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Reading Golf Club. (1899 - 1917)

The first Reading Club was formed at a meeting held at the Queen’s Hotel on Saturday February 11th 1899.

Amongst those present were; Mr E M Fletcher, Dr G M Wilcockson, Mr Hugh Hawkins, Major Nelson, Mr Herbert Sutton, Rev W C Eppstein, Mr R F L Holme, Mr Seon, Mr A L Goadby, Mr C H Dodd, Mr A C Bartholomew, Mr J Sanger, Colonel Bazett, Mr A S Cooper, Mr S Wheeler junior, Mr S Hayward and others. Mr Fletcher was elected chairman. Mr Walter Palmer’s offer of ground for the course at Norcot Farm was considered and accepted. The subscription was to be £2/2/0 a year for men and £1/1/0 for ladies. It was to be a nine hole course to start with but It was hoped to eventually extend it to 18 holes. Mr Seon was appointed Hon secretary. The professional was Albert Bryant. The course was still appearing prior to WW1.

The result of the monthly competition for Mr Walter Palmer’s Challenge Cup played on January 3rd 1900; A C Bartholomew, 94-9-85; S S Wollaston, 94-6-88; G E Seon, 107-15-92; L M Henly, 108-12-96.

The ladies monthly competition for Mr W Berkeley Monck’s Cup took place on Thursday 4th January 1900, played over nine holes; Miss E Austin, 58-12-46; Miss S Austin, 67-15-52; Mrs Wilcockson, 83-30-53.

Below, result of a one sided match played at Reading against Ewelme on Wednesday 10th October 1900. 

Reading Golf Club   Ewelme Golf Club  
S S Wollaston 0 E R Morres 4
D A T Wilmot 1 L Palmer 0
A C Bartholomew (Half) 0 W Neil (Half) 0
E M Fletcher 6 F R Hedges 0
H A Copeland 6 F E Hedges 0
G E Seon 6 W G Curtis 0
Com F L Laurence 6 S A Bennett 0
Capt C J Baker 2 Reverend E B Mackay 0
  27   4

In 1903 the secretary was G E Seon.

Result of the monthly competition for the Walter Palmer Challenge Cup played on Wednesday February 4th 1903.

H E Wallis 101 20 81
S S Wollaston 85 3 82
W M Childs 107 24 83
F W Keeble 109 24 85
S W Laurence 106 21 85
G E Seon 94 8 86
A L Goadby 107 20 87
S Hayward 105 18 87
Capt F L Lawrence RN 102 13 89
W M Dimbleby 109 18 91
R Timberg 115 24 91
A C Bartholomew 100 8 92
R Ritson 112 20 92
H Ferguson 132 24 108

The monthly ladies competition for the W Berkeley Monck Challenge Cup played on Thursday February 5th 1903.

Mrs Reynolds 109 25 84
Miss B Wallis 111 25 86
Miss A Weedon 113 18 95
Miss H M Philbrick 149 25 124

The fourth annual meeting was held in the pavilion on Wednesday 18th March 1903, the president, W Berkeley Monck, in the chair. The secretary’s report showed that membership had increased, and the course was now much busier. A further three year extension had been added to the lease. The question of extending the course to 18 holes was raised, the matter was referred to the committee for consideration and report. The following officers were elected; president, W Berkeley Monck; secretary, P W Howse; treasurer, S G Collier; committee – A C Bartholomew, H A Copeland, W M Dimbleby, E M Fletcher, S Hayward, Capt F L Laurence, R.N; H J Lawrence; R Ritson; G E Seon and S S Wollaston. A vote of thanks was made to the retiring secretary, Mr G E Seon, after four years service.    

On Saturday 26th March 1903 Mr A Bowman Smith of the Reading Club won a competition played on the private course of Mr Arthur W Sutton, Buckleberry Place, Woolhampton. Mr A Bowman-Smith playing off a 16 handicap won with a bogey score of 4down. Mr Sutton had given a Challenge Cup to be competed for annually for players of the Reading and Crookham Golf Clubs.


Reading Golf Club, Berkshire. A pre-ww1 picture of the Reading clubhouse

A pre-WW1 picture of the Reading Golf Club clubhouse.


Below competition results from November 1910.


Reading Golf Club, Grovelands Course, Berkshire. Competition results from November 1910.

Reading Observer Saturday 5th November 1910. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


In June 1914 the semi-final of the President’s Cup was played. F Neale beat S Oades by 2up; N W Mitchelmore beat A J W Pym on the twentieth. In the final F Neale beat N Mitchelmore by 4&3. 

The Annual meeting was held in May 1915.


Reading Golf Club, Berkshire. A report from the Reading Mercury May 1915.

From the Reading Mercury May 1st 1915. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Article from the Reading Mercury Saturday April 21st 1917. “Reading Golf Club To Be Closed – The owner of the land having decided not to renew the lease of the ground in Grovelands Road, a general meeting of the members was held at the clubhouse on Saturday last at 6.30, a considerable number being present. It was decided to realise the assets of the club at once, and after gratuities to the staff and payment of liabilities to devote the balance to some charitable object to be decided by the committee. It is to be regretted that this old-established club should have to be closed at such short notice, as a golf club in such close proximity to the town was undoubtedly an attraction to the inhabitants.”


Reading Golf Club, Berkshire. Location of the earlier golf course.

The course was situated were the Ranikhet Primary School is today. Grid reference SU68410,73560, co-ordinates 468410,173560