hoped that this would become an annual event.
In March 1895 two competitions were held to mark the opening of the new clubhouse at the newly formed Hastings & St Leonards Golf Club at Barley Lane. The clubhouse had been built by Mr Lester, Earl Street, at a cost of around £500.
In December 1895 the formal opening of the extended 18 hole course on East Hill took place. It was originally a 9 hole course.
Result of the Davenport Cup played in October 1897; Dr H McDougall (9) 1up; H S Colt (2) all square.
Result of the Town Cup (valued at 40 guineas) played for at the spring meeting in perfect weather in May 1898, there were 45 entries; Rev H C L Tindall, 88-10-78; Dr McDougall, 86-5-81; H C Willmott, 87-5-82; A E Walker, 90-7-83.
In December 1898 the clubhouse in Barley Lane was partially destroyed by fire.
On Saturday 12th May 1900 the open competition for the Town Cup was played on the East Hill course. There was a record entry of 66 players including representatives of many well known clubs. The fine gross score of 73 was accomplished by the former Cambridge University Captain and Royal and Ancient golfer Mr H S Colt. His figures were:
Mr Colt was plus 4 and was drawn against Mr Peacock of Royal Eastbournewho played off plus 2 and returned a score of 80. The result was a tie for the cup at 77net; H S Colt, 73+4-77; B F Smith, 87-10-77; A W Arnold was next with a score of 86-8-78.
In January 1902 it was announced that changes were to be made to the course. Six of the holes on the public portion of the East Hill course were to be given up, six new holes were to be constructed off Barley Lane making the course completely private. James Braid carried out the work on the reconfigured course. The opening of the "new" 18-hole course took place on Sunday 18th May.
The formal opening of the 18 hole course took place in fine weather a couple of days earlier on Friday 16th May 1902 with a 36 hole match between James Braid, Romford, and Harry Vardon, Ganton. There was a large crowd in attendance when the players teed off at 11am. At the end of the first round Vardon was 4up.
Result of a ladies match played at Ashdown Forest in November 1904.
|Ashdown Forest||Hastings & St Leonards|
|Miss Andrews||1||Miss Strong||0|
|Miss Cary||1||Miss Brymer||0|
|Miss G Gordon||1||Miss Vores||0|
|Miss Nix||1||Miss Ladds||0|
|Mrs Hay Forbes||0||Miss Satchell||0|
|Mrs Crawford||0||Miss Williams||1|
|Mrs H Mason||1||Mrs Pigott||0|
In 1906 the secretary was H W G Crawford, Glengarriff, Linton Road, Hastings and the professional was W Head. Course records were, amateur R H de Montmorency and E J Chippendale with a score of 74 and professional C W Pope 69. Visitors’ fees on application to the secretary were 2/- a day, 7/6 a week and 20/- a month.
There was also a Ladies Golf Club secretary and she was Mrs Keene, Grove House, Woodlands, Isleworth, Middlesex. Other details as above.
Result of a ladies’ match played on the Culverden Golf Club course, Tunbridge Wells, on Tuesday 11th June 1907.
|Miss Andrews||1||Miss Alexander||0|
|Miss Anderson||1||Mrs Pigott||0|
|Mrs R Homan (half)||0||Miss Strong (half)||0|
|Miss Beeching||1||Miss Murray||0|
|Mrs Middleton (half)||0||Miss Peters (half)||0|
|Miss M Vanderzee||0||Mrs Barker||1|
|Miss A Vanderzee||1||Mrs Fraser||0|
Following is the result of the January medal 1910; First division (or senior), C Maddock, 89-3-86; C W Cooper, 104-13-91; R P Lowcock, 107-15-92; Second division (or junior), S J C Fraser, 121-18-103; L Hay, 135-27-108.
The annual meeting was held at the Queen’s Hotel on the 12th February 1910, Mr Harvey Du Cros, president, was in the chair. Others present included; H D Cleaver, captain, S Overton, secretary, F D Harding, treasurer, J Lawrence, financial secretary, G R Butterworth, auditor, Councillor Dr G G Gray, J.P, Dr E R Mansell, J.P, E M Scott-Smith, H W G Crawford, H R Mansell, Alfred Newham, Walter Parks, H Blackbourne, Montague Scarff Richards, H E Dobell, Russell F Ferguson, etc. Mr Lawrence said the balance sheet was very similar to that of the previous year but green fees had increased and were higher than ever before. He was rather disappointed that the balance sheet had not come out better, because the takings were good; but general costs had increased, and they had not revised their fees. The membership stood at 225. The annual report was as follows “Considering the circumstances of the past year, I think we have many reasons to congratulate ourselves on the progress of the club in 1909. In spite of having one of the worst seasons for many years, the number of visitors has increased, and our green fees are a record in the history of the club. At the spring and autumn meetings our entries were somewhat fewer than in the previous year, the falling of being chiefly due to the exceptionally bad weather during the progress of the autumn meeting. The Challenge Cups and other prizes have been well distributed, as the following list will show; Spring Meeting – Club prize, H D Cleaver; Town Cup, G M Furniss; Secretaries’ Cup, L Furniss; Furniss Cup, W Clowes-Pritchard; Gold Medal, G N Richardson; Silver Medal, F Terry; Aggregate Prize, G M Furniss; Autumn Meeting – Frith Medal, E M Scott-Smith; North Bowl, S Overton; Sayer-Milward Cup, Dr S J C Fraser; Open Prize, C K Rhodes; Aggregate Prize, 18 holes, E M Scott-Smith; Aggregate Prize, 9 holes, G Garrard. In addition the following prizes have been competed for in tournament play; Du Cros Cup, C Maddock; Ogden Cup, G N Richardson; Carr Prize, R P Lowcock; Captain’s Prize, S Overton. I regret to say that due to the bad weather the course has not been up to the usual standard, but this can be said for many clubs in the area. Most of the greens have been treated with Carter’s worm killer. This has had excellent results, and if we follow it up the greens should improve greatly. Several alterations have been made on the course, and this should add to the gradual improvement. Harvey du Cros was re-elected president; the vice-presidents were re-elected with the addition of Mr A E Walker; H D Cleaver was re-elected captain; all other officers were also re-elected”
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 13th January 1912; division one – C F Frowd, 89-8-81; H Blackthorne, 95-9-86; A Newham, 94-7-87; H Rothwell, 92-3-89; H R Mansell, 102-8-94; division two – E F Hibbs, 100-14-86; W Parks, 105-15-90; E Hylands, 115-24-91.
The well attended annual meeting was held in the clubhouse at Barley Lane on Saturday 27th January 1912. In the absence of the President, Mr Harvey du Cros, J.P., Dr E R Mansell J.P., was in the chair. There had been an increase in green fees during the last year but annual subscriptions had dropped, there had however been an increase clubhouse receipts. A new lease for 21 years was obtained from the Rev W C Sayer-Millward on the same conditions and rent as before. An approach was to be made to the corporation with a view to making Barley Lane suitable for motor vehicles, the road was laid with shale last year and this was found to be unsuitable.
A lot of work had been carried out on the course and Mr Blackburne explained in detail the improvements, which he had supervised. It gives a good idea of the course layout and is worth including, he went on “A large raised new tee had been made at the first hole, the approach on the left of the green had been hollowed out and the right had been made a gradual slope, thus leaving the whole front open, and comparatively level. A new tee at the second hole, and two bunkers guarding the new green, the back had been re-turfed and now sloped towards the spinney. A new tee placed behind the spinney gives a long carry for the drive on the fifth. The old eighth green was entirely removed, a new green, without divisions and banks, remodeled, with a bunker for pulled approaches added. The approach had been improved by checking the run on the ball downhill. The fourth and ninth have been rebuilt; the fourth is comparatively level, approached over the spinney with two bunkers for pulled and sliced shots, while the back has been so built that any shot over running can be pulled back, but care will have to be exercised to note the various gradients on the bank. The ninth has also been leveled, but not on quite the same level as the fourth, and slight undulations put on the green itself, while the further bank is so built that an over run shot will not be penalised more than the one shot. A new tee has been made at the tenth, the green will eventually be made as an undulating one, with guarding bunkers at each side. The eleventh has been re-turfed were required. The twelfth green has been enlarged and a long narrow bunker has been built at the edge to prevent the ball from going out of bounds, while a bunker and mound have been added to punish a pulled shot, and the back bank re-modeled. Two of the existing tees at the thirteenth have been enlarged and a new one made at the fourteenth while a pot bunker has been added guarding the 14th green. The approach to the seventeenth has been levelled by building an embankment, and placing a bunker at the side has added attraction to the hole. The eighteenth approach has been altered to check the approach shot, similar to the eighth, while the green has been slightly enlarged, and a bunker placed on the hill to prevent the drive from going out of bounds. The alterations have been drained as done, several new drains been put in where required” He estimated that 100 loads of solid rock had been excavated and between 1,400 and 1,500 new three inch drain pipes installed. The work was almost complete. During one week they had as many as 70 men working on the course. On the proposition of Mr H R Mansell, a hearty vote of thanks was passed to Mr Blackburne for his efforts. Mr Blackburne went on to acknowledge the services of “Bob the Steward” during the work. When a man was found not doing his work it was “Bob’s” job to tell him, a duty he carried out well. A vote of thanks was passed to “Bob” ( Mr Head) and to “Kitty” (Miss Stapley) for their services as Steward and Stewardess.
The following officers were elected; President, Mr Harvey du Cros; captain, H L Foster; Treasurer, N A Harding; Financial Secretary, Mr Lawrence; General Secretary, Mr Blackburne; Auditor, Mr Butterworth; Committee – Mr Butterworth, Mr Frowd, H R Mansell, A E Walker, E Hyland and R Rothwell. Mr H D Cleaver, as a reward for long service and as Captain last year, was elected a Vice President and life member.
The seasons prize winners as follows; Spring Meeting – Furniss Cup, F Terry; Secretary’s Cup, W Parks; Captain’s Cup, E M Scott-Smith and F Terry; Town Cup, A H Bailey; Gold Medal, F Terry; Silver Medal, H T Weston; Ogden Cup, A Newham; Harvey du Cros Cup, F W Skinner; Autumn Meeting – Frith Medal, Dr Fraser; Sayer-Milward Challenge Cup, Dr Fraser; North Challenge Bowl, P R Helyar.
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday February 10th 1912; division one – P Maddock, 87 scratch; R Rothwell, 93-3-90; A Newham, 97-7-90; H R Mansell, 100-8-92; division two – W A Parsons, 97-22-75; T Lawrence, 99-22-77; H S Weston, 101-16-85; F A Bateman, 111-24-87; F F Thornthwaite, 106-18-88; E F Hibbs, 104-14-90; E Hylands, 114-24-90.
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 10th August 1912; R Rothwell, 82-4-78; H T Weston, 95-16-79; C F Frowd, 90-8-82; H Blackborne, 92-10-82.
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 14th December 1912; C W Higgins, 98-12-86; R Rothwell, 92-4-88; C W Cooper, 99-11-88; E Hylands, 110-22-88; E Rothwell, 96-6-90.
In 1914 the joint secretaries were H D Cleaver and O W Easby, Golf Club, East Hill, Hastings, telephone 534. An 18 hole course that was situated on East Hill overlooking the sea with views of Fairlight and Ecclesbourne Glens the professional was W Head. Entry fees were £2/2/0, non-residents paid £1/1/0. Subs were £2/2/0 and non-residents £1/1/0. Sunday play with caddies was allowed.
In 1923 the address was Hastings Golf Club, East Hill, Hastings. Telephone 534. The Secretary was E M Scott-Smith, The Grange, Hastings. The professional was W J Muncey and the greenkeeper E C Bumstead. Club membership of 250. Course records were, amateur E M Scott-Smith with a score of 69 and professional P G Shoesmith 67. Visitors’ fees were now 3/6 a day, 15/- a week and £1/15/0 a month.
Following are competition results from January 1929. Monthly medal; F A Bateman, 107-24-83; N Tutt, 102-18-84; R Carlton, 105-20-85. Monthly bogey; S J Webber (10), all square; R S Joiner (6), 1down; H A Pearch (9), 4down; R Carlton (15), 4down; H R Cowell (17), 4down. There were 17 entries for the ladies’ monthly bogey; silver division – Miss Armitage (10), 6down; bronze division – Mrs Wilkins (27), 4down.
The annual meeting was held in the Town Hall on Wednesday 13th February 1929. The Mayor, Councillor A D Thorpe JP, club president, was in the chair. The Mayor was supported by Mr C L Taylor, club secretary; H H Mastin, retiring captain; Arthur E Marriot, retiring vice-captain; G R Butterworth, auditor and others.
Following the success of the first summer meeting last year it was decided to hold a second summer meeting in the coming year. There was an increase of membership from 325 to 353. To strengthen the feeling of fellowship between the St Leonards club and their own, a reciprocal arrangement had been made under which any member of one club could play on the other by paying half green fees.
Mr Taylor said that at the last annual meeting reference was made to certain alterations and constructional work then in progress on the course. Both had been completed on time giving members and visitors a better course to play on. The greens which had been remodelled and returfed and had progressed well. The drainage on the tenth and eighteenth fairways had made play possible even during the winter months. This year remodelling was to take place on the sixth and seventh greens, also, further drainage work was to take place on all parts of the course. The Barley Lane road had also been repaired and tarred by the Corporation making it possible to have “a more up to date bus service”.
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 14th September 1929; (Senior) or first division, J Savage, 81-11-70; (Junior) second division; A A Martin, 95-24-71; G H Cowburn, 97-24-73; N M Lloyd, 89-24-75; Walter Parks, 97-21-76; E P Anderson, 95-18-77.
Throughout the 1930s the secretary was C L Taylor MBE VD, “Winona” Filsham Road, St Leonards. The professional was J Paterson and the greenkeeper E C Bumstead (early 1930s) C White (from about 1935). 18 holes with a membership of about 360. Course records were, amateur A Winter 68, professional J Paterson 69. Local hotel was the Albany.
Result of the “Town Cup” played in May 1931; R L Mansell, 76-1-75; C M Clennett, 94-18-76; E Brassey, 94-17-77; E J Paxton, 86-9-77; C R Lewis, 93-16-77; A Parker Brown, 93-15-78; T Lennard, 90-12-78; J Hawkins, 85-7-78; F Judge, 89-11-78; H Harding, 81-2-79; E J McEntie, 97-18-79; D W Rees, 90-11-79.
Below is the result of a ladies match in the Sussex County Championship (second division) played at Hastings against Ashdown Forest on Tuesday 19th May 1931.
|Miss N Armitage (3&1)||1||Mrs Paxton||0|
|Mrs Walker (3&1)||1||Miss Tatham||0|
|Miss Palfreyman||0||Miss I Young (2&1)||1|
|Mrs Blackman (4&2)||1||Miss A Young||0|
|Mrs Bishop (3&1)||1||Miss Carver||0|
|Mrs Skinner (3&2)||1||Miss Mountain||0|
|Mrs Lester (5&4)||1||Mrs Branwell||0|
Result of the January 1933 monthly medal; L A Blackman, 90-13-77; G West; 96-18-78; G N Butterworth, 100-20-80; Dr E J Glynn, 102-20-82; H J Plater,104-20-84; H R Cowell, 100-16-84.
Following is the result of the monthly medal played on Saturday January 7th 1935; J Savage, 81-9-72; Godfrey West, 92-16-76; S Alford, 92-15-77; L A Blackman, 93-15-78; Dr Walker, 90-10-80; Alderman A Blackman, 97-17-80; O H Broome, 99-19-80; H Plater, 99-18-81.
Result of the 1935 February monthly medal; first (seniors) division – J Savage, 86-9-77; B Tindall, 89-10-79; second (junior) division – L A Blackman, 90-15-75; C M Clennett, 94-17-77; A Bushell, 99-22-77; R Harmer, 97-18-79; A Goldman, 110-24-86.
Below is the result of a match played at Hastings against Tonbridge Golf Club (now defunct) on Sunday 18th July 1937.
|Hastings Downs Golf Club||Tonbridge Golf Club|
|A Winter (2&1)||1||T W J Noel-Thomas||0|
|T A McNab (half)||0||D H Dabbs (half)||0|
|E Tindall (4&3)||1||E A Markham||0|
|J C Hubble (5&4)||1||C A Were||0|
|T Leonard (5&4)||1||A W Johnstone||0|
|L C James (5&3)||1||S Foster||0|
|T Rhodes||0||E S Reeve (2&1)||1|
|J J Murphy (2&1)||1||C H Page||0|
|Winter & McNab (half)||0||Noel-Thomas & Dabbs (half)||0|
|Leonard & Tindall (5&4)||1||Markham & Johnstone||0|
|James & Hubble (2&1)||1||Were & Foster||0|
|Bennett & Murphy (half)||0||Reeve & Page (half)||0|
Below is the result of a match played between Hastings Downs and the “Stymies” on Saturday 8th January 1938.
|W H Mee (2up)||1||J P Phillips||0|
|J Savage (5&3)||1||H Beesley||0|
|B Tindall||0||J M D Grant (9&8)||1|
|F J Wootton (1up)||1||M C Grant||0|
|C Alford||0||G Flowers (1up)||1|
|G West (3&1)||1||P M Gosse||0|
|S A Woodward (1up)||1||P C Matthews||0|
|J Hollingsworth (5&4)||1||W S Hilton||0|
Below is the result of the Lord Riddell Cup played at Hastings Downs on Sunday 8th May 1938. This was an inter-club match played between Hastings Downs Golf Club and the St Leonards Golf Club.
|Hastings Downs||St Leonards|
|W H Mee||0||R L Mansell (2&1)||1|
|A Winter||0||W T Hunt (6&5)||1|
|J C Hubble||0||F L Caseley (4&3)||1|
|J Savage||0||Dr T G Ward (4&3)||1|
|F J Wootton (1up)||1||B C M Reed||0|
|T Leonard (4&3)||1||F R Mansell||0|
|B Tindall||0||Dr J B Bell (3&2)||1|
|C H Swatland||0||G H Martin (4&3)||1|
|E S Bradnam||0||Dr I M Chisolm (4&3)||1|
|G West (1up)||1||A Kelt||0|
|D H Mastin||0||H L Waddingham (2&1)||1|
|W J Bennett||1||J F Robson||0|
Result of a ladies’ match played at Bexhill Golf Club (now defunct) 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|
In 1940 the club was listed as Hastings Downs Golf Club, Barley Lane. The secretary was G W Foxon, 147 Edmund Road, Hastings, telephone 2422. The professional was J Paterson and the greenkeeper J Barkess. The 18 holes had a S.S.S of 74 and a membership of 200. Course records were, amateur W H Mee 70 and professional J Paterson 68. The station at Hastings was now 2 ½ miles from the course. Electric tram service was now within a 10 minute walk of the clubhouse. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a round, 3/6 per day, weekends and Bank Holidays 3/6 for an afternoon round and 5/- a day, 20/- a week, 30/- a fortnight and 40/- a month.
In 1947 it was continuing as Hastings Downs Golf Club. The secretary was as 1940 but now at 36 Edmund Road. The professional was A C Mackie and the greenkeeper H J Clarke. The S.S.S and Par was now 70 and membership 170. Visitors’ fees were, winter 2/6 a round, 4/- a day, weekend and Bank Holidays 3/- a round and 5/- a day. Summer fees were 3/6 a round- and 5/- a day, weekends and Bank Holidays 4/-a round, 6/- a day, 15/- a week, 25/- a fortnight and 40/- a month.
Below is the result of a 36-hole Artisans’ match played on the Downs course on Sunday 21st August 1949 against De La Warr (Crowborough).
|Hastings Downs||AM||PM||De La Warr||AM||PM|
|C Blackburn & F Beeden||1||1||M Turner & J Wickins||0||0|
|C Bradshaw & F Christmas||1||1||H Pine & I Peerless||0||0|
|D Baker & T Mitchell||0||1||A Hemsley & I Mackellow||1||0|
|E Whiting & H Wood||1||0||W Tester & P Turner||0||1|
|F Pain & W Pain||1||0||A Barham & P Croft||0||1|
|B Baker & G Clements||0||1||F Butler & J Barton||1||0|
|J White & J Ellis||0||0||H Taylor & E Sayers||1||0|
Result of an 18-hole medal played by the women’s section on Tuesday 23rd August 1949 for prizes given by the ladies’ captain, Mrs T G Ward; Mrs Curtis, 97-29-68; Mrs Walton, 93-19-74.
In 1951 Hastings Downs Golf Club, Barley Lane appears, the secretary was G W Foxon, 147 Edmund Road, Hastings, telephone 2422. The professional was A C Mackie and the greenkeeper H J Clarke.18 holes with a Standard Scratch and Par of 74. Course records were, amateur H White 71, professional A C Mackie 65. Club membership at this time was 200.
In its final appearance in the mid 1950s the secretary was R G Bishop, The Heath Fairlight Road, Hastings, the professional was A Vaux and the greenkeeper F A Paine. 18 holes of 6,083yds with a revised S.S.S of 69 and Par of 74. Visitors’ fees were as 1951 with the exception of weekends and Bank Holidays which were now 5/6 a round and 7/6 a day.