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Penzance Golf Club, Sancreed Course, Cornwall. (1908 - WW2)

Founded in 1908 the Penzance course was about 2 ½ miles out of town in Sancreed, beautifully situated on high quick drying ground. A glorious view of the bay and the surrounding countryside could be had from all parts of the course.

The professional from 1908 to 1910 was George M Eddy.

The course was originally only nine-holes but it soon became so popular that it was extended to twelve. In 1913 further land was secured, the old holes were remodelled, and a very interesting eighteen-hole course was completed. A year after the inception of the club a large pavilion type clubhouse was built and shortly after that a garage was erected.

In the 1920s the course was proving to be very popular and a good test of golf for both experienced and the novice golfer. Practice and lessons were arranged with the professional, W T Lane. It never had the pretensions of being a championship course but with its layout and hazards consisting of cunningly arranged bunkers, out of bounds, gorse bushes, trees, thick rushes and a swift running trout stream there was plenty to provide a good test of golf. The Great Western Region motor bus service to St Just passed within a few minutes' walk of the course several times a day. 

The following is an extract from a report from The Cornishman Thursday 7 January 1909. "On Friday afternoon Penzance Golf Club formally opened its links at Sellan, Tremethick, and so began the New Year well, albeit some enthusiastic members had paid many visits to the course during the weeks in which it had been under preparation . At present the course is a nine-hole one and has been laid out by the Lelant professional, F Whiting. There are already 80 members and a number of influential ladies and gentlemen have lent their assistance in the shape of loans, including; Sir Clifford Cory, Bart.; Mr Bolitho, Trewidden; T R Bolitho; R F Bolitho; Miss Nora Bolitho; J B Cornish; J Banfield; J H Tonking; S G Bazeley; C E Venning; P T Chirgwin; F Holman. On Friday a large company gathered on the course to witness the first drive off by Mrs C E Venning."   


Penzance Golf Club, Cornwall. W T Lane Mashie Niblick.

Mashie Niblick bearing the name W T Lane - Penzance. Image Courtesy of Nevan O'Shaughnessy, Rockwell Antiques, Dallas.


At the annual meeting in October 1912 the Mayor, Mr Howell Mabbott, was in the chair. The secretary, Mr J T S Mabbott, reported that there had been a slight decrease in visitors’ fees, this was probably due to the bad weather, this, however, had been off-set with an increase in membership. Thanks were passed to the retiring secretary. The following officers were elected; president, Mr T B Bolitho; treasurer, J Jewill Hill; auditor, A Lidgey; captain, J H Tonking; joint secretaries, F C Simpson and S Y Williams.    

Result of the January monthly medal 1913; J H Tonking, 105-16-89; H T Rowe,111-14-97; H Symons113-15-98. There were 6 no returns.

On 5 May 1913 W T Lane, Penzance professional, created a new course record of 70. He was playing with a Dunlop "V" ball.

Result of the captain’s prize held on Friday 11 July 1913; James T S Mabbott, 86-12-74; F S Hugo, 100-18-82; Hedley Simons, 99-15-84; J S Treganza, 103-14-89; W B Michell, 113-22-91. 

Result of a match played in September 1913 between sides selected by the captain and secretary. 

Captain   Secretary  
J H Tonking 0 S Y Williams 1
W P Boaden (half) 0 J T S Mabbott (half) 0
F Hugo 1 H Williams 0
J A D Bridger (half) 0 H Symons (half) 0
W B Mitchell 0 H Gibson 1
W Nicholls 1 A Pengelly 0
A H Smith 1 F Drewitt 0
J S Tregenza 1 R B Axworthy 0
P T Chirgwin 0 W Hallo 1
S R Taylor 0 H Hall 1
  4   4

The Secretary's team won the later foursomes, which gave them the match. 

  Secretary Professional/Greenkeeper
1908-10   George Eddy (p)
1914 F C Simpson, Market Place and S Y Williams. W T Lane (p)
1922 Fred S Hugo, Market Place, Penzance. W T Lane (p)
1920s-30s C S Clark, 16 Market Place, Penzance. W T Lane (p) H Warren (g)
1935-40s L Stewart, 2 Alverton Street, Penzance. W T Lane (p&g)


Penzance Golf Club, Cornwall. View of the Penzance golf course at Sancreed.

We were assured by the contributor that the above picture shows the Penzance golf course at Sancreed.


In 1914 there was a membership of 140. Entry fees  for gents were £1/1/0 and ladies 10/6. This entry fee was returned if members left the district within 3 years of  joining and wished to resign. Subs for gents were £2/2/0 and ladies £1/1/0, juniors from 14-18 years of age paid 15/-, there was no entry fee for juniors. Country members, over 25 miles away paid and entry fees of, gents £1/1/0 and ladies 10/6. Subs gents £1/1/0 and ladies 15/-. Visitors’ fees 2/- a day, 7/6 a week and £1 a month. Ladies 2/-,5/-,15/- respectively. Sunday play was not allowed.

Golf restarts in 1920.


Penzance Golf Club, Sancreed Course, Cornwall. Golf restarts at Penzance in September 1920.

Cornishman Wednesday 1 September 1920. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


The course extended to eighteen-holes in June 1921.


Penzance Golf Club, Sancreed Course, Cornwall. Course extended to eighteen-holes in June 1921.

Western Morning News Monday 27 June 1921. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In 1922 there was a membership of 170. Visitors’ fees were gents 2/6 a day, 7/6 a week and £1 a month. Ladies 2/6, 5/-, 15/- respectively. The station (GWR) at Penzance was 2 ½ miles away. There was now a bus stop at the club pavilion.

Result of the November 1922 bogey competition; Fred Hugo (9) 1down; G Edwards (8) 2down; J Allan (7) 3down; L Stewart (8) 3down; W N Main (15) 3down; L Pascoe (15) 4down; W Boase (15) 5down; J S Tregenza (12) 6down.

The final for the 36-hole Thomas Hugo Cup was played in July 1924. It was won by Henry Olds who beat J Davidson by 7 and 6.

From mid 1920s to the mid 1930s. During this period membership peaked at about 220. Course records were, amateur P Bazeley 66 and professional W T Lane 64. Visitors’ fees were 3/6 a day, 10/6 a week, 30/- a  month. Ladies 3/6, 7/6, 21/-. Sunday play was allowed after 1pm.

On Saturday 14 July 1928 Mrs Isbell won the Bolitho Bowl competition, she defeated Miss Ball at the thirty seventh hole. Mrs Isbell was defeated in the final in the same competition last year by Miss Heath. 

Following is the monthly bogey result for May 1929; G Edwards (8), 4down; L Woolcock (9), 4down; C S Clark (13), 5down; F S Hugo (14), 6down. There were four no returns. Also in May Mr Conrad Clark, secretary, holed in one at the 180 yard twelfth hole. 

Below, result of a ladies’ match played at Penzance on Wednesday 29 July 1931 against St Austell. 

Penzance Golf Club   St Austell Golf Club  
Miss Heath (2&1) 1 Miss Smith 0
Miss Ball (1up) 1 Mrs Craig 0
Mrs Heath (3&2) 1 Mrs Smith 0
Miss Buckley (1up) 1 Mrs Beer 0
Mrs S Y Williams 0 Mrs Higman (3&1) 1
Mrs C Poole (2&1) 1 Mrs Keay 0
Mrs Hugo (3&2) 1 Mrs Warne 0
Mrs Daniel 0 Mrs Meade King (4&2) 1
  6   2

On 1 January 1932 Mr W Trevail, Tolver Place, Penzance, achieved a hole in one the fourteenth hole on the Penzance course. Result of the January 1932 monthly spoon competition; W Trevail, 94-24-70; H Olds, 83-12-71; L A Stacey, 87-11-76.  At the January 1932 Cornwall County Golfers’ Professional Alliance held at Perranporth the Penzance club were represented by B Bennetts and W C T Lane.

On Wednesday 2nd March 1932 a hole in one was achieved on the 192 yard eighth hole by Mr G H Harvey, North Parade, Penzance.

Penzance Ladies’ spring meeting in May 1932, results; eclectic competition, Miss E Williams, 89-36-53; Mrs L Pascoe, 86-32-54; Miss Ball, 79-14-65; Mrs S Y Williams, 86-21-65. Spoon Cup (36 holes); Mrs Bradley, 185-50-135; Mrs Heath, 174-32-142; Mrs S Y Williams, 178-36-142; Mrs H Williams, 202-60-142. Flag competition; winner, Mrs McAllister; runner-up, Miss Wingfield.

In July 1933 Mr H A Yeo, National Provincial Bak, Penzance, holed in one at the fourteenth.

From 1935 to the clubs closure in the early 1940s .The 18-hole course had a SSS of 69,  membership of 180. Course records were, amateur L J Woolcock 66 and professional W C T Lane 62. Visitors’ fees for gents were 2/6 a round, 3/6 a day, 10/6 a week, 30/- a month. Ladies 2/6 a round, 3/6, 7/6 and 21/- respectively. Sunday play allowed.

Result of the 36 hole medal play competition for the Harvey Cup played on Saturday 18th May 1935; A Handley, 169-28-141; G H Harvey, 161-16-145; J L Venning, 168-20-148; N K Shipton, 175-14-151; H E Tessier, 182-26-156.

Below is the result of a home club match played against Perranporth in July 1935, the home team also won the foursomes.

Penzance Golf Club   Perranporth Golf Club  
J Hall 0 J Batchelor (5&4) 1
T O Hall 0 H V Chasney (5&3) 1
L Stewart 0 W G Hancock (3&2) 1
J Venning (2&1) 1 C S A Creeper 0
V Haigh (4&3) 1 C B Mitchell 0
J Nottington (4&2) 1 F M Jesty 0
C S Clark (2up) 1 J Harrison 0
J Davidson 0 M Richards (1up) 1
N K Shipton (3&2) 1 G W Hancock 0
J R Catlin (3&2) 1 F G Cornish 0
H E Tessier 0 S Pool (7&6) 1
A M Witchurst (4&3) 1 T C P Mules 0
A Handley (5&4) 1 V R W Nation 0
G L Bradley (half) 0 C Keall (half) 0
  8   5

Below is the result of a club match played against West Cornwall at Lelant in June 1937. The home team won the singles 8 games to 4 (below) the away team won the foursomes by 4 games to 2. West Cornwall overall winners by 10 – 8.

West Cornwall Golf Club   Penzance Golf Club  
J A Reid (half) 0 N P Littler (half) 0
P Buchanan (3&2) 1 J L Hall 0
H Turner 0 T O Hall 0
S Heywood 0 J S Stephens (1up) 1
L Clippingdale (7&6) 1 J L Venning 0
W K Harland (1up) 1 E R Mitchell 0
E T Gaspey 0 N K Shipton (2&1) 1
C H Sturgess (3&2) 1 L Stewart 0
V Haigh 0 R Bramwell (2&1) 1
J J Reid (5&4) 1 C S Clerk 0
H Olds (5&4) 1 A C Rowe 0
F S Ball 0 W Trevail 5&4) 1
R M Fisher (5&4) 1 R C Jarvis 0
A Galbraith (6&5) 1 L Pascoe 0
  8   4

Below is the result of a ladies' match played at Lelant in June 1937.

West Cornwall Ladies' Golf Club   Penzance Ladies' Golf Club  
Mrs P Chellew (3&2) 1 Mrs Jarvis 0
Mrs Hall 0 Mrs Bradley (4&3) 1
Miss Valentine  0 Miss Bath (5&4) 1
Mrs Chippingdale (half) 0 Mrs Poole (half) 0
Miss Frazier 0 Mrs Stewart (5&3) 1
Mrs Chellew 0 Mrs Harvey (7&6) 1
Mrs Simons 0 Mrs Pascoe (3&2) 1
Mrs Titcomb (half) 0 Miss Hoare (half) 0
Mrs P Chellew & Mrs Hall (4&3) 1 Mrs Jarvis & Mrs Bradley 0
Miss Valentine & Mrs Chippingdale 0 Mrs Poole & Miss Bath (7&6) 1
Mrs Chellew & Miss Frazier 0 Mrs Stewart & Mrs Harvey (6&5) 1
Mrs Simons & Mrs Titcomb (half) 0 Mrs Pascoe & Miss Hoare (half) 0
  2   7

Walter Hagen and Joe Kirkwwod play an exhibition match at Penzance in August 1937.


Penzance Golf Club, Sancreed Course, Cornwall. Exhibition match between Hagen and Kirkwood in August 1937.

Cornishman Thursday 12 August 1937. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Ladies’ Spoon Competition played in November 1937; Miss R Williams, 101-32-69; Mrs Pascoe, 106-29-77; Miss Bath, 103-24-79. There were six no returns.

Result of the February 1938 monthly medal competition; R C Jarvis, 80-11-69; N P Littler, 75-5-70; J H Edwards, 87-14-73; A C Rowe, 85-11-74; W Trevail, 88-12-76; L Houlson, 97-20-77.

Hole in one in April 1938.


Penzance Golf Club, Sancreed Course, Cornwall. Hole in one by W C T Lane in April 1938.

Western Morning News Wednesday 6 April 1938. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


On Thursday morning 19 May 1938 disaster struck when the clubhouse was destroyed by a fierce fire which lasted less than an hour. Walls, roofs, floors and furnishings were reduced to ashes with only the two chimney stacks remaining intact. When Mr Lane, the professional, locked up the previous evening there was nothing to suggest there were any problems. When the groundsmen turned up for work early the next morning there was no sign of the fire. However, a matter of minutes later they saw flames coming out of the shop, the fire quickly took hold, they could not get to the club telephone to contact the fire brigade, within half hour the wooden clubhouse was completely gutted. Many of the members were quickly on the scene. The lady members were particularly upset as they had only recently spent time putting up new curtains and fitting out the new recreation room, some of this work had only been done the night before the fire. It was coming up to the start of the season and some members had taken their clubs to store in the pavilion in readiness, they were all destroyed. When the fire brigade arrived the flames had engulfed the pavilion, there was no hope of saving the building.


Penzance Golf Club, Cornwall. Clubhouse fire.


The Jubilee Cup (36 hole stroke play) was won on Saturday 2 July 1938 by J L Venning (9) for the second time in four years. Playing well below his handicap, Mr Venning returned the excellent score of 130. Leading scores; J L Venning, Penzance, (6) 66+64=130; A C Rowe, Penzance, (8) 66+68=134; R C Jarvis, Penzance, (11) 66+69=135; G R A Hill, Penzance, (16) 70+67=137; E R Mitchell, Penzance, (9) 71+67=138; N K Shipton, Penzance (9) 70+68=138; J S Stephens, Penzance (5) 69+70=139; A V Haigh, West Cornwall, (10) 71+69=140; L Stewart, Penzance, (12) 65+78=143; E Morrison, Wishaw, (5) 74+72=146; R Salisbury Woods, Gog Magog (6) 75+75=150; L Houlson, Penzance, (18) 81+74=155; N Gill, Penzance (18) 82+76=158; J S Carron, Penzance (18) 87+74=161.

Below is the result of a club match played at Trevose in January 1939.

Trevose Golf Club   Penzance Golf Club  
W P Williams (scr) 5&4 1 E R Mitchell (9) 0
F H Cleveland (4) 2up 1 A C Rowe (6) 0
P H Faure (4) 0 T O Hall (9) 3&1 1
W L Richardson (10) half 0 F H Wills (5) half 0
S H Parsloe (10) 0 R C Jarvis (10) 5&4 1
B Richardson (10) 3&2 1 L Stewart (14) 0
E Bannister (12) 0 L Pascoe (16) 3&1 1
J B Atkinson (14) half 0 F Wills (5) half 0
N G H Salmon (16) 0 W T Warren (16) 1up 1
W P Walker (17) 0 H Morrison (18) 1up 1
H Snow Martin (24) 7&5 1 V Broad (19) 0
  4   5

  Below, result of a match played at Tehidy Park on Saturday 29 April 1939.  

Tehidy Park Golf Club   Penzance Golf Club  
C Pentecost (5&4) 1 N P Littler 0
W E Phillips (1up) 1 J L Hall 0
G A Whitworth (half) 0 G H Harvey (half) 0
A H Smith (2up) 1 T O Hall 0
B M Carceek 0 R L Branwell (2&1) 1
S C Smith 0 E R Mitchell (2&1) 1
L F Collins (2&1) 1 J Davidson 0
G J Eathorne (5&4) 1 L Stewart 0
H D Tonking 0 H E Tessier (3&1) 1
W G Bennett 0 W T Warren (1up) 1
W J Shapcott (5&3) 1 L Houlson 0
A Lanyon (6&4) 1 D A Cooper 0
  7   4

 Result of the Charles Williams Cup played on Friday 5 May 1939; R L Branwell, 76-9-67; W T Warren, 81-14-67; F H Hall, 86-19-67; J T White, 81-11-70; H E Tessier, 83-12-71; H Morrison, 85-14-71; N P Littler, 77-5-72; A C Rowe, 77-5-72; J L Venning, 80-8-72; G H Harvey, 80-7-73; T O Hall, 81-8-73; J L Hall, 80-6-74; W Trevail, 84-10-74; J Rogers, 99-24-75. There were seven no returns.

Below, result of a match played at Penzance against Tehidy Park on Saturday 1 July 1939. 

Penzance Golf Club   Tehidy Park Golf Club  
J S Stephens (9&8) 1 W E Phillips 0
N P Littler (2&1) 1 S C Smith 0
A C Rowe (4&2) 1 L E Collins 0
J L Hall (1up) 1 W G Bennett 0
G H Harvey (1up) 1 C J Taylor 0
T O Hall (6&5) 1 J L Taylor 0
E R Mitchell (half) 0 W J Shapcott (half) 0
H Olds (6&5) 1 J E Wickett 0
W Trevail (half) 0 G A Lanyon (half) 0
J Davidson 0 W J Eathorne (1up) 1
E T C Durrant (1up) 1 H Young 0
H E Tessier (half) 0 W F Rowe (half) 0
D A Cooper  0 R V Harvey (1up) 1
W T Warren 1 H A Kench 0
  9   2

The Jubilee Cup (36 hole medal) was played on Saturday 8 July 1939. The winner was J S Stephens who created a record for the new “reconstructed course” – Out 3,4,4,4,3,3,3,3,4 =31; In 3,4,4,3,5,4,4,3,4 =34 total 65. Leading scores as follows; J S Stephens (4), Penzance, 61+70=131; N P Littler (5), Penzance, 72+66=138; L Houlson (15), Penzance, 68+71=139; A C Rowe (5), Penzance, 70+71=141; W T Warren (12), Penzance, 74+67=141; A H Fido (7), West Cornwall, 74+69=143; L Stewart (12), Penzance, 71+76=147; J L Hall (6), Penzance, 76+73=149; R C Jarvis (8), Penzance, 75+74=149.

Below is the result of a ladies’ match played at Sancreed against Falmouth on 17 July 1939. 

Penzance Golf Club   Falmouth Golf Club  
Mrs Jarvis (3&1) 1 Miss McLeod 0
Mrs Stewart (5&3) 1 Mrs Dunham 0
Mrs Poole (1up) 1 Miss M Fell 0
Mrs Reid 0 Mrs Taylor (1up) 1
Miss R Williams (4&2) 1 Mrs Dawe 0
Miss Harvey 0 Mrs Rostern (5&3) 1
Miss Priest (2&1) 1 Mrs Rodger 0
Mrs Williams (7&5) 1 Mrs Powell 0
Mrs Jarvis & Mrs Stewart 0 Miss McLeod & Mrs Dunham (1up) 1
Mrs Poole & Mrs Reid (5&4) 1 Miss M Fell & Mrs Taylor 0
Miss Williams & Miss Harvey 0 Mrs Dawe & Mrs Rostern (5&4) 1
  7   4

Result of the Harvey Cup played on Friday 18 August 1939; J H Edwards (11), 65+68=133; A C Rowe (5), 67+68=135; L Houlson (15), 70+66=136; W Trevail (10), 70+67=137; W T Warren (12), 72+66=138; L Stewart (12), 74+68=142; L Pascoe (14), 71+71=142. Result of the captain's prize played in August  1939; L Houlson (11) 44 points; D A Cooper (18) 44; J H Edwards (8) 43; A C Rowe (4) 42; J S Stephens (2) 40; G L Bailey (18) 37; J L Hall (5) 35. In the final of the Tonking Cup played over 36-holes J S Stephens (4) beat J L Hall (6).

The clubhouse goes under the hammer in October 1940.


Penzance Golf Club, Sancreed Course, Cornwall. Clubhouse under the hammer in October 1940.

Cornishman Thursday 17 October 1940. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Penzance Golf Club, Cornwall. View of the golf course.

Apologies for the quality of the above postcard of the old moorland course at Sancreed, Penzance.


Penzance Golf Club, Cornwall. Location of the former golf course.

Location of the Penzance course at Sancreed.

Grid reference SW42505,30410, co-ordinates 142505,030410.



We would like to thank Bernard Hocking for sharing his reminiscences of Penzance Golf Club with us. " My mother’s family, the Hosking family, were farming at Great Sellan Farm ever since James Hosking took over the tenancy long before there was a golf course there. They continued to farm there including when part of the farm was converted into the golf course, and my cousin James Hosking, a descendant is still farming there as I write this in 2017.

When the golf course was ploughed up during the war, by order of the government, to produce more food, I remember my uncles complaining how it was very difficult to grow a decent crop of anything there, with the soil being ruined by all the sand that was used in the bunkers.

I spent a lot of time there with my granny, from when I was born in 1944 and my uncles used to bring in lots of golf balls that they kept finding in the soil when hoeing the crops. They had drawers full of them, I used to sort them into different types and colours. I didn’t like the little black ones, which I now believe are quite valuable. I remember being shown where one of the holes used to be, with a stream running through it, the actual hole being on a very small platform of grass, surrounded by “out of bounds”, apart from the rest of the putting surface on the other side of the stream

I never knew my grandfather  Norman Hosking as he died at the very young age of 34 in 1928, but there were lots of silver golfing cups on the mantelpiece there and lots of golf clubs in the cupboard under the stairs, known as the “spense” in Cornwall.  Also remember seeing silver teaspoons with the handles in the shape of golf clubs.

I know next to nothing about his golfing career, as he became ill and died before my granny had many years with him, and work on the farm took up everyone’s time and energy in those days.

I believe that he won various championships and was possibly the resident “Pro” in the years before he died, but I have no surviving evidence for this."