Canterbury Golf Club. (1891 - 1900s)

The earliest course at Canterbury was founded in about 1891 and was situated on Old Park. The 9-hole course of 1865 yards was laid out around old gravel workings.

Canterbury Golf Club opened their new course on Saturday 2 July 1927 when they met the Buff’s Golfing Society. It was reported that “the new course was an exceedingly fine one, and had a charming outlook over the adjoining countryside. It is quite a long course and low scoring will not be easy”

In July 1891 a Ladies Competition was held on the Old Park course. A gold medal donated by Colonel Russell CB was competed for. Miss E Ramsey was the winner with a score of 91, Mrs Routeledge was runner up with a score of 96.


Canterbury Golf Club, Kent. Club report and competition result December 1893.

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Saturday 30 December 1893. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


In January 1894 it was reported that the course was progressing well, the greens were particularly good considering that they had only recently been laid (or probably re-laid). A pavilion was shortly to be erected.

The February 1894 medal was won by Dr B C Manley, 86-4-82.

The March 1894 medal was won by W W Smith, 99 -20 -79. To encourage visitors and members privileged train travel was arranged from London to Canterbury on the Chatham and Dover line. Adjustments were made on the course with the four “least interesting” holes being re-designed. As with many clubs it now made the bold claim that “the course was second to none as an inland links”

Result of the April 1894 medal; A S Lancaster, 92-14-78. President of the club was Col Hon. W J Stewart c/o The Cavalry Barracks.

The monthly medal was played on Wednesday 16 May 1894. Dr W Woodbine-Smith was the winner of the first prize, the Captains Golden Cross, for the three best aggregate net scores during the first part of the season, 79, 81 and 77. May medal result as follows; Dr W W Smith, 89 – 12 – 77; Rev L H Evans, 85 – 8 – 77; E Dean, 104 – 24 – 80; A J Lancaster, 92 – 10 – 82; T H Oyler 91 - 8 – 83; Capt. F G Frith, 106 – 22 – 84; Rev. G H Gray, 105 – 20 – 85; Dr. B C Manly, 93 – 2 – 91; E S London, 116 – 22 – 94; other competitors Capt. Knox, Rev. Thomas Field, A N Andrews, Major Aylmer. The President of the club at this time was Colonel Abadie CB. Also in May was the bogey competition for Mr Mason’s prize, won by Rev. T Flynn with a score of all square.

Leading scores in the October 1894 medal; Rev. T Field, 103-11-92; A J Macfarlane, 101-8-93; Dr. J H Joyce, 115-20-95.

The 1894 November medal result; C Igglesden, 98 – 12 – 86; E S London, 109 – 22 – 87; Rev. G H Gray, 109 – 20 – 89; T Winch, 96 – 4 – 92; A J Lancaster, 101 – 9 – 92; Rev. T Field, 103 – 11 – 92; A J Macfarlane, 104 – 8 – 96. The competition was played over the newly designed course, laid out by the late Dr Manley.

Following is the result of the January medal for 1895; Rev. G H Gray, 104-18-86; Capt. J G Fair (21st Hussars), 120-25-95; Capt. R A Heneage (5th Dragoon Guards), 109-10-99; Rev T Field, 111-11-100.

In March 1895 Mr H McLaughlin won the Alderman Mason’s prize with a bogey score of 3 down. The monthly medal result; A J Macfarlane, 85-7-78; H McLaughlin, 94-15-81; Dr. H Joyce, 104-20-84; G Winch, 102-15-87, Col C E Reeves, 113-24-89. Following is the result of a bogey competition for a prize of a silver cigarette case given by the captain, Captain F G Frith; Rev G H Gray, 4down; H McLaughlin, 10down. There were 16 entrants, the course bogey score was 72.

Result of the 1895 May monthly medal; G F Mappin, 90-20-70; Rev G H Gray, 87-13-74. The October medal was won by A J Lancaster, 80-11-69.

Only five competitors took part in the December 1895 medal, result as follows; Captain Austin, 78 scratch (new course record); A J Macfarlane, 90 – 7 – 83; F G Mappin, 97 – 9 – 86, A J Lancaster, 99 – 9 – 90; Rev G H Gray, no return. 

The first competition for the B C Manley Gold Challenge Medal took place on Thursday 31 May 31 1900. The medal was presented to the club by Mrs Hamilton in memory of her late brother, Dr Manly, one of the founders of the club. It was a bogey competition and the bronze momento was won by the Rev G H Gray. The medal itself had to be won for three years in succession before it could be won outright. Scores; Rev G H Gray, 2 down, Hilton C Price, 3 down, G E V Austin, 6 down, A J Lancaster, 7 down.  

In June 1901 the medal for the Canterbury Golf Club was played on the new links at Little Barton, there were just eight entries. The course here was short-lived, it was laid out over War Department land and the Cavalry needed the area for training, although the date the club moved out has still to be found.

 It can only be assumed that the following competitions were played over the Little Barton course, possibly when the land was free from the Cavalry training.

 Result of the 1901 July medal which won by the Rev G H Gray.

In September 1901 the competition for the B C Manley Challenge Medal was played, result; J R Farewell, 4down; Rev G H Gray, 8down. Result of the October monthly medal; J R Farewell, 100-20-80; P B Simeon, 95-11-84; Rev A Will(nn)ink, 103-13-90. For the November bogey the course was stated to be in very fair order, thanks to the recent rain. The competition was won by Rev A Winn(ll)ink with a score of 5down, there were six competitors. The November club prize was won by P B Simeon, 3down. The course was frozen for the December monthly medal won by F N Nicholl, 104-20-84, nine entrants.   

Result of the October 1901 monthly medal.


Canterbury Golf Club. Result of the October 1901 monyhly medal.

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald Saturday 26 October 1901. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The club seems to go into abeyance at this time,

There is no mention for Canterbury Golf Club in the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook.

Report on a proposed new club and course in May 1913.


Canterbury Golf Club. Report on a proposed new club and course in May 1913.

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald Saturday 3 May 1913. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


A further meeting was held in 1913 and things seemed to be progressing well. Unfortunately nothing further was found, its possible that the  onset of WW1 had put paid to any hopes for the new club.


Canterbury Golf Club. Location of the Old Park course in the 1890s.

Marked on the above map is the approximate location of the early course at Canterbury. Grid reference TR16480,58550, co-ordinates 616480,158550. We would appreciate any help with the exact location.