Newhaven Golf Club, Sussex.
The club was founded in 1890. A nine-hole course was laid out by E Bedford on fine golfing turf at Barrow Head/Fort Hill with natural hazards of sand pits, whins, rough grass, and with fine views of the English Channel. Unfortunately the course suffered from coastal erosion which resulted in a short move inland in 1894.
The new nine-hole course, also laid out by E Bedford, was located north of the Brighton Road. The course was opened with an exhibition match between J H Taylor and Andrew Kirkaldy.
The railway station at Newhaven Town was 1 mile away. Local hotels were the Newfield, Bridge, Ship and Sheffield.
Following is an extract from a report from the Sussex Agricultural Express on the 29th March 1890.
“The Earl of Sheffield has again shown his interest in this town, and in healthy recreative sport, by causing a golf ground to be laid out on Castle Hill. By arrangement of Mr Aubrey Harcourt, his lordship’s nephew, the ground was opened on Saturday last by Lord Winchelsea. The golfing party and others assembled on top of the hill overlooking the new cricket ground, and commenced the opening ceremony by “Drinking success to the Newhaven Golf Ground”. The proceedings continued with Lord Winchelsea making the first drive in a match with Major Turner, and the following games were afterwards engaged in; Mr Harcourt and Mr Francombe, Mr Curteis and Mr St Croix, Mr J Webber and Mr Moore, Mr W Hobbs and Mr Moore.
The ground is about a mile and a quarter in length and has nine-holes at present, but more are to be added. Mr W T Moore will be pleased to show anyone over the links and lend the necessary gear wherewith to play” The secretary at the club was Mr Smith Stone.
The above image is a great rarity, player's jacket button for the Newhaven Golf Club (Lombardic script, as used in the Mediaeval period, particularly on old hammered coinage). The central image represents one of the two Seals used by the neighbouring town of Seaford. Courtesy of Dixon Pickup.
The first competition was played in April 1890. The prizes consisted of; First – a handsome briar pipe in a case; Second – crocodile cigar case; Third – a silver match box. They were presented by Mr A Harcourt. Result; Mr Hampton, 77; Mr Tompsett, 78; E Hobbs, 84; Mr Moore, 84; Mr Shaw, 85; W Hobbs, 89; Mr Webber, 98; Mr Brown, 100; Mr Gray, 106; Mr Peters, 128.
The Michaelmas Tournament was played in September 1891. First prize was a silver medal given by Mr Aubrey Harcourt, together with a handsome teapot, given by Mr Macdona. Second prize was a dozen golf balls given by the club. Third a golf headed walking stick presented by Mr Bedford. Fourth was a box of cigars given by Mr Webber. Result; Lieutenant Vereker, 109-10-99; J W Stedman, 107-6-101; E Bedford, 115-14-101; Aubrey Harcourt, 113-12-101; Master Gunner Joy, 115-10-105; Captain Sharp, 130-25-105; John Webber, 126-18-108; Charles Bannister, 136-25-111; James Bannister, 125-13-112; Dr Dring 113 scr; William Stone, 141-25-116; Arthur Webber, 131-12-119; G H Wilsone, 136-16-120; Mr Smith Stone, 141-18-123; James Peters, 147-20-127; Dr Mossop, 155-20-135; H Wool and A J Lewis, no returns.
In 1906 the secretary was Edward Bedford, 1 High Street, Newhaven, Sussex. The professional was George A Bowyer (1906 to 1908). Course records were, amateur Captain George Nugent with a score of 78 and professional Jack White 76. Visitors were allowed on application to the Secretary giving 48 hours notice. Fees were 2/- a day and 5/- a week. Visitors, unless with a member were not allowed to play on weekends before Bank Holidays.
Following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Sussex Agricultural Express on Saturday 21st April 1906. "The annual dinner of the Newhaven Golf Club was held on Easter Monday at the Ship Hotel. The President, Mr Fleetwood Sandeman, occupied the chair. Also present; H ElliotCurrey, captain; W Dowson, J E W Rider, W Colbourne, L F Hovil, C P King, W T Gilks, E S Currey, M J Cahill, T Ponsford Cann, H B Fisher, C F Bannister, C W Towner, Jas Peters, C L O'Shea and Edward Bedford, secretary. The loyal toast having been honoured, Jas Peters proposed "The Newhaven Golf Club" in very felicitous terms. He alluded to the formation of the club in 1887, and its removal from the old links near the Fort to the present location in the year 1894." It is interesting to note the mention of the foundation date as being 1887.
Reult of the September 1912 monthly medal; W Colbourne, 89-9-80; G A Alcock, 89-7-82; W A Graham, 101-18-83; J E W Rider106-12-94.
Newhaven Golf Club played their autumn meeting in September 1913. The first prize was presented by the captain, J E W Rider; B J Saunders, 73-2-71; J H Husey-Hunt, 91-9-82; H P Archer, 91-9-82; Dr J M McGlashan, 97-15-82; J E W Rider, 93-10-83; C H P Betenson, 94-10-84; J E Shaw, 90-5-85; Rowand Harker, 100-16-85; E E Cox, 103-13-90; G Palland, 109-16-93; H R J Holmes, 105-10-95.
Result of the 1913 December bogey competition; T A Whyte, 2down; C H P Betenson, 3down; H P Archer, 3down; S M McGlashan, 4down.
In 1914 the secretary was still E Bedford the professional and greenkeeper was now H Cheal (1908 to 1919). The club had a membership of 110. The entry fee was £1/1/0 and the subs £1/11/6. Visitors’ fees had slightly increased to 2/- a day and 7/- a week.
Following is the result of the May 1914 medal; Captain T G Whyte, 98-14-84; H P Archer, 102-9-93. There were six no returns.
I t was announced in July 1920 that the Newhaven Golf Club had ceased to exist.
So, although it was the end for Newhaven Golf Club, the course was taken over and the Peacehaven Golf Club moved in and still occupy the site.
The Google Map below pinpoints the area the first course would have occupied on Fort Hill.