Exmouth Golf Club, Devon.
The club was founded in 1885 but there is evidence that a ladies’ club was formed in 1883.
It seems that golf in the early years at Exmouth was played in a casual and haphazard fashion with no designated course as such. The Maer at this time was shared between cricketers, golfers and the general public.
The following is from the Exeter & Plymouth Gazette Tuesday 16th Nov 1886. “The members of the Exmouth GC recently dined together at the Imperial Hotel, General Tod Brown C.B., the president, occupying the chair. Congratulations were the order of the day. Formal thanks were devoted to the inhabitants of Exmouth for the goodwill displayed by them towards the “Putting Greens” without which manifestation of regard on the part of the resident community the Golf Club could not pursue its course. Unquestionably the introduction of the game will prove a boon to Exmouth as it has done to other seaside places. A hearty vote was carried conveying to Mr Rolle an expression of the gratitude of the members for the interest he has taken in founding the club, and their appreciation of the assistance which he has rendered it through the agency of Mr Lipscomb”
Originally a 9-hole course it was extended to 18-holes by 1914 with five holes laid out along the sea front and the rest on parkland. During The Great War the course reverted to nine-holes with part of the course being used for growing crops to aid the war effort. In the 1920s it was again appearing as an 18-hole course.
Towards the end of this article is an extract from a booklet written for the club by Robert H K Browning which was published in 1939.
Result of a weekly handicap competition played on Thursday 17th February 1887. It was reported “that the handicap was full of life and animation”. Twenty members took part, but only 18 names were recorded in the result below.
|Lieutenant Colonel Naper||117||35||82|
|Mr Lowrie R.N||83||scr||83|
|General Tod-Brown C.B||94||10||84|
|Rev C Carr||88||scr||87|
|Lieutenant Colonel Cox||93||scr||93|
|Lieutenant Colonel Birch||150||50||100|
It was stated that the popularity of the game was increasing at Exmouth with the club having nearly 50 members at this time.
Below is the result of a match played against Torquay on the Babbacombe links on Thursday 10th March 1887.
|Mr Deniston||4||Rev C Carr||0|
|Mr Horner||0||Mr Drysdale||7|
|Mr Clark||0||Mr Lowrie R.N||5|
|Mr Kane||0||Capt Hemphill||1|
|General Saunders||5||General Tod Brown R.N||0|
|Mr Holdsworth||5||Colonel Cox||0|
Following is a report from the Western Times in January 1890 pointing out some of the difficulties when golfers and the general public “share” the same piece of land. A good deal has been written and said about the golf ground at Exmouth. ‘Tis true that the golfing is an apparent encroachment upon the “People’s Park” which the Maer has been for time immemorial represented, but the encroachment is more apparent than real. In all such cases there is sure to be friction at times, some self-important golfer taking high at some thoughtless intruder, or the other way about. On the whole the good exceeds the evil. The golf club numbers 80 members, and an average of 50 may be seen on any day, evidently enjoying this popular game, and it must certainly be a great advantage to the town to have the natural facilities for the accommodation of such a club as this.
Result of a club match played against Torquay Golf Club on the Walls Hill course on Thursday 12th February 1891 in splendid weather. Exmouth won the match thanks mainly to the performance of Mr Dunsford who recorded an 18 hole score of 86. The previous best score in competition on the Torquay course was 97.
|General Saunders||1||Rev M Carr||0|
|Captain Livingstone||0||Mr Dunsford||11|
|Mr Dykes||4||Mr H A Upton||0|
|Mr Fowler||4||Mr Pine-Coffin||0|
|Mr Lucy||0||Mr Cripps||5|
|Mr Norris||0||Captain Hemphill||4|
The annual report was issued in November 1892. The balance sheet was showing that the club was flourishing financially and was also continuing to increase in popularity. The club had recently been presented with a handsome trophy engraved “Exmouth Golf Club. Tradesman’s Challenge Prize. Presented March 1892. A professional greenkeeper and “instructor” had also been employed
In November 1895 Major Weatherall beat Mr J Dawson 2&1 in the 36 hole competition for the J M Cripps Cup. Mr Cripps was captain of the club in 1894.
The Exmouth Ladies’ Golf Club was founded in 1883. In 1902 the secretary was Miss E G C Morant, Glenholme, Exmouth. A 6-hole course the professional for the ladies club was Levi Searle. Course record set by Miss E G C Morant with a score of 75. The station at Exmouth was ½ mile away.
In 1905 the secretary at Exmouth Golf Club was Lewis Bamberger, Templeton Lodge, Exmouth, the captain was W Prater. Membership at this time was 80. Entrance fee was £2/2s and subs £2/2s.
The secretary at the ladies’ club was Miss T Mackenzie, Kincraig, Exmouth. There was a membership of 25. Entrance fee was 21/- and subs 21/-; Ladies were allowed to play on the gentleman’s course for £1/11s/6d per year. Visitor’s fees were 6d a day to play on the ladies’ six-hole course.
The following course description is from the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook – This is an interesting course. Six holes are laid out along the seafront with sand bunkers, and the three remaining ones are in park-like fields.
Result of the Christmas “affinity” mixed foursome competition which was played over Christmas 1911 and completed on New Year’s Day 1912; first round, Captain Grenfell (handicap 16) and Mrs Hunt (30), S Hull (12) and Miss L Metcalfe (31), these couples had byes in the first round; E P Rooper (14) and Mrs Dawson (36) beat R G Hallowell Carew (28) and Miss H Grieveson (32) 2&1; Captain Bazalgette (12) and Miss E Richardson (20) beat Major Dill (8) and Miss L Ramsbotham (36) 3&2; F Phillipps (12) and Miss E Hooley (36) beat W Prater (14) and Mrs Wickham (32) 3&2; A Cameron (26) and Miss Elliot (14) beat H Spencer Cooper (18) and Miss Carr (22) 4&3; Colonel Howlett (16) and Miss Gataker (36), S C Hooley (30) and Miss Gillum (36) received byes.
In the final F Phillipps and Miss E Hooley beat Captain Grenfell and Mrs Hunt by 9&8. The winning couple received a whopping £1/5s each, a healthy sum in 1912, the sweepstake of sixpence each went to the runners-up.
Result of the February monthly bogey competition 1912; Major Dill (5) 2 down; R H Sands (6) and J A Matthew (11) both 3down; Rev A C Rock (4), Dr G L Thornton (18) both 5down; Capt Bazalgette (9), S Pollard (6) and E P Rooper (11) all 6down; F Phillipps (9) 7down; Rev G L A Heslop (11) 8down; E G Venn (8) 10down. There were seven no returns.
Result of the 1912 March monthly medal; Capt Bazalgette, 92-12-80; Rev G L A Heslop, 95-15-80; E P Rooper, 95-14-81; F A Matthew, 97-13-84; Colonel Howlett, 100-16-84; Rev A C Rock, 90-5-85; N E Lloyd, 97-12-85; L Bamberger, 98-12-86; Captain Taylor, 96-10-86; Major Dill, 93-6-87; E G Hallowell Carew, 116-28-88; W Compton Lundie, 113-24-89; W Prater, 104-14-90; E H Sands, 102-8-94; Captain MacArthur125-30-95. There were five no returns. F Phillipps won the monthly bogey with a score of 2down.
The June 1912 medal resulted in a three-way tie, as follows; R Landon, 88-10-78; Dr G H Pennell, 93-15-78; V Warren, 103-25-78; R K Holmes, 95-16-79; L Bamberger, 92-12-80; A Lewis, 105-25-80; R H Sands, 90-8-82; Major Dill, 89-6-83; Colonel Howlett, 101-16-85; Dr Thornton, 109-24-85; Captain MacArthur, 115-30-85. There were ten no returns.
Result of the 1912 October medal. There were 29 entrants with the first eight qualifying to play in the captain’s prize; L D Thomas, 98-14-84; Capt Bazalgette, 96-11-85; L J Lawson, 91-5-86; M A H Fell, 98-12-86; E Oliver, 96-9-87; Capt Grenfell, 103-16-87; Capt Taylor, 99-11-88; Major Dill, 95-6-89; E G Venn, 102-12-90; E P Rooper, 103-13-90; L Bamberger, 103-12-91; Rev G L A Heslop, 106-15-91; Col Howlett, 109-16-93; Rev B Palmer, 100-5-95; C Brian Catling, 110-13-97; W Compton Lundie, 124-24-100; W Prater, 122-13-109. There were twelve no returns.
Result of the 1912 November medal; N E Lloyd, 92-14-78; R H Sands, 88-8-80; E P Rooper, 100-15-85; L D Thomas, 101-16-85; Capt Grenfell, 105-18-87; A J Lawson, 94-5-89; Capt Bazalgette, 105-11-94. There were 16 no returns.
Result of the monthly bogey competition played on Saturday February 15th 1913; J A Matthew (11) 2down; R H Sands (5) 2down; C B Catling (11) 3down; L D Thomas (11) 3down; A Lawless (12) 4down; Capt Bazalgette (8) 6down; H D Coles (11) 6down; R G H Carew (23) 7down. Seventeen no returns.
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 2nd August 1913; E P Roper, 91-13-78; Captain Taylor, 94-13-81; Captain Grenfell, 101-18-83; S Hull, 99-14-85; Captain Bazalgette, 92-6-86; L Bamberger, 98-12-86; R Lunt, 103-16-87; Rev G L A Heslop, 104-15-89. There were nine no returns.
Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 6th November 1913; V Warren, 98-20-78; J A Matthew, 91-9-72; C B Catling, 94-11-83; Capt Taylor, 96-13-83; P S Harrison, 111-26-85; L D Thomas, 103-15-88. There were ten no returns.
Result of the monthly bogey played on Saturday 21st February 1914; A E Chown (12) 1down; D B James (3) 2down; T Boddington (11) 4down; Major Dill (5) 6down; M Irving (19) 6down; J A Matthew (5) 7down; Capt Bazalgette (5) 8down; D McLaren (9) 8down.There were 12 no returns.
On Saturday 4th April 1914 twenty members took part in the monthly medal which was played over the eighteen hole course for the first time, result; E A Chown, 97-15-82; D McLaren, 97-12-85; Col R B Page, 111-25-86; Major Dill, 93-6-87; L D Thomas, 98-11-87; P B Boddington, 102-12-90; H D Coles, 102-12-90; S Hull, 102-11-91; L Bambereger, 103-11-92; Capt Bazalgette, 104-7-97.
Later in April 1914 the competition for the Captain’s Prize, presented by Mr S Hull, took place. It was open to both full and afternoon members, result; first round – F G Venn and R G Hallowell-Carew received byes; E G Balmano beat F B Brice 3&1; A F Blackmore beat H D Coles 1up; E A Chown beat Capt Bazalgette 4&2; J Malcolmson w.o J A Matthew scratched; D McLaren beat H E Chown 2&1; F W P Orchard beat C Brian Catling 3&2. In the final E G Balmano beat F W P Orchard by 4&3.
Result of the December 1914 monthly medal; J A Matthew, 90-4-86; J Dauncey, 107-20-87; R H Sands, 97-5-82; A E Blackmore, 106-12-94. There were six no returns.
Exmouth Ladies Golf Club was still appearing separately in 1914. The secretary was Miss Carr, 1 Trefusis Terrace, Exmouth. A 6 hole seaside course with a membership of 56. The entry fee was £1/10/6 and the subs £1/1/0. Visitors’ fees 1/6 a day. Sunday play was not allowed.
In 1914 there was a membership of 100. The entry fee was £2/2/0 and the subs were also £2/2/0. Visitors’ fees were 1/6 a day, 6/- a week and £1 a month. Sunday play was not allowed.
Following are a couple of results for 1915. During this time, for obvious reasons, competitions were less frequent with fewer competitors. February bogey; H D Coles (9) 9down; P E Wilson (9) 10down; P Boddington (9) 10down; F W P Orchard (15) 10down. There were 12 no returns. March monthly medal; J Dauncey, 100-20-80; V Warren, 96-12-84; P E Wilson, 96-12-84; Rev G L A Heslop, 98-12-86; P Boddington, 104-20-92.
Exmouth Golf Club opened its season in May 1919 with the monthly medal; G Ward, 105-16-89; Rev J Featherstonhaugh, 126-36-90; C D Wright, 105-14-91; W E Dean, 112-20-92; G Balmanno, 109-14-95. No returns from; Captain Taylor, W W Waddington, Mr Warren, Mr Harrison and Mr McCreedy.
In February 1920 Rev C R Carr, club president, took the chair at a luncheon attended by several members at the Imperial Hotel. Following the meal a special presentation was made to Mr Hooley, club secretary, for his services over the past ten years. As a token of esteem in which Mr Hooley was held by the members, the president asked him to accept from them a handsome library chair, on which a silver plate was to be suitably inscribed. Mr Hooley, responding, thanked the members for their kindness towards him. He remarked that difficulties were encountered during the war when all employees were called up for active service, but he looked forward to a successful future.
Result of the December 1920 medal; Major D C Greenlees, 85-2-83; F L Summers, 94-10-84; G R Mossop, 93-7-86; P Boddington, 95-9-86; R Hugh Sands, 95-7-88; C H Wrefrod, 94-5-89. There were just eight entries with two no returns.
Result of the January 1921 monthly bogey competition; G R Mossop (7) 2down; C H Wreford, (5) 4down; F L Summers (10) 9down. The January monthly medal result; C H Wreford, 89-5-84; F L Summers, 95-10-85; Cardel Martyn, 96-6-90.
|1890||H W Landon, Tedston House, Lynston.||G Fowler (p)|
|1902||Col Sherston Baker, 9 Portland Avenue, Exmouth.||L Searle (p)|
|1903-38||Ernest Kenyon (p)|
|1914||Samuel C Hooley, Rossendale, Exmouth.|
|1922||Lieutenant Colonel A Wadmore.|
|1930||H P V Rivington.|
|1937-40||Lieutenant Colonel A E Meredith MC.||S J Ridler (g)|
|1947-50s||Captain J M Fraser, 20 Broadway St Thomas, Exeter.||J A Carter (p)|
|Course records, Amateur/Professional|
|1902||L Hemphill (a) 78. L Searle (p) 78.|
|1922||Ernest Kenyon (p) 76.|
|1937-40||C H Wreford (a) 69. Ernest Kenyon (p) 66.|
In 1922 the club membership had increased to 200. Visitors’ fees on introduction were, during Easter week, July, August and September 3/- a day, 12/6 a week, 35/- a month. Other times 1/6 a round after 1pm, 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and 30/- a month.
Result of the May 1922 monthly bogey; N Ford (14) 2up; Cecil Cookson (15) 2up; P Wilson (7) 1down; M Godfrey (13) 4down; J W Miller (17) 5down; H B D Campbell (24) 5down; F W Orchard (20) 6down; C H Hossock (20) 6down; R S Barrow (22) 6down; A K Mellor (22) 8down.
It was reported that the club intended to re-open the eighteen hole course on Monday June 5th June 1922. The course was reduced to nine holes during the war but with membership now on the increase it was felt that the 18 hole course should be re-instated. The new holes were to be on high ground to the east of the present course.
A medal competition was held in July 1922, all funds were to be donated to the Exmouth Cottage Hospital, result; Commander French, 86-16-70; H T Fitzherbert, 82-10-72; Col H D B Campbell, 98-24-74; Rev J W Gregory, 81-6-75. Prizes were given by a member of the club and by the club professional, E Kenyon. There were 35 entries and a donation of £3/10s was made to the hospital.
In September 1923 the Elizabeth Barrow ladies match play competition took place. It was won by Mrs C F Stevens, wife of the club secretary. Result; semi-finals, Mrs Stevens beat Mrs Campbell on the nineteenth; Miss Shipton beat Miss Hooley2&1. In the final Mrs Stevens beat Miss Shipton by 1up.
Result of the ladies’ Still Cup match played at Axe Cliff in June 1924.
|Miss Evans Lombe||1||Miss Skepton||0|
|Miss Lucas||0||Mrs Stevens||1|
|Mrs Granger Prior||0||Miss Hunter||1|
|Miss Betty Barkworth||1||Miss Snow||0|
|Miss Peat||1||Mrs Tomlinson||0|
|Mrs Symondson||1||Mrs Barnard||0|
|Miss Head||1||Miss Ley||0|
Result of the August 1924 monthly medal; Bruce Adams, 83-13-70; H G Rice, 89-17-72; Capt H G Glennie, R.N., 83-10-73; G R Mossop, 82-9-73; P Boddington, 85-11-74; C H Wreford, 78-4-74; F W P Orchard, 98-20-78; A W Bradshaw, 93-14-79. There were 25 entries.
Below is the result of a match played against Budleigh in April 1925 at Exmouth. The away team also won the foursomes.
|C H Wreford (half)||0||H G Bennett (half)||0|
|Maj D C Greenlees||0||S Honeyman (1up)||1|
|R H Sands||0||P Park Smith (4&3)||1|
|Capt Payne||0||C Cooper (2&1)||1|
|H G Fitzherbert||0||Col C MacFarlan (1up)||1|
|M Godfrey (1up)||1||R Humm||0|
|P Bruce Adams (2&1)||1||H G Tringham||0|
|P Boddington||0||Maj Meldon (6&5)||1|
|A B Bradshaw||0||Col Hogg (2&1)||1|
|Capt Aspinall||0||J Hartree (6&4)||1|
The Easter Cup, played on Saturday 3rd April 1926, was won by F B Brice with a net score of 70.
Following is the result of the April 1926 monthly medal; S G Sheppard, 90-20-70; G R Mossop, 79-8-71; A W Bradshaw, 90-13-77; F B Brice, 95-16-79; D H Reed, 93-12-81; F W P Orchard, 102-20-82. There were twelve no returns.
Result of the final stages of the Symonds Cup competition played on Saturday 25th September 1926; semi-finals – H Cookson beat G C Greenwell 3&1 and H G Fitzherbert beat W E Dean 1up. In the final H Cookson beat H G Fitzherbert 3&2.
Below, result of a ladies’ match against Seaton played at Exmouth in May 1928.
|Miss Hunter (half)||0||Miss Evans Lombe (half)||0|
|Mrs Cookson (3&1)||1||Mrs G B Young||0|
|Miss M P Smith (4&2)||1||Mrs Granger Prior||0|
|Mrs Stevens (5&4)||1||Miss Powell||0|
|Miss Greenwell (7&6)||1||Miss Head||0|
|Mrs Ross (4&2)||1||Mrs Irwin||0|
Mr Samuel Cutler Hooley former secretary of the Exmouth Golf Club died in February 1929 aged 81. He was born in London, when he retired from the Post Office in 1908 he settled in Exmouth.
Result of the April 1929 medal; R A Balkwill, 82-14-68; G R Mossop, 80-8-72; A E B Stevens, 86-13-73; A Mudge, 92-18-74; H G Fitzherbert, 82-8-74; Com Valpy French, 89-14-75; R H Everett, 84-8-76; E B Cox, 101-24-77; D H Reed, 89-11-78; A W Bradshaw, 90-12-78; Brig-Gen H Fargus, 93-14-79; G P Smith, 100-18-92; H O Holbrow96-12-84. There were fourteen no returns.
Result of the January medal 1930; Brig-General H Farjus, 86-11-75; F B Brice, 13-78; A W Bradshaw, 92-12-80; R Ware, 97-16-81; E B Cox, 109-24-85. There were only 12 entries.
Result of the gents monthly bogey held in March 1930; Capt R S Payne and V Warren both 5down; G R Mossop and H Reed both 6down; S Pollard and J A W Bradshaw both 8down; E B Cox, 10down.
Also in March 1930 a ladies match between teams representing the Captain and Secretary, result below.
|Mrs Coxhead (8&7)||1||Miss Greenwell||0|
|Mrs Ross||0||Miss M Stamp (5&3)||1|
|Miss Fenwick (4&2)||1||Mrs Martin||0|
|Miss Berks (2up)||1||Miss D P Smith||0|
|Miss Tracey (half)||0||Mrs Rice (half)||0|
|Mrs Wheatley||0||Mrs Holbrow (2&1)||1|
|Miss Hardistry||0||Miss W Stamp (5&3)||1|
Result of the April 1930 medal; F B Brice, 88-13-75; S W Smith, 86-10-76; D H Reed, 89-11-78; L Clapp, 98-18-80; E B Cox, 105-24-81. There were 19 entries.
The Easter Cup, given by Capt C E B Stevens, was played for on Monday 21st April 1930. There were 16 entries, result below.
|E A Chown||85||12||73|
|L F Smith||90||16||74|
|E B Cox||99||24||75|
|H G Fitzherbert||84||8||76|
|A W Bradshaw||88||12||76|
|F B Brice||90||13||77|
|H G Rice||96||15||81|
|T S Ralling||99||18||81|
|G R Mossop||93||9||84|
|A W Thompson||107||18||89|
On Saturday 26th April 1930 play in the summer meeting opened with the 36 hole stroke play competition for the Chamber of Commerce challenge cup which ended in a tie between W H O Bishop and C F Stephens, the latter won in a play off. result below.
|W H O Bishop||69||76||145|
|C F Stephens||70||75||145|
|Major D Gilbert||74||74||148|
|Brig-Gen H Fargus||78||73||151|
|P R Palmer||71||81||152|
|Capt Swinburne Johnson||76||79||155|
|S W Smith||80||75||155|
|E A Chown||78||77||155|
|F B Brice||80||83||163|
In the long driving contest; Capt C L Aspinall won with 201 yards; Major D Gilbert 199 yards.
The ladies Chamber of Commerce cup was played in May 1930, result below.
|Mrs Spencer Cox||105||23||82|
|Miss M Stamp||98||16||82|
Miss Fenwick won the cup with a better back nine.
Below is the result of a ladies club match played against Torquay & South Devon at Petitor on Monday 6th September 1937.
|Torquay & South Devon||Exmouth|
|Mrs C G Crockwell (3&1)||1||Mrs Valpy French||0|
|Mrs Easterbrook (3&2)||1||Miss M C Smith||0|
|Mrs Batten||0||Miss E Burts (2&1)||1|
|Mrs Rabbich||0||Miss M M Stamp (5&4)||1|
|Miss Robinson (half)||0||Mrs Page (half)||0|
|Miss Dugdall (7&5)||1||Miss D P Smith||0|
|Mrs Coast||0||Mrs Henderson (2&1)||1|
Result of an eclectic competition, six concealed holes, held over Christmas 1937; R C Jarvis (11) 21; J S Stephens (5) 22; N Gill (20) 22; W D Motton (24) 22; N P Littler (5) 23; W Trevail (12) 23; J L Venning (9) 24; A C Rowe (11) 24; J H Edwards (14) 24; A Lampshire (17) 24; W Trounson (21) 24; L L Hall (6) 25; Capt Rawlings (8) 25; J T White (12) 25; L Houlson (20) 25; J R Catlin (11) 27. There were four no returns.
From 1937 to 40 the 18 hole course had a SSS of 70, membership of 250 and. Local advertised hotels were the Mace Bay, Chessal View and Devoncourt.
Following is an extract from the club handbook written by Robert H K Browning and published in 1939 by The Golf Clubs Association, Publicity House, 524 Caledonian Road, London. It provides a background to the club and gives an interesting hole by hole description of the course:-
The course of the Exmouth Golf Club, which is one of the oldest in Devon, dating back as far as 1885, lies at the eastern end of the town. The clubhouse is on the sea-front and the course itself is partly seaside and partly inland. It is divided into three parts, with seven holes in the sand-dune country by the sea shore, five in a picturesque woodland valley on either side of a winding stream, and six on the more open downland above. During the war the Exmouth Club reverted to the nine-holes which it possessed when the course was first formed, but when the round was again extended to eighteen-holes in 1921, the older part of the course was reconstructed at the same time. Since then further alterations have lengthened and improved many of the holes. I have an immense admiration for the old seaside holes on the Maer, which remind me of the links of the Royal Jersey Golf Club at Grouville.
The great sand-bunker in front of the first tee will only penalise a thorough top, but the hole measures 387 yards and gives us a fairly stiff bogey 4 for the opening of the round. The position of the green on a low shoulder necessitates an accurately controlled second shot. The second is somewhat reminiscent of one of the holes on the Jersey course. It is a long one-shotter of 195 yards, with a sandy ridge to carry from the tee and a range of sand running along the right, and, in fact, no very desirable landing-ground anywhere except on the green.
The third is a drive and a pitch hole of 280 yards, but neither the drive or the pitch is particularly easy. The former involves a fairly stiff carry over the right-hand end of a famous bunker known as “The Sahara,” with which we shall renew our acquaintance later on, and the contour of the ground makes the pich a particularly tricky one. It is followed by a really stiff two-shotter of of 440 yards at which the man who is going out for a 4 will have to be accurate as well as long. There is a cross bunker to carry from the tee, and another, running on a diagonal from right to left, to negotiate with our second. Rough country on the left, and on the right a low wall penalise a tee shot that is seriously off line, and, in fact the average player will do well to concentrate on hitting two careful shots “down the middle” and be content to play some sort of pitch-shot for his third to reach an undulating green with the Littleham Brook running round the far side of it.
To reach the fifth tee we cross the Maer Road and find ourselves in quite a different kind of golfing country. The first of the holes in the Littleham Valley is a fairly easy two-shotter of 305 yards, played slightly uphill to a semi-plateau green guarded by a bunker in either corner, and in front by a cross-bunker of sand backed a turf wall, which has to be carried with the approach shot. The next is also within two-shot reach for the average player, its length being 397 yards, with the fall of the ground distinctly in our favour. The approach requires some judgment, however, for the green lies in an awkward corner, with a narrow opening that is apt to appear even narrower than it is.
The 457 yard seventh is the longest hole on the course, and is also one of the best. The Littleham Brook winds along the left side of the fairway all the way from tee to green, but bunkers on the right restrict us from taking “a safety first” line too far to that side. We must place our tee-shot fairly accurately, therefore, and even then will need a long second to reach a green guarded by a bunker on the right and trees along the line of the brook on the left. This is followed by a first class short hole , calling for a mashie or light iron shot of 161 yards with the brook as a diagonal cross-hazard on a line drawn from the right side of the tee past the left side of the green, which is further guarded by rushes on the right and by bunkers on the other three sides. It is a hole which may be the easiest of threes or may cost us a whole pocket-full of strokes, depending on the tee shot.
To reach the ninth tee we cross another road and enter upon a portion of the course which belongs distinctly to the downland type. The ninth is a drive and a pitch hole of 272 yards, with a bend of the road on our left bringing the boundary unpleasantly close in to the line of play. It is followed by a really colourful hole of 440 yards at which we drive downhill over a dip and then play a blind second up the opposite slope to a most interesting punch-bowl green in the bottom of a disused quarry. This sounds as though it should be very easy, but as a matter of fact the approach needs to be an accurate one to find the green, there is no room for a shot that is over-strong.
The fall of the ground is in our favour at the eleventh, which again is a shortish two-shotter of 317 yards. From the tee we look straight down the fairway towards Orcombe Point and the sea, and have a magnificent view of the Channel coast stretching away as far as Portland Bill on the one side and Berry Head on the other. Our drive has to carry a huge natural dip in front and a fairly narrow bottle-neck between two hedges beyond that, and we must keep straight if we are to leave ourselves with an open approach to a green guarded by a bunker at either corner.
Then after a somewhat colourless drive and pitch hole played dead uphill, we have two short holes in succession. The short holes at Exmouth are all good, and have the additional merit of being all entirely different from one another. The 190 yard thirteenth has an open green guarded by bunkers at either corner, with a ribbon bunker beyond to catch to catch a shot that is over-strong, while the green at the fourteenth, by way of contrast, is guarded by a ring of bunkers all round it. It calls for a dropping mashie shot of 149 yards, which is made none the easier by the out of bounds corner on the left, which comes close to the line of play.
At the fifteenth we return to the Littleham Valley for a fine two-shot hole of 358 yards. The brook is this time running along the right of the fairway, and there is a ditch along the left. Then after we have placed our drive safely down the middle between these dangers, we find the brook is not yet done with us, for it bends almost at right angles across the fairway short of the pin, making a formidable cross-hazard to carry with our approach to a green guarded by bunkers on either corner.
We now cross the Maer Road again to play the last three holes on the sandy country on which we began. The short sixteenth was a famous hole in the days when good short holes were not so common as they are now, and is not likely to be forgotten by anyone who has played it. It is a stiff mashie shot of 155 yards, with the brook flowing through the dip halfway between tee and green, and one great bunker occupying the slope beyond the brook. On the left the green is guarded by gorse, brambles and a road; on the right and beyond, by a bunker and sandy waste. It is a really fine hole, at which our tee-shot will either be on the green or in trouble, there is no third choice.
The seventeenth is a testing 400 yarder at which we have to steer our drive with considerable accuracy to reach the strip of fairway running through the waste of bent and sand, and must hit a good one if we hope to reach the green with our second, which has to be played at an angle to the left over the Sahara bunker. A hooked second will take us into the sandhills and, though the green itself is open to a long shot, an erratic approach will be likely to find all the trouble it deserves. Then we finish the round with a fairly easy two-shotter of 345 yards, at which a straight should leave us with a very simple approach guarded by the road on the right. The worst danger is the huge bunker in front of the first tee, which lies in wait for a hooked shot.
While playing in the monthly medal on Saturday 10th August 1946 H T Dixon holed in one at the 165 yard ninth hole, he went on to win the competition, result as follows; H T Dixon, 83-17-66; C H Bloomfield, 83-12-71; P Galsworthy, 91-18-73; H Goss, 84-10-74; S D Baker, 94=18-76; R Hobson, 99-22-77.
In 1947 to the clubs last appearance in the early 1950s visitors’ fees on introduction were, 3/- a round, 4/- a day, £1/10/0 a fortnight, £1/15/0 a month, for 3months Gents £3/5/0, Ladies £2/15/0, 6 months Gents £4/5/0, Ladies £3/15/0. Sunday play was allowed.