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Fowey Golf Club, Cornwall.

In October 1894 it was reported that great progress was being made at Fowey regarding the golf course. A course had been laid out at Coombe and the links will soon be formally opened. A large wooden pavilion had been erected with three rooms, and a verandah on one side with splendid views.

In April 1895 it was reported that a great many visitors were at Fowey, enjoying the boating. Unfortunately the golf links had to be abandoned after they were laid out even the handsome pavilion had been erected in readiness for play. It was a great source of regret to the inhabitants and visitors. The following month it was rumoured that the pavilion was to be taken down, but so far it was still in existence. It was hoped that for once “rumour with its many tongues” had made a mistake.

The professional from 1901 to 1903 was F Chavalier.

The later Fowey club was founded in 1907. This was a 9 hole course situated at Readymoney on the cliffs above Fowey. The railway station at Fowey was 1 ½ miles away. Local hotels were the Riverside, St Catherines and Rockside.

In August 1907 about 100 people attended a subscription ball at the Institute Hall in aid of the Fowey Golf Club. Supper was provided by Mrs Rashleigh, of Menabilly and other ladies of the neighbourhood. The arrangements were admirably made by a committee consisting of Mrs Bodger, Mrs Quiller-Couch and Mrs Vincent; Messrs. Carter, Walter Graham and T H Smith. Those present included; Dr J C S Rashleigh, president of the club, and Mrs Rashleigh.

In 1908 the secretary was E H Vincent. Entry fee was £1/1/o, subs £2/2/0. Visitors' fees 1/6 a day, 7/- a week and £1 a month. Sunday play was not allowed.

In January 1908 the death was announced of Ted Willoughby, golf professional at Fowey, aged 23.

In 1914 the secretary was Norman P Jaffrey, Cliff Lawn, Fowey, who was also the Town Clerk. J C S Rashleigh MD was President and Charles A Hanson  JP Vice President.

  Secretary Professional/Greenkeeper
1901-03   F Chavalier (p)
1914 N P Jaffrey, Cliff Lawn, Fowey.  
1922 W M Hutchison, 62 Esplanade, Fowey. A W Hancock (g).
1924-27 D R Carter, Tower Park, Fowey.  
1928 D R Carter, 1 St Fimbaruss Road, Fowey.  
1929 H Weeks, 2 Harbour Terrace, Fowey.  
1930 W E Toyne, 7 St Fimbaruss Road, Fowey.  
1931-34 H Weeks, 2 Harbour Terrace, Fowey.  
1935-38 G L Maslin, 6 Tower Park, Fowey. R H Gilbert (p&g)
1939-40 G L Maslin, Readymoney Cove, Fowey.  
1947/8 F Ellison Taylor, 8 Tower Park, Fowey. P E Gilbert (p&g)

In 1914 the entry fee was £1/1/0. Subs were £2/2/0 for in port members and £1/1/0 for out port members. Ladies paid half fees. Visitors’ fees were 1/- half day, 1/6 a day, 2/6 on Saturday and £1 a month. Sunday play was not allowed.

In 1922 the amateur course record holder was C Hambling with a score of 34. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day, 7/6 a week and 20/- a month.  Membership about 75.

Result of the May monthly medal 1922; B V Varcoe, 95-27-68; R H Cade, 95-27-68; R W Varcoe, 97-25-72; Lt-Com C Callaghan, 82-9-73; J Rawlings, 84-9-75; J P Carter, 81-6-75; W J Berrill, 93-17-76; W J Daniel, 104-27-77. There were three no returns.

Men's silver medal result for 1923; G H Andrew, 90-19-71; J P Carter, 81-7-74; J K Hudson, 104-25-79. There were two no returns.

Competition results from April 1925; monthly medal – E J Trenance, 97-31-66; W H King, 90-19-71; J P Carter, 83-5-78; J D Carter, 115-36-79, three no returns; Men’s silver medal (1924) – J L Toyne, 80-11-69; R H Cade, 95-23-72; E J Trenance, 104-31-73; W H King, 97-19-78; J P Carter, 88-5-83, two no returns; Easter bogey (mixed singles competition)  - Miss Williams (15) 1up; E Bennett (14) all square; J P Carter (2) all square; J L Toyne (4) 1down; W H King (8) 1down; Capt Rawlings (4) 3down; W V G Hancock (7) 3down. Eighteen no returns.

At the annual meeting of the lady members in January 1926 Miss Quick was elected captain and Miss Hern was re-elected secretary for 1926.

The annual meeting was held in January 1927. Mr J K Hudson, the retiring captain, presided. The treasurer, Mr W V G Hancock, reported a considerably improved financial situation compared with 1925, due largely to more visitors using the links. The secretary intimated that the tenant of Coombe Farm, on which the links are situated, would be quitting the farm in September and had given the club notice to quit also. The new tenant of the farm had been interviewed, and it was hoped to arrange satisfactory terms for the continuance of a lease for the links. Officers elected; president, Dr J C S Rashleigh; vice-presidents, Sir Charles Hanson, General Sir Frederick C Poole and Sir George Cadbury; captain, Capt J H Rawlings; auditor, J K Hudson; treasurer, W V G Hancock; secretary, D R Carter; ladies captain, Miss Morgan; ladies secretary, Miss Norton; committee, J K Hudson, J L Toyne, Dr W H King, J P Carter and Mr Weekes.  

From 1929 to 1934 visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and 25/- a month. Membership was 60.

At the annual meeting in February 1933 the secretary reported a very much improved state of affairs. Various alterations had been made to the course by the professional, R H Gilbert with the result that membership had increased by 40%. A new green and a number of new tees had been made, and the sixth hole had been altered to reduce the slope and steep climb. Officers elected were; president, Dr J C S Rashleigh; vice-presidents, Sir Charles Hanson, Mr Edward Cadbury, Mr E Stenton Covington, Mayor of Fowey and Sir John Snell; captain, J P Carter; secretary, G L Maslen; ladies secretary, Miss Norton; treasurer, W V G Hancock; committee, J L Toyne, D R Carter, Miss Quick, Capt J H Rawlings, C M Tapson and E W Godden.

Below is the result of a club match played against St Austell at Fowey on Thursday 10th May 1934, the away team also won the foursomes.

Fowey   St Austell  
C Morgan 0 J Keay (5&3) 1
J P Carter 0 C P Foster (6&5) 1
J L Toyne (3&2) 1 A I Roberts 0
J H Rawlings 0 A Roberts (3&2) 1
C W O'Keiffe 0 A Horne (2up) 1
P Morgan (6&5) 1 B Warne 0
R Carter (4&3) 1 Mr Burton 0
W H King 0 Mr Saunders (6&4) 1
  3   5

From 1935 to 1938 membership had reached 111. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 1/6 after 5pm during the summer and  2pm in winter, 2/6 on Sunday, 10/6 a week and 25/- a month.

Result of a mixed foursome match played at Liskeard in September 1936.

Liskeard   Fowey  
Dr Toogood & Mrs Edgcumbe (6&5) 1 Dr O'Keefe & Mrs Sabian 0
B Spooner & Mrs Hancock (half) 0 L R Williams & Mrs Maslen (half) 0
H Toms & Mrs Toms (1up) 1 J H Rawlings & Mrs O'Keefe 0
Dr Garrad & Mrs Badcock  0 V Carter & Miss Sabian (7&5) 1
S Maggs & Miss Nuttall (1up) 1 L Maslen & Mrs Williams 0
S Lew & Mrs Lew 0 L Rapson & Miss Mitchell 1
  3   2

The club’s annual “golf week” concluded on Saturday 8th May 1937, all competitions had a full entry. Perfect weather conditions prevailed and the course and greens were in excellent condition. On Saturday evening Mrs Hitchens, the ladies secretary, presented the cups prizes in the clubhouse. The winners were; Flag Competition – Men, E J Trenance; Ladies, Miss Gunning; Ladies’ 36 hole Challenge Cup, medal competition, Miss Gunning, 197-72-125; Ladies’ 36 hole scratch competition, Miss Gunning, 197; Men’s 18 hole stroke competition, W J Berrill, 79-22-57; Men’s 36 hole scratch competition, Dr C W O’Keeffe, 149; Men’s silver medal, W J Berrill. Men’s Challenge Cup, 36 hole medal play, W J Berrill, 167-44-123; Dr C W O’Keeffe, 149-16-133; E J Trenance, 168-32-136; E W Godden, 184-46-138; J D Carter, 161-22-139; J P Carter, 162-18-144; G L Maslen, 180-32-148; L R Williams, 164-16-148; J H Rawlings, 171-18-153; W H King, 189-36-153; Men’s bogey competition, J H Rawlings 2up; Ladies’ bogey competition, Miss Gunning 1down; Mixed foursomes match play, E J Trenance & Miss E King beat J P Carter & Mrs O’Keeffe, 5&4; Approach and putting, men, E W Godden; ladies’ Miss Williams; Putting, Men, Dr C W O’Keeffe; Ladies’ Miss Williams; Mixed foursomes silver goblets, 18 hole medal play, E J Trenance & Mrs Trenance, 85-24-61; G J Maslen & Miss Williams, 91-26-65; Capt J H Rawlings & Miss E King, 90-22-68; L R Williams & Mrs Maslen, 89-19½-69½; J P Carter & Mrs O’Keeffe, 89-18-71; J Duffey & Mrs F G Gullick, 102-30-72; J D Carter & Lady Onslow, 96-22½-73½; E W Godden & Miss Gunning, 100-26-74; W J Berrill & Mrs Sercombe, 104-25½-78½; W Thomas & Mrs Poore, 119-30-89; J Preston & Mrs Mendells, 119-27-92.

Result of the “Coronation Challenge Cup” presented to the club by Capt J H Rawlings played in July 1937; First round – J Duffey beat C M Tapson, 5&4; W E Straw beat W M Thomas, 1up; Second round – E W Godden beat J D Carter, 4&3; C W O’Keeffe beat J P Carter, 4&2; L Williams beat W H King, 2&1; J Duffey beat W V G Hancock, 9&7; W J Berrill beat W E Straw 4&3; E P Morgan beat K W Serecombe, 2up; E J Trenance beat J Rashleigh, 6&4. In the final C W O’Keeffe beat E J Trenance by 1up.

The successful clubs springtime “golf week” was completed on Saturday 28th May 1938. Mrs K W Sercombe, wife of the club captain, presented the prizes. The captain proposed a vote of thanks to Mr L R Williams, who acted as secretary in the absence of Mr G L Haslem. Winners were; Challenge Cup, 36 hole scratch, winner, L R Williams, runners-up, J P Carter and J H Rawlings; 18 hole stroke competition, J P Carter; Monthly medal, J P Preston; Silver medal 1937, J P Carter; Bisque bogey winner, L R Williams, runner-up, J P Carter; Flag competition winner, K W Sercombe, runner-up, E W Godden; Approaching, J P Carter and E W Godden; Driving winner, E J Trenance, runner-up, L R Williams; Putting (to 13 handicap), J H Rawlings, (handicap 14+), W V G Hancock and J P Preston; Mixed foursome goblet winners, N A Hocken and Miss Samuel, runners-up, Mr & Mrs Trenance; Mixed foursomes match play, Dr W H King & Miss Bennett; Ladies’ Challenge Cup, 36 hole scratch winner, Miss Bennett, runner-up, Miss Meake; L.G.U medal, Miss Bennett; Bisque bogey winner, Miss Bennett, runners-up, Miss Williams and Mrs Poore; Flag competition winner, Miss Collins, runner-up, Miss Williams; Approaching, Mrs Trenance, runners-up, Miss Bennett, Mrs Norton and Miss Meake; Driving competition winner, Miss Bennett, runner-up Miss Trenance; Putting winner, Mrs Poore, runner-up, Mrs Trenance.

Result of a club match played against Perranporth at Fowey in June 1938. The visitors also won the foursomes giving them an overall victory of seven games to six.

Fowey   Perranporth  
O'Keefe 0 Edwards (6&4) 1
Carter 0 Harrison 0
Rawlings (3&1) 1 Hancock 0
Rashleigh (6&4) 1 Richards 0
Haskins 0 Cornish (1up) 1
Berrill (3&2) 1 Sifton 0
King 0 Deering (1up) 1
Thomas 0 Trennery (1up) 1
Hocken (3&2) 1 Keal 0
Bennett 0 Bancroft (1up) 1
  4   5

The annual spring competition was played during the last week of May 1939, and, as usual, proved popular with the golfers. Lady Keeble presented the prizes. The captain, Sir Frederick Keeble, expressed thanks to all who had made the week a success. The secretary, Mr G L Maslem, paid tribute to the professional, R H Gilbert, for the excellent condition of the course and greens. Results as follows; Challenge Cup, 36 hole medal, E W Godden, 170-38-132; Ladies’ Mrs de Sabran, 193-52-141; Mixed foursomes silver goblets winners, L R Williams & Mrs Preston, 91-24-67, runners-up, J P Carter & Miss Bennett, 85-13½-71½; 36 hole scratch gent’s, E J Trenance, 160, ladies, Miss Bennett, 185; 18 hole stroke play gent’s E W Godden, 84-19-65, ladies, Mrs de Sabran, 93-26-67; Bisque bogey gent’s J Preston 1up, ladies Miss Bennett 1up; Flag competition gent’s, H Rasleigh, ladies, Miss Bennett.

In 1939 and 40 there was a membership of 100. The SSS and Par was 66. Course records were, amateur L R Williams 32, professional R H Gilbert 29.

It was reported in May 1946 that it was hoped to have the course playable by the middle of the month, it had been under requisition since the early days of the war, the re-opening was looked forward to by all the members. Percival E Gilbert had been appointed professional and greenkeeper in place of his brother, Ronald, who had moved to a neighbouring club.

Sunday play was allowed for the few years the club existed following WW2.

The Fowey course appears on the Britain From Above link below: 

http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw010746?x=211610&y=051039&extent=1000&ref=3

 

Fowey Golf Club, Cornwall. View of the Fowey golf course.

Postcard of Fowey, Coombe Reach & Golf Course, by F Frith & Co. Ltd, Reigate, No69771.

 

Fowey Golf Club, Cornwall. Location of the former golf course.

Fowey Golf Club finally disappeared in the early 1950s.

Grid reference SX11945,50965, co-ordinates 211495,050965.

Thanks to D R Gatley for the following memories of Fowey Golf Club. “The course was on the cliff top on the western side of the entrance to the Fowey harbour. I recall that the first tee was about 150 yards west of the old castle and although it is now overgrown its location can still be seen. Likewise I remember that there were two greens at the bottom of Coombe Valley, one at the seaward end and one at the inland end. The cliff path passes the old course and some of the old tees and greens can be made out. The clubhouse which I recall was a modest wooden building was located in the woods to the east of the first fairway. The land was eventually bought by a wealthy businessman who gave it to the town”

A plaque displayed on the old course reads “ Alldays Fields - These fields were presented to the people of Fowey by G James Allday, Esq, MBE. 28th March 1951.

Fowey Golf Club, Cornwall. The former Fowey golf course.

The former cliff top course at Fowey now used by dog walkers and ramblers. Note the seat on site of a former tee. Many features of the former course could still be made out in 2003. Author's Collection.