Chagford Golf Club, Devon.
Founded 1908 when the professional was E Main. A 9 hole moorland course on Meldon Common, a part of Dartmoor some 1300ft above sea level. Holes ranged in length from 88 to 426 yards with natural hazards. The course could easily have been extended to 18, but it still proved to be a good test. The station at Moretonhampstead GWR was 4 miles away. There was also a motor bus to Chagford one mile away. Local hotel was the Moorlands a first class private family hotel which stood in its own grounds of ten acres. Tennis, Golf, Hunting and Fishing were offered. There was a daily conveyance to the golf course.
The course was officially opened on Whit Monday 1908 by the Hon. W F D Smith M.P. The course must have been quite remote at this time, it was reported that “The links are approached from the highway by a good road, cut by voluntary effort, with the District Council about to take over”. The opening ceremony commenced with lunch at the Moor Park Hotel, the club President, Mr R F E Lowndes-Stone-Norton, was in the chair. Following are members of the first committee who had worked so hard in setting up the club; vice-president, W Lethbridge; captain Major Guy Sanders; secretaries, C G Hayter Haymes and J B Wood; treasurer, J Arthur (Wilts and Dorset Bank); Rev R Caldecott; Colonel Martin C.B; W A D Hunt; A Kingdon, R Stark and Captain Penrose. The Formal opening took place at 3 pm with W F D Smith “hitting an excellent drive off the first tee”. Mr Main, the professional, together with strong party of groundsmen, had worked hard toprepare the course during the autumn. He was congratulated on the superb condition of the course.
Amongst those attending the opening were; W F D Smith M.P; Captain Theed R.N; Captain Shirley R.N; The Revs W H Thornton, G L H Bey and E Gotto; O Bradshaw; H Fraser Cotterall; E Scott-James; Kenneth Macdonald (R.N.A St Andrews); J Collins; G H Reed, L Hill, W Aggett.
In 1914 the secretary was Lieutenant Colonel G S Ormerod and the professional was C Quick. There was a membership of 45. Entry fees for gents were £1/1/0 and ladies 10/6. Subs for gents were £2/2/0 and ladies £1/1/0. Visitors’ fees were 1/6 a day, 6/- a week and 15/- a month. Refreshments were available.
Throughout the 1920s to its closure in 1930 enquiries regarding club matters were to be made to J B Wood, Hall & Hill, Chagford SO, Devon. The club had a membership of 30. The Professional was still C Quick. Visitors’ fees were now 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and 25/- a month.
It was reported in February 1930 that the Chagford Golf Club was to close.
The club made an offer to hand over its effects to the Parish Council. At its monthly meeting in February 1930 the following letter was read from Mr C F Amery, secretary of the golf club. “I am requested by the committee of the Chagford Golf Club to inform you that owing to the financial sate of the club they are reluctantly compelled to close it at Easter. In the event of the Council deciding to take any action in the matter, the committee will be pleased to hand over the bungalow and other effects belonging to the club to the Council, but failing this they will sell the same and reserve the money for any future club that may be started in Chagford. For the information of the Council the green fees received from visitors averaged about £40 per annum for the past five to six years. The club lacked sufficient members to ensure a regular income.”
Regret was expressed that the club could not continue to provide the attraction which had proved so helpful to the neighbourhood for many years past.
As the Council, even through the Playing Fields association, had not as yet been successful in obtaining the common land for public recreation purposes, it was decided to thank the club for their consideration and express regret that the Council were not in a position to take over the links.