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Seaton Golf Club, Seaton Downs, Devon. (1935 - WW2)

First appeared in the mid 1930s.

Report on the new course in June 1935.

 

Setaon Golf Club, Seaton Downs. Report on the new golf course in June 1935.

Western Times Friday 7 June 1935. Image © Reach plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

A booklet issued at the time describes the course as follows:

“The course is of a most interesting character, no two holes are alike, each green having been modelled to suit the run of the ground. there are many natural features of which the genius of Colt, Alison and Morisson golf course architects, have taken full advantage. These augmented by a great variety of sand bunkers will exploit every golfing shot.

The clubhouse to which a Billiard Room has been added is in the modern architectural style and overlooks the whole of the course and a large car park adjoins.

The Squash Rackets Court adjoining the Clubhouse is up to full championship requirements with a balcony for spectators, also hot and cold showers.

Since quality speaks for itself, little need to be said in praise of this superb course, except to condone with those few players who have not yet had the pleasure of playing on a Championship Course in so pretty a setting as the Devonshire Hills. To mention that messrs Colt, Alison and Morrison are the architects, too well known in this branch of architecture to need extensive introduction, is sufficient in itself.

Whatever handicap they possess, every golfer is amply rewarded by the magnificent scenery as one reaches the “turn”. The view of the Axe Valley, from mouth to source, cannot help but please the eye of all who see it from this position: no finer view exists.

So many good golf courses have been slightly spoilt by their Clubhouses that it is a pure joy to see, and enter, Seaton Golf Clubhouse. A beautifully built, charming building confronts one, enhanced by one of the most attractive Water Towers ever put up, lending an air of dignity to an already perfect setting, The Seaton Urban District Council are to be sincerely congratulated on their design, and it only remains to go inside the club to appreciate to the full what a unique addition to the district Seaton Golf Club has been. Rain in torrents makes little difference to the member for a Championship Squash Court has now been built adjoining the club, so that a delightful half hour strenuous exercise can be had for the booking at any time of the day or evening. No other Golf Club in such settings can boast of an advantage of this kind.

When the “round” is over or the Squash game ended, there is the added attraction in the unduly high quality of the refreshments. If tired, an exceptionally comfortable rest may be spent in the lofty roomed lounges, with the bother of car parking abolished by the adequate free parking ground for 300 cars at the back of the clubhouse. Visitors to Seaton will find their stay very much improved by a visit to the Seaton Golf Club. Annual Competitions for members; The Founders Plate,The Adams Ewer, The Miss M O Williams Rose Bowl, The Captain. M F A Paine’s Cock o’ the Green Trophy, “Bottle” Trophy presented by “Cheeri-Ho”

In 1938 the secretary was W G Adams, telephone 243. The professional and greenkeeper was F Humphrey (Humphries). An 18 hole course with a SSS and Par score of 73. There was a membership of 200. Professional record holder was A Padgham 73. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a round and 3/6 a day, 15/- a week, £1/10/0 a fortnight and £2/2/0 a month. The club was licensed and  Sunday play was allowed. The station at Seaton was 1 ¼ miles away.  Local advertised hotels were the Beach, Royal Clarence.

Cock o’ the Green Trophy, five best medal cards for 1938; H Leyman, 70,72,75,76,78; R H Heslop, 73,76,77,89,89. 1938 eclectic; H Leyman, 66-7-59; R H Heslop, 66-5-61; Dr Smart, 68-5-63; W Bird, 72-9-63; H Fowler, 71-6-65.

In May 1938 Seaton played a home club match against Honiton, below is the result of the singles, Seaton also won the foursomes by 4 matches 1.

Seaton Golf Club   Honiton Golf Club  
P Branigan (4&3) 1 E C Blake 0
Col Farwell (3&1) 1 H E Hansford 0
A W C Palmer (half) 0 Cat James (half) 0
R H Heslop (3&2) 1 H Massey 0
N S Mansergh (4&2) 1 A P Moor 0
Dr H James (3&2) 1 W D McClymont 0
H Leyman (7&6) 1 L E Hellier 0
G B O'Connor 0 W E Nicholls (1up) 1
W Ackerman 0 C N Hatcher (2up) 1
J Lorton (2up) 1 S W Doble 0
  7   2

Also in May 1938 the Seaton ladies entertained Bridport & West Bay, result below.

Seaton Golf Club   Bridport & West Bay Golf Club  
Miss Lucas (1up) 1 Mrs Harrison 0
Mrs Young (4&3) 1 Mrs Chadwick 0
Mrs Brannigan (7&6) 1 Mrs Denning 0
Miss James 0 Miss Craig (2&1) 1
Mrs Wippell (1up) 1 Miss Atherton 0
Miss Whittington 0 Mrs Trotman (6&4) 1
Mrs Price 0 Mrs Stephens (1up) 1
  4   3

In 1939 the secretary was Mr R H Heslop. The 18 hole course measured  6,200 yards, the Par was now 74. The entry fee and subs for gents were £3/3/0 each,  ladies and country members paid £2/2/0. Non-playing members paid £1/1/0. Terms for members. Gents; annual subs £3/3/0, entrance fee £3/3/0. Ladies; subs £2/2/0, entrance fee £2/2/0. Country members; annual subs £2/2/0 entry fee £2/2/0.

January 1939 the Bottle Trophy presented by “Cheeri-Ho” 18 hole medal competition, result; R H Heslop, 83-10-73; G Trevett, 92-18-74; H Leyman, 93-13-80; C Taylor, 99-18-81; F Humphrey, 83-1-82; J Lorton, 99-16-83; G Caple, 112-24-88; T W Hollingworth, 115-24-91.

Result of a bogey competition held in February 1939, leading scores; H M M Fizgeorge, 4up; T W Hollingworth, 1down; Major Cartwright, 2down; T V Hollingworth, 4down; H Richards, 6down; H S Leyman, 7down; E Stentiford, 7down; W Bird, 8down.

 

Seaton Golf Club, Seaton Downs, Devon. The Seaton golf course marked on the 1943 O.S. Map.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1943}

 

Thanks to  John Cochrane (Colyton Parish History Society) in 2004  for the following -

“It was situated on the A3052 about 1 ½ miles NW of  Seaton. The club was officially opened in 1935 by Mr John Ervine and cost £10,000.  I visited the site of the clubhouse this afternoon and was shown a photo taken after the war when it had become a restaurant. It was a typical flat roofed “modern” building. It is now considerably enlarged and converted to apartments. I was told that one of the elderly residents knocks a golf ball about on the old course. The water tower was built about the same time and is now also converted to living accommodation.

During the war the clubhouse was used by the Americans, I think as a recuperation centre. I imagine the course was ploughed up. I am told that traces of the bunkers can still be seen, also the remains of a bridge that crossed a “goyle” to link the two halves of the course. There was next to the golf course a small landing strip. A few years ago I was able to supply details to researcher of disused aerodromes”

 

 

Seaton Golf Club Seaton Downs, Devon. The clubhouse in 2004.

Two pictures of the former Seaton clubhouse, taken in 2004. Author's Collection.

 

Seaton Golf Club, Seaton Downs, Devon. Location of the former golf course.

Course location, Seaton was sometimes known as Tower Club, the final appearance was in 1947.

Grid reference SY23010, 91770, co-ordinates 323010, 091770.