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Belmont Golf Club, County Down.

The club was founded in 1891. Belmont Ladies’ club was instituted in 1894.

The nine-hole course was located at Garnerville which adjoined Tillysburn station on the Belfast and Bangor branch of the Belfast & County Down Railway.

The opening ceremony was performed by W C Mitchell J.P and took place at 2pm on Saturday 19th December 1891. The secretary at the club at this time was Charles Playfair. A large attendance of members and friends attended the opening of the course which was situated at Garnerville, Strandtown.

The following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Belfast News on Monday 21st December 1891. “The secretary placed the ball on the tee which Mr Mitchell then drove to a considerable distance and amid cheers declared the course open. The ball, which bore a silver band with the following inscription – “Presented to W C Mitchell J.P., on the occasion of the opening of the Belmont Golf Club” was placed on its stand composed of three solid silver golf clubs in miniature, on an oak base, made from a special design by Mr Sharman D Neil, was handed to Mr Mitchell by the honorary secretary, Charles Playfair, who, in thanking him for his kindness in both becoming president of the club and opening the course. Play commenced and carried on until it was dark. Amongst the players were members of the Royal Belfast, County Down, and other well known clubs, and it was most gratifying to the supporters of the Belmont Club to be told by the veterans that the new course was one of exceptional interest, and in fact, when the greens were got into better order, would be the nicest course anywhere near Belfast. The list of membership is now almost complete, and being limited will be closed in a few days.”

To inaugurate the extended course a mixed foursome open competition was to be held on the Belmont Golf Club links at Garnerville near Tillysburn station on Saturday 8th May 1893 at 11.30.  A competition for men would commence at 2.15. There was an entrance fee of 2/- for either competition or 3/- for both (no charge for ladies). To be paid to Charles Playfair (secretary), 21 Castle Place, Belfast.  

The competitions were played over nine-holes, which were in splendid condition.

Result of the mixed foursome; F F Figgis & Miss Gardner, 54-11-43; H Shaw & Miss Moore, 45-0-45; W J M McGeagh & Mrs M McGeagh, 45-0-45; J N R Pim & Miss Johnston Smith, 53-7-46; Dr McKissick & Miss H S Shaw, 57-9-48; N Charley & Miss Mulligan, 50-2-48; A F Charley & Miss M J Smith, 57-9-48; F Gordon & Miss J Charley, 57-7-50; E Young & Mrs Young, 57-7-50; H H Bottomley jnr & Miss A DeWind, 55-5-50.

Following are the leading scores in the 18-hole afternoon competition; A F Charley, 80-12-68; D F Spiller, 98-28-70; D E Lowry, 88-16-72; W Rodman, 96-24-72; Hugh Shaw, 72+2-74; J Bell, 82-8-74; S Wilson jnr, 84-10-74; H N Charley, 86-12-74; J Hyndman, 93-18-75; H V Coates, 93-16-77; C Playfair, 95-18-77; F F Figgis, 93-16-77; C Armstrong, 96-18-78; A Doig, 84-6-78; John Woodside, 89-10-79. There were 52 entrants.

An open bogey competition was arranged for Saturday 4th September 1897 for two prizes valued at £3 and £1. Entrance fee was 2/6 and was payable to the D B Walkington (Captain), 61 Royal Avenue, or, J G McAfee (Secretary), 14, Corn Market.       

In 1907/8 the secretary was D B Walkington, 61 Royal Avenue, Belfast. The course is confirmed as being of nine holes five minutes from the station in Garnerville Park.

As yet, we have been unable to find a confirmed closure date for the club and course.

If anyone has any further information on the history of the club please get in touch via the "Contact Us" facility on the website home page.