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Hilversum Golf Club. (1895 – 1922)

In 2010 the Hilversumsche Golf Club celebrated its centenary as 100 years ago, in 1910, the golf club acquired its legal status.

According to various sources golf was first played in Hilversum in 1895. A photo from 1896 shows a group of early Hilversum golfers gathered at the “Heidebaan "in a very primitive area close to the gas plant.

Initially the game of golf game was played in Hilversum in primitive conditions, as it was elsewhere in Continental Europe. The first course, located next to the former gasworks in Hilversum on the road to Laren was in very poor condition and only had a shed as a clubhouse.

In the 1906 Golfer’s Handbook there is an entry for Hilversum Golf Club; Honorary secretary C. Cruys, Hilversum. 9 holes – station Hilversum ½ mile away.

 

Hilversum Golf Club. Location of the first course next to the gasworks.

Location of the first golf course next to the gasworks.

 

 

The situation was hardly better after moving to a site in Crailoo near the Crailoose Bridge in 1912, where the course was located until 1922. At this second location the club had a decent clubhouse and even a telephone. Fairways and greens were formed by clearing areas of heather. Grass seeding was very expensive and only used sparingly. The result was that on the hard, bare ground, the ball rolled very far unless a twig or other obstruction got in the way. There were obstacles such as clumps of grass here and finally that was how the grass fairways started to develop. The clumps of grass were allowed to remain as they prevented the ball from rolling too far.

 

Hilversum Golf Club. The Crailoo clubhouse.

Above is the Crailoo clubhouse.

 

Nisbet’s Golf Guide from 1910 indicates that there was a Hilversumsche Golf Club in existence. The course had 9-holes and C. van Eeghen was the honorary secretary. The same information is still given in the 1914 edition of Nisbet’s Golf Guide.

The members were determined not to let themselves be discouraged by the sparse surroundings in and around the course. Golf was intensively practiced and played, as witnessed by records from 1916, there were 606 lessons given by the professional Edward John Hill (1913-1923 professional in Hilversum) and 4,360 rounds of golf played. The membership grew to over one hundred, which gave rise to expansion plans from nine to 18 holes.

Course improvement plans were delayed as a more attractive location was sought and found on the south side of Soestdijkerstraatweg in close proximity to the previous course. In 1922 a nine-hole course designed by Henry Burrows (who was a professional at the Doornsche) were opened at the new location. In1926 further land was acquired  which made it possible to extend the course to 18-holes. The then famous golf course architect Harry Shapland Colt designed 10-holes on the newly acquired land and this 18-hole course has been in use since 1928.

Christoph Meister

August 2017

Below is the location of the Cariloo course.