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Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. (1900 - WW2)

The club first appeared in 1900.

Originally a nine-hole course it was redesigned in the 1920s by James Braid.

Following is a really interesting report on the belated formal opening of the course. I have never come across two none-golfers performing in the opening match of a new club. The report is from The West Cumberland Times Wednesday August 2nd 1905:-

“OPENING OF EMBLETON GOLF LINKS – Interesting match – An event which has been much talked of and looked forward to with considerable interest came off on Saturday afternoon, when the links Embleton Golf Links were formally opened by a match between Mr Robinson Mitchell, High Dyke, and Mr Thomas Armstrong, Bethcar. Dark threatening clouds hanging overhead and a shower or two falling prevented a very large crowd from turning out to see the game. Amongst those who braved the elements were; Mr R Williamson, president of the club; Mr Theodore Fisher and Mr E H Wilson, secretaries; Mr T Houghton, treasurer.

Arriving on the ground after a climb from the station, it was seen that unusual preparations had been made. A huge awning had been erected in front of the pavilion, and tables and chairs arranged for the comfort of visitors. Mysterious recesses under and around the pavilion were opened, and unexpected supplies of refreshments of various kinds were produced. Then before the real business of the afternoon commenced the party were arranged in a group, and an excellent photograph was secured by Mr F Nainby.

There was a large element of uncertainty about the game, as neither of the competitors had ever handled a golf club before – although each had an experienced caddie, Mr Theodore Fisher carrying and selecting the clubs, preparing the tee, and generally coaching Mr Mitchell, while Mr E H Wilson performed the same services for Mr Armstrong. It was decided at the outset that the match be one of six-holes only, the three outside holes four, five and six being omitted. Mr Mitchell, winning the toss, requested his opponent to drive the first ball. Thereupon Mr Armstrong, armed with a brassie, took his stand on the first teeing ground, and with his first shot cleared the tee and his ball travelled about six yards. Mr Mitchell followed with a similar club and made a big drive, but pulling the ball, it landed in the rough ground. Mr Armstrong then had three more shots before he got equal to his opponent. Mr Mitchell, with his fourth, got out of the rough, but playing too hard with the fifth, he overran the green, and failing to move the ball with his sixth overran his seventh and succeeded in settling on the green with his tenth. Mr Armstrong, who reached the green with his ninth, looked like winning the first hole, but taking his putter he drove the ball 20 yards over the green, and after one two attempts he finally ran the ball down in 19 strokes, to Mr Mitchell 14. [Needless to say that the remaining five holes were played in the same curious/haphazard manner] The final score was Mr Mitchell, 61; Mr Armstrong, 72.

After the match an adjournment was made to the pavilion, where an excellent tea had been provided by Mrs Birkett, confectioner. During the repast the two chief topics of conversation were the unexpectedly good play which had been witnessed (many of the members having looked for more erratic driving and humorous incidents,) and the charming situation of the links and the lovely view revealed by a walk round the course.

Mr R Williamson said he would like in a few words to express his pleasure, and that of the members of the club, at the match they had witnessed, and the somewhat belated formal opening of the links. He thought it was about 18 months ago since they acquired the present links, and it was about 12 months since the match was first arranged.”   


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. A pre-WW1 picture of the Embleton golf course.

A pre-WW1 picture of the Embleton golf course.


In October 1908 T G Renouf, the Old Trafford professional, and Bernard Nicholls the American ex-champion, played a keenly fought match on the Embleton course. Nicholson won the match 2 and 1 and also set a new course record going round in 71.

It was reported In June 1917 that Private T H Anderson (Border Regiment,) had bee severely wounded in the thigh. Previous to enlisting he was green-keeper at the Embleton golf course.

In 1919 the estate was sold to a shipping magnate, Arthur Munro Sutherland, who intended to extend the course to 18-holes. He called on James Braid who firstly redesigned the original nine-hole course. In 1929 Braid returned to draw up plans to extend the course to the south making a 12-hole course. It became a 15-hole course by 1931, extending to the full eighteen holes by 1936. The yardage was just over 5,000 yards.

In August 1919 the following had qualified for the President's Cup; J J Dodd, J Thompson, E Bowe, Dr. McLeish, Mr Mathias, Mr Maule and Mr Scott.


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. Embleton Burn and Golf Links on a postcard dated 1919.

Embleton Burn and Golf Links on a postcard dated 1919.


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. Clubhouse and golfers.

The Embleton Clubhouse.


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland The Embleton course in the 1930s.

The Embleton course in the 1920s.


During the early 1920s the professional was R Wingate.

From 1923 to 1929 the professional and green-keeper was William Povah. The course was of 9 holes. The amateur course record was held by H Thompson with a score of 34. Visitors fees 2/- a day, 7/- a week and £1 a month. Sunday play was allowed without caddies. The station at Christon Bank was 1 ½ miles away.

Engraved competition spoon below; 'Embleton Golf Course - Presented by Sir Arthur M. Sutherland Bart K.B.E. - August 1924.' 


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. Engraved 1924 competition spoon.


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. Engraved 1924 competition spoon.

Embleton Golf Club Competition Spoon 1924.


Below is the result of a match played at Alnwick Golf Club in June 1939.

Alnwick Golf Club   Embleton Golf Club  
W A Robson & R A Davidson 0 T Foggett & J S Foggett 1
I Merry & W Meakin 1 D Donkin & J Scott 0
R Waugh & H Wardle  1 W Brown & J Batty 0
A L Campbell & D Downie 1 J Galbraith & C Varnham 0
N Taylor & J E Allen 1 C Varnham jnr & J Smith 0
J Wilde & J Winter 1 J Dixon & H Brown 0
C R Harrison & J Storey 1 W Reed & A Varnham 0
  6   1


Embleton Golf Club, Northumberland. The Course in the 1920s.

Embleton Golf Course in the early 1920s.


In 1940 the professional and green-keeper was J Brown who had been at the club since the late 1920s. It was now listed as an 18 hole course with a SSS of 72. Course records were, amateur W Lamb 68 and professional J Brown 68. Visitors’ fees 2/- a day, 3/- on Sundays, 9/- a week and 30/- a month. Local hotel was the Dunstanburgh.

In 1947 the contact was D M Campbell, Estates Office, Wooller. The professional and green-keeper was W Callan.

Embleton Golf Club had disappeared by 1951. Became Dunstanburgh Castle GC.