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Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. (1891 - 1935)

Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. (1902 - 1970s)

Organised golf has been played on the slopes of Cleeve Hill since 1891.

The Cheltenham Golf Club was formed in 1891 with a course designed by Old Tom Morris.

Several clubs have played on Cleeve Common. The Cheltenham  Town club was founded in 1902; after a couple of years it changed its name to Cotswold Hills Golf Club and continued share the course with the Cheltenham Golf Club for over thirty years. There was also an Artisans club which started in 1933.

The Cheltenham Golf Club club closed in 1935 and most of the members joined the Cotswold Hills club who continued to play on the course until the 1970s when it moved to its current course at Ullenwood.

The original course is now the home of Cleeve Cloud Golf Club.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Gloucestershire. Cheltenham Golf Club 1891 cuff button.

Cheltenham Golf Club 1891 cuff button back mark Firmins London. Courtesy of Dixon Pickup.

 

The 18-hole course is situated on Cleeve Common has panoramic views of the Shropshire and Welsh Hills. The initial hazards were described as quarries, sunken roads and cart tracks. Unfortunately membership numbers dwindled at the Cheltenham Golf Club following WW1, this was partly due to the popularity of the Lilley Brook club in Cheltenham which came into being in 1922. The club was struggling financially during the 1930s and in 1935 the original club went into liquidation. In the early 1950s it was agreed by ex members that the Cheltenham club trophies should be divided between the Cotswold Hills and Lilley Brook clubs.

Below is a report on the first meeting of the club and a description of the course from July 1891.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Report on the First Meeting in July 1891.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Report on the First Meeting in July 1891.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Report on the First Meeting in July 1891.

From the Cheltenham Chronicle Saturday 11th July 1891. Images © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Below an early undated course layout on Cleeve Hill.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Early course layout on Cleeve Hill.

Undated early course layout.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Early hole names and yardages.

Yardages and Hole Names. Thanks to Melvyn Morrow for the above images.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club. Clubhouse in the early 1900s.

The Cheltenham Clubhouse in the early 1900s.

 

Below is the result of a match played at Cheltenham against Chastleton Hill Golf Club (now defunct) in November 1900.

Cheltenham Golf Club   Chastleton Hill Golf Club  
Miss L Percival and Mr J K Ashton 6 Miss Cowan and Mr Hayward Simpson 0
Miss Wiggin and Mr Daubeney 4 Mrs Becher and Col. Wynter 0
Miss C L Peares and Rev. C McArthur 7 Mrs E Francis and Capt. Becher  0
Miss Rawlinson and Mr Fuller 0 Miss Causteu and Capt. Cowan 3
Miss Tuke and Col. Willoughby 5 Miss Allfrey and Henry Causteu 0
Miss E Bramwell and Mr Goodeye 15 Miss Hulme and Mr Byass 0
  37   3

Below is the result of the competition (by gross score) for a prize presented by Mr C C Turnbull at the Spring Meeting played on Thursday 15th March 1902. The club also presented a prize to the player with the best net score (M Chester).

T K Aston 82 1 81 H B Yerburgh 95 12 83
G W Blathwayt 83 1 82 Rev M Woodward 95 10 86
E H Topham 84 6 78 J L Hamilton 96 12 84
J G Baker 85 5 80 O J Williams 97 10 87
S C Healing 86 2 84 J Grant Ferguson 98 13 85
J A Healing 86 5 81 C Johnson 99 12 87
Colonel Langdon 87 7 80 Captain Osborne 99 13 86
C Tillard 88 3 85 G Trower 99 13 86
A A Bourne 88 12 76 J M Horsfall 100 16 84
M Chester 89 14 75 E B Wethered 103 19 84
J B L Astley 91 8 83 J S Sargeaunt 103 20 83
G Chester 93 8 85 W Rayner 107 16 91

A foursome competition was played on the same day, it was won by T K Ashton and J S Sargeaunt.

Result of the monthly bogey competition played on Saturday 12th July 1902; T K Ashton (+1), 4up; E H Jopham (5), all square; O J Williams (10), all square; H Jessop (16), 1down; Major J B L Astley (9), 4down; M W Chester (12), 4down; R L Townsend (18), 6down.

Result of the July 1902 monthly medal; H E Daubeney, 89-12-77; J B L Astley, 87-9-78; M W Chester, 90-12-78; T K Ashton, 77-+3-80; E H Topham, 84-4-80; G W Goodeve, 92-10-82; E B Wethered, 100-19-81; H Fane Gladwin, 107-24-83; R H Harvey, 115-20-95.  

Below is the result of a ladies' match played at Barnwood in March 1903.

Barnwood Golf Club   Cheltenham Golf Club  
Miss Pearce 1 Miss Wiggin 0
Mrs H W Grimes 1 Miss Tuke 0
Miss Hibbard 0 Miss M Newall 1
Miss Stephens 0 Miss C L Pearce 1
Mrs C H Scott 0 Miss Healing 1
  2   3

The information below is from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook. Interesting to note that the foundation date for the Cheltenham Golf Club is stated as being 1896. There is a separate entry for Cheltenham Ladies' Golf Club founded in 1891, did the ladies have their own course?

Cheltenham Golf Club; Instituted 1896; Number of members 242, ladies, 101; Hon. secretary - Col. F Stevenson, Worcester House, Cheltenham; Captain, Major General Cunningham; Entrance fee, £2/2s, ladies £1/1s and subs, £2 and £1; 18-holes; Professional A T Hobley; Best scratch score, Hon. O Scott, 74; Terms for visitors, 1s a round, 2s a day, 15s a month. The holes are situated at altitude varying from 700 to 1,000 ft above sea level, and the hazards are quarries, deep sunk roads, and cart ruts.

Cheltenham Ladies' Golf Club; Instituted 1891; Number of members 110; Hon. secretary - Miss C L Pearce, Lagarie, Cheltenham; Captain, Miss Bond; Entrance fee £1/1s and subs £1; 18-holes; Professional, A J Hobley; Terms for visitors (who must be introduced by a member,) 6d a round, 3s a wek, 7s/6d a month. The course is an excellent inland one, with the eighth hole 1,100 feet above sea level, and is situated on Cleeve Hill. The turf is short, being kept sheep trimmed, whilst the bunkers consist of stone quarries.

Below is the result of a match played on Cleeve Hill against Gloucester Golf Club on Thursday 15th March 1906. 

Cheltenham Golf Club   Gloucester Golf Club  
T K Ashton (half) 0 E F T Fowler (half) 0
W Rayner 0 Rev F H Fowler 1
J G Baker 1 A Simpson 0
S H Healing 1 H Chadborn 0
G Chester 1 A C Burnett 0
H N Alston 1 T S Gibson 0
H Meates 0 E W Henley 1
H Jessop 1 G Hogarth 0
  5   2

Result of the 1907 May monthly medal; First (Senior) Division – Rev C W Bennett, 85-8-77; Captain Willes, 90-13-77; C E Tomlinson, 86-6-80; J S Sargeaunt, 89-8-81; O J Williams, 96-10-86; General Cunningham, 95-8-87; Colonel Willoughby, 95-8-87; T M Horsfall, 103-13-90; Second (Junior) Division – T L S Garrett, 99-20-79; W G Gurney, 102-22-80; E A Bennett, 101-16-85; P H Kenworthy, 102-16-86; Colonel Stevenson, 115-18-97.

In 1914 the secretary was W Rayner, Cleeve Hill the professional was A J Hobley (1896 to 1933). Mmembership at this time of 263 gents and 170 ladies. Entry fee was £4/4/0, subs £2/2/0, country membership £1/8/0, ladies paid half. Amateur course record held by T K Ashton 74. Visitors’ fees were 2/- a day, 8/- a week and £1 a month. Ladies’ fees, on introduction, were 1/- a day, 4/- a week and 10/- a month. The clubhouse was closed on Sunday and no play was allowed. The GWR station was 4 miles away and the MR station 5 ½ miles with an half hourly bus service from both.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. The course layout prior to WW1.

The course layout just prior to WW1. Thanks to Melvyn Morrow for the above image.

 

Results from the Autumn Meeting played on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th September 1921; Turnbull Challenge Cup (gross) – Rev W H B Yerburgh, 75; Challenge Bowl (net) – W Blakey, 82-12-70. The next best score was J G Baker, 77-5-72. The Fane Gladwin Cup was won by D W Waylen, 87-13-74, Captain Tombs was next with 92-14-78. The President’s (Lord Eldon’s) Cup was won by J P Winterbotham, 75-3-72, J G Baker won the Gold Medal with a gross score of 74.

The picture below from the early 1920s shows the club steward, Mr Lediard, at the bar which was known as the "Alcohole"

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. The steward at the bar which was known as the Alchohole.

Image courtesy of Melvyn Morrow.

 

In 1924 the secretary was H C Cope-Procter, Silverdale, Cleeve Hill the professional J A Hobley and the green-keeper J MacDonald. 18 holes with a membership of 256 gents and 201 ladies. Course records were, amateur Rev W H B Yerburgh 72, professional A Parker 67.

Below the professional match between Abe Mitchell and George Duncan played on the opening of the reconstructed course in April 1924.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Professional match on the reconstructed course in April 1924.

From the Gloucestershire Echo Saturday 12th April 1924. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

The picture below was taken at the exhibition match celebrating the opening of the reconstructed course. From left to right; George Duncan, H S B Tibbs (County Captain,) J H Baker, Abe Mitchell, W M Alford (Club Captain,) Capt. Lloyd (Club Secretary.)

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. Group picture taken at the exhibition match in April 1924.

Image courtesy of Melvyn Morrow.

 

Result of the Allen Challenge Bowl, in memory of the late Captain Oswald Allen, a former secretary of the club; J P Winterbotham, 79-3-76; R P Humphries, 77+1-78; K F Tarrant, 85-6-79; Dr. N H Pike, 93-12-81; R J Dennis, 99-17-82; Capt. W L Tombs, 99-16-83; A E Healing, 99-16-83; H B Yerburgh, 100-17-83; Dr. J R Collins, 100-17-83; P Haddock, 91-7-84; J M Beesley, 95-11-84; Dr. A G Forster, 90-6-84; A E Carden, 106-21-85; Capt. W C Steel, 95-10-85; H C Cope-Procter, 99-14-85; F W Hands, 97-11-86.

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 4th October 1924; H B Prettejohn, 77-2-75; J P Winterbotham, 78-2-76; Col E S Gale, 90-14-76; H B Yerburgh, 95-18-77; J Rupert Collins, 94-16-78; H C Cope-Proctor, 91-11-80; J G Baker, 90-8-82; K A Woodward, 91-9-82; C Thornber, 95-12-83. 

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 7th March 1925; J P Winterbotham, 84-2-82; K F Tarrant, 88-6-82; W M Alford, 94-10-84; H B Yerburgh, 106-18-88; Howard Green, 112-22-90. 

Result of the May 1925 monthly bogey; A E Healing, 4up; A Peebles, 2up; C E Tomlinson, 2up; K F Tarrant, all square; R J Dennis, all square; L G Badham, 1down; F F Leaver, 1down; J P Winterbotham, 2down; H C Cope-Proctor, 2down; Dr N H Pike, 2down; C Thornber, 3down; A B Stewart, 4down; W S Whitehouse, 7down; N Harene, 8down. 

In the late 1920s and early 1930s the secretary and professional were as 1924. The green-keeper was now P A Murrell. Course records were, amateur J H Baker 70, professional A Mitchell 71.

On Wednesday 18th June 1930 H P Bazeley (Cheltenham Golf Club) won the County Championship at Cleeve Hill with scores of 73 and 72 (total 145). The Cheltenham Club also won the Team Championship, represented by; J H Baker, 77, E F T Fowler, 76 and H P Bazeley, 72 for a total of 225.  

From the 1933 Golfer's Handbook; Membership - gents, 170; ladies, 120; hon. secretary - H G BIllson, C.I.E., Bayshill Mansions, Bayshill Road, Cheltenham; professional, A J Hobley; green-keeper, P W Murrell; course records - amateur, J H Baker, 70; professional, Abe Mitchell, 71.

In 1935 the secretary was G S Magill, Ivy Bank, Cleeve Hill the professional was W East the green-keeper was still W Murrell. Membership had reduced to 170 gents and 120 ladies. Visitors’ fees were gents, 2/6d a round, 4/- a day, 10/- a week and 25/- a month. Ladies paid 2/-, 7/6d and £1 respectively. Sunday play allowed.

The sad end to a once flourishing club. It was reported in December 1935 that "Cheltenham Golf Club, the oldest in Gloucestershire, have decided to close down on December 31st 1935."

 

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. The sad end to a once proud golf club in December 1935.

From the Cheltenham Chronicle Saturday 14th December 1935. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club at Cleeve Hill.

Postcard by B & Ds “Kromo” series 31124, Picture Postcard Pioneers, London E. C.

 

Cheltenham Golf Club. Cleeve Hill from the golf course.

Cheltenham Golf Club, Cleeve Hill had disappeared by 1940. Postcard by Valentines.

 

From the 1947 Golfer's Handbook; Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Cleeve Hill; Membership 450; Secretary - Capt. J R Nelson, 18 Aulaby Court, Cheltenham; professional, N R McDonald; green-keeper, H O Smith; course records - amateur, W S Wise, 66; professional - A F Parker, 72; visitors - 3s/6d a round weekdays; 7s/6d weekends.

Below the course layout from the early 1950s. The Cheltenham Golf Club had long gone but the Cotswold Hills Golf Club would continue to play on Cleeve Hill until the 1970s.

 

Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Cleeve Hill, Gloucestershire. The course layout on Cleeve Hill in the early 1950s.

 

The entry from the 1975 Golfer's Handbook (just prior to the move to its current location); Cotswold Hills Golf Club, Cleeve Hill; Founded 1902; Membership 700; secretary, H R Lavington; professional, N Boland; 18-holes measured 5,912 yards with a SSS of 68; amateur course record - J H Davis, 65. 

Location of the Cheltenham Golf Club course.

Location of the Cleeve Hill course.