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Lowestoft Golf Club, Denes and Pakefield Courses, Suffolk. (1887 -1975)

Founded in 1887.

The original course was of  9-holes at The Denes. The club moved to Pakefield in 1906 where a 9-hole course was laid out. Additional land was purchased in 1924 and James Braid designed the 18-hole course.

Due to road improvement schemes and additional housing requirement at Pakefield the club had to look for another site. They finally moved and became Rookery Park Golf Club in 1975.

Report from the Evening Star Saturday 17 September 1887 – “In Lowestoft a Golf Club has been started with Sir Thomas Lucas, Bart., as its president. Commander E Chichester, of H.M.S. Hearty, and Mr Morse have been appointed captain and secretary. The East of England Tavern will be the Club’s headquarters.

Below, Lowestoft Golf Club played Cromer in June 1888.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield, Suffolk. Club match played against Cromer in June 1888.

From the Eastern Daily Press Monday 2 July 1888. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The Lowestoft club is listed in the 1888/89 Golfing Annual with "No particulars forthcoming."

Result of the Larkins Challenge Cup played in October 1893; Dr Bell, 115-15-100; B Preston, 112-9-103; Rev. H B Peele, 109 scratch; J Murray, 124-13-111; J Worthington, 128-14-114; R Lee Barber, 130-16-114; F J Preston, 148-20-128.

The earlier clubhouse and course is shown on the Ordnance Survey Map below.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Denes Course. The clubhouse and course in the early 1900s.

O.S. Map Revised 1903- 4 © Crown Copyright {year of publication 1906}


Entry from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Instituted 1887; Number of members 115 (including 30 ladies); Statons at Central one and a quarter miles and North quarter of a mile; Hon. secretary - A R Mayo, National Provincial Bank, Lowestoft; Captain, Dr. E Hewer; Entrance fee nil; Subs Gentlemen £1/1s, Ladies 10s/6d; Nine-holes; Professional, H Wade; Professional Record - H Wade, 32 (nine-holes,) 72 (eighteen-holes); Amateur Record - A Notley, 37 (nine-holes,) 76 (eighteen-holes); Competition - Larkin's Challenge Cup (October); Terms for visitors - 1s a day, 5s a week, 7s/6d a fortnight and 10s a month. Introduction not necessary. The course is pleasantly situated near the sea. It has typical seaside turf and natural hazards of cliff, sand and gorse. The greens are fairly good.

From the Lowestoft Journal Saturday 29 September 1906; "NEW GOLF COURSE. PROGRESS MADE. - Sir, the work on the new golf course has been pressed on to enable Jas. Carter & Co., the seedsmen, to get the seed in. This was done last week, and with favourable conditions of weather there is every prospect of successful results. It may be mentioned that this firm have four other large acreages for golf courses to seed this autumn, and ours is the first. The following report from James Braid, the Open Champion, who came down on Tuesday 8 September, will be read with satisfaction, coming as it does from one who is not only the ablest exponent of the game, but who is a quiet, thoughtful man, who weighs his words. Edward Hewer, Vice-chairman of the Directorate of the L.G.C.C., Ltd."  

Below is the James Braid report on the Lowestoft course in September 1906.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield Course. Braid visits Lowestoft in September 1906 to lay out the new course.

Eastern Evening News Saturday 29 September 1906. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


In 1906 visitors’ fees were 1/- a day, 5/- a week and 10/- a month.

Report below on the new 9-hole course which opened in July 1907. It was 3,100yds in length providing excellent golf. Situated on undulating ground with light soil and sand bunkers. There were good clubhouse facilities. It continued as a 9-hole course until WW1.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield Course. Report on the new course in July 1907.

Ashbourne Telegraph Friday 26 July 1907. Images © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


In 1924 the course was extended to 18-holes. It is interesting that the name of Wade crops up as professional throughout the clubs history. In 1906 it was H Wade, in the early 1920s H B Wade became the professional and he held the position until the mid 1930s. In 1928 H B Wade won the Suffolk and Cambridge Professional Championship at Aldeburgh with a score of 151. W H Wade was the professional from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s. The station at Lowestoft Central was 1 ¼ miles from the course. There was also a tram service direct to the course in the early years. Local hotels were the Empire, Grand, Crown and the Royal.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield, Suffolk. Golfers outside the clubhouse in the 1920s.

Golfers gathered outside the Lowestoft Golf Club clubhouse in the 1920s. Spashetts photo card. 


  Secretary Professional/greenkeeper
1906 A R Mayo, National Prvincial Bank, Lowestoft. H B Wade (p)
1914 C Morton Shalders, The Golf Club, Lowestoft. A Saunders (p)
1923 Major C D Handley, East View, Lowestoft. H B Wade (p) T Goldspink (g)
1927 A Rose. As above
1928 A Rose and W S Todd. As above
1929-30s W S Todd. H B Wade (p) W Goldspink (g)
1937-47 W G English, 4 Pakefield Road, Lowestoft. W Goldspink (g)
1951   W H Wade (p) W H Pratt (g)
1952/3   H R Gowing (g)
1954-57 G Dunworth, 193 London Road, Lowestoft. As above
1958 R Bocking, 181 London Road South, Lowestoft. O Wynn (p)
1959-70s W J Bessey, 90 Walmer Road, Lowestoft.  
1959   Ian Young (p)
1960-63   T Butcher (p)
1964-70s   A A Butcher (p)
1972-75 J Emerson. As above


  Course Records
1906 A Notley (am) 77. H B Wade (pro) 72.
1923 B G Lemon (am) 74. A Saunders (pro) 71.
1929/30s J H Colvin (am 1929) 75. E Dunn (am 1931) 74. H B Wade & W H Wade (pro 68) 
1937-47 R J Parsons (am) 70. H B Wade (pro) 67.
1950s-70s R Watson, R Long, G Gibbs (am) 69. H B Wade 68.

The monthly bogey competition for April 1908 was won by S B Love (11) 3up, the runner-up was T Jenner (12) 1down.  

The winner of the monthly spoon for August 1908 was Mr W E Frost with a score of 2down.

The AGM was held in the Clubhouse, South Lowestoft, on Tuesday 8 September 1908, the captain, Dr E Hewer, in the chair. Amongst others present were; Herbert Sayer, ACA, secretary; M F Dobson, T Jenner, J R O’Driscoll, F Spashett, R H Dobson, T Sergeant, A M Smith, E D Pyne, A R Mayo, J A Nicholson, H Thomas, E H Devereux, J Wyllie, H Sayer, G A Wace, H R Hewison and C C Atkins. The chairman stated that the course had been improved and was in good condition. Members and visitors had commented favourably on the nine-hole course. Everything during the past 18 months had worked smoothly, the only matter yet to be resolved was water for the greens. The accounts were presented and the club was shown to be financially sound, green fees and subscriptions had increased during the year and the membership had risen from 136 to 193.

Dr E Hewer was re-elected captain and Herbert Sayer, secretary, committee as follows; F Spashett, R H Dobson, T Jenner, H C Jefferies, E D Pyne and Dr H C Barraclough. Dr Hewer was thanked for all his hard work since the club moved to the South Lowestoft Links he had “practically lived on the course” Herbert Sayer was also thanked for his invaluable services.

The competition for the Larkin’s Challenge Cup was played on Sunday 4 October 1908 it was won by A Notley with a score of 84. A mixed foursome was played on Tuesday and was won by Miss Manley Sims and E D Pyne with a score of 3up.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Suffolk. The Clubhouse from The Sphere in June 1910.

From The Sphere Saturday 18 June 1910. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


In 1914 the club membership was, 150 gents and 67 ladies. The entry fee for gents was £1/1/0 and ladies 10/6. Subs for gents were £2/2/0 and ladies £1/1/0. Visitors fees were 2/- a day, 8/- a week and £1/4/0  a month. During the months of July, August and September fees were 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and £1/10/0 a month. Introduction was not necessary. Sunday play with caddies was allowed.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield, Suffolk. Postcard showing the Club House, South Lowestoft.

The Club House, South Lowestoft. Image courtesy of David Heath.


1923 and membership was now 124 gents and 80 ladies. Visitors’ fees during July, August and September were 4/-day, 15/-week, 42/-month. Rest of the year, 3/-, 10/-, 30/- respectively.

In 1924 the extended 18-hole course, designed by James Braid, and measuring 6,177 yards, was opened with an exhibition match involving James Braid, Harry Vardon, H B Wade and W Ritchie.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield Course. Braid and Vardon at Lowestoft.

Braid and Vardon left - and Wade and Ritchie? Image courtesy of Graham Rowley.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield, Suffolk. H B Wade on the tenth green.

The above image shows H B Wade (Lowestoft professional) on the tenth green.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield Course. Golf club marked H B Wade, Lowestoft.

Golf club marked H B Wade, Lowestoft.


Result of an interesting match, Singles against Married men, which was played in November 1926.

Lowestoft Golf Club (Single)   Lowestoft Golf Club (Married)  
J Colby 1 F Podd 0
J Butterfield 1 W S Todd 0
James Peck 0 J H Colvin 1
H J Duggin 1 P C Adams 0
F E Catchpole 1 H Vere Jones 0
J Sayer 1 E C Swann 0
J Pettersen 0 A Stevens 1
J H Wainright 0 F Spashett 1
E Birkett 0 R F Richards 1
O D Alfreton 0 C W Stebbings 1
H Gray 1 V Chadd 0
  6   5

Location of the golf course in the mid 1920s.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield Course. The golf course on the 1926 Ordnance Survey Map.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1926}


In 1927 there was a total membership of 250. Visitors paid 2/6 a round.

Result of a match played against Hearsall at Lowestoft in August 1928.

Lowestoft Golf Club   Coventry Hearsall Golf Club  
J H Colvin and E Dunn 1 R A Booth and G H G Simmons 0
W S Todd and A H Howard 1 J Wormell and R H Tilt 0
L Wooding and A Stevens 1 A J Simmons and E G Edwards 0
E W Robinson and A G Sleak (halved) 0 H Faulkner and L J Dexter (halved) 0
J H Wainwright and J James 0 T R Smith and F Gould 1
J K Pettersen and W H Blackburn 1 J Hanes and F R H Hanson 0
R J Parsons and G Chipperfield 1 G Edwards, jun. and H Heald 0
S Inskip and J Holmes 0 C G Storey and Capt. Stonebanks 1
E Lawrence and T Jeaner 0 J G Morley and J Woodger 1
  5   3

In 1929 and the early 1930s the course had a SSS of 75,  membership of 300. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a round, 4/- a day, 15/- a week and 40/- a month.

Result of a match played against Southwold at Lowestoft in July 1932. The overall result was a victory (including singles) to Lowestoft by 8 matches to 4.

Lowestoft Golf Club   Southwold Golf Club  
S G Watson and H B Wade (professional) 0 F R Robinson and J Elmes (professional) 1
R E Gladden and G F Howard 1 C H J Jarvis and H D McKay 0
H J Colvin and J H Wainwright 1 Col. Hickling and H Hickling 0
J A Barker and H T Hosking 1 C R Shaddick and R G Strachan 0
  3   1

Result of a match played at Lowestoft (handicaps 10 and over) against Great Yarmouth and Caister in June 1935. Great Yarmouth won the singles and match by 9 games to 3.

Lowestoft Golf Club   Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club  
G F Watson (10) and T J Hutson (10) 1 E Lest (10) and W J Noel Oldham (10) 0
H Newton (11) and E Orr (13) 0 F T Armstrong (11) and H Sutton (11) 1
J W Warren (14) and H J B Wollaston (14) 1 F E Whitfield (11) and A S Vaughan (18) 0
J H Wainwright (16) and F H Youngman (18) 0 E W Crowe (16) and S P Thompson (18) 1
  2   2

Result of the return match (handicaps 10 and over) played at Caister in July 1935. The Lowestoft team won the singles and the overall match by 8 games to 4.

Great Yarmouth and Caister Golf Club   Lowestoft Golf Club  
W J N Oldman (10) and E W Crowe (14) 0 A Barker (9) and T J Hutson (10) 1
F E Whitfield (11) and C W Rumbold (17) 1 S R Tamplin (9) and W B Forsyth (9) 0
G Allen, jun. (14) and G Allen, snr. (16) 0 Weldon Corkery (13) and J W Warren (14) 1
W Edgar Stephens (22) and L G Keevill (24) 1 W P S Rickards (16) and F H Youngman (18) 0
  2   2

In July 1935, Cyrus Morley (member of Welwyn Garden City Golf Club,) holed in one at the 105 yard seventeenth, the hole had a carry of about 80 yards over thick gorse. 

The rather interesting but battered postcard below of Pakefield is from the mid-1930s. The fingerpost on the picture has a sign marked “Golf Tournament” presumably for the Lowestoft Golf Club.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Suffolk. A battered postcard from the mid-1930s with the sign Golf Tournament.


From 1937 to 1947 the course SSS was 73. Membership between these dates varied from 250 to 270.

Article below from the Bystander in September 1937.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield Course. Article from Bystander in September 1937.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Suffolk. Article from The Bystander in September 1937.

From The Bystander 1 September 1937. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Above; top row left to right - A J Barker (captain); Dr. J C Mead (ex-captain and committee member); Ernest Orr (committee member); J A Nicholson (ex-captain and committee member); middle row - W G English (hon. secretary) and F Spashett (president); G M Margrett and Dr. R Keene (ex-captain and committee member); Captain F G Fisher (committee member); bottom row - H Newton and H Wade (professional); W B C Forsyth and J W Warren (committee member); C L Butcher and Monty Horseman.

From 1948 to 1953 the SSS was 71. Membership in 1948 was 310 decreasing to 285 by 1953. Visitors’ fees in 1952/3 were 4/- a round, 6/- a day and £1 a week.

In 1954 W H Wade left Lowestoft to become professional at Pike Hills Golf Club, York.

From 1954 to 1957 membership f 290. Visitors’ fees were 3/6 a round and 5/- a day.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield, Suffolk. Golf match at Lowestoft circa 1954.

Lowestoft and Felixstowe Ferry golfers circa 1954. Image courtesy of Michael Thomas.


In 1958 the membership was 350 and visitors paid 5/- a round.

In 1959 the course measured 5,538yds and had a SSS of 71.

In the early 1960s the course was extended to 6,111yds the SSS remained at 71’

Membership varied between 380 in 1959 to 500 in 1965. In the mid 1960s visitors’ fees were 7/6 a round and 10/- a day. Weekend and Bank Holiday charges were 12/6 a round and £1 a day.

From 1972 to the clubs last year in 1975 the 18-hole course measured 6,900yds and had a SSS of 73. Club membership of 550. Visitors' fees were £1.50p a day, £2 a day at Weekends, £7 a week and £15 a month.

Lowestoft Golf Club,Pakefield, Suffolk. The early clubhouse.

The postcard above has been used and the post mark is for 11th July 1905, therefore it’s the first Lowestoft clubhouse, at the Denes. Postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons “Town and City” series 2042.


Lowestoft Golf Club, Pakefield, Suffolk. Location of the golf course.

Location of the Pakefield course. Grid reference TM52995,90865, co-ordinates 652995,290865.