Open Search -

Like us on Facebook

Course Atlas -

Course Atlas

Please consider supporting our efforts.


Lee Golf Club, Ilfracombe, Devon. (1905 - 1951)

The club was founded in 1905.

Lee Golf Club originally played on  a 10-hole course laid out on loam soil, 2,700yds in length it was situated on the coast between Lee Bay and Bull Point Lighthouse. Holes on the early course varied in length from 195 yards to 430 yards.  Hazards were streams, hedges, stone walls and furze. It was extended to 12-holes prior to WW1 and by 1925 it was a full 18-holes, the later course was designed by James Braid. There were stations at Morethoe 2 ½ miles and Ilfracombe 3 ¼ miles away. There was also a daily motor bus service from Ilfracombe. Local hotel was the Lee Bay which adjoined the course.

  Secretary Professional,greenkeeper
1905-14   John Yeo (p)
1914 Reverend W F McMichael of Lee Vicarage.  
1923 M Armstrong, Chapel Cottage, Lee.  
1925 H J F Stewart, St Germans, Ilfracombe.  
1926-51   W Cook (p)
1940-51 G G Walley  

Below, result of a ladies’ match against Ilfracombe played on the Lee course on Thursday September 30th 1909. 

Lee Golf Club   Ilfracombe Golf Club  
Mrs E M de G Napier (5&4) 1 Miss A M Copner 0
Mrs Robinson (2&1) 1 Miss Brand 0
Miss Robinson (7&6) 1 Miss Churchill 0
Miss Robinson (4&3) 1 Miss Coleridge 0
Miss Armstrong (4&2) 1 Miss Giles 0
  5   0

In August 1911 Mr G C Shiers, the acting hon secretary, made the arrangements for the summer open meeting. Results as follows; Mixed Foursomes winners, Miss D Bridson (Lee Golf Club) & Mr A C Newell (Royal Dublin GC) 2up on bogey, runners up, Mrs E M de G Napier (Ilfracombe GC) & Hon E Gibson (Royal Dublin GC); Eighteen hole Medal (gents), G C Shiers (Ilfracombe GC) 88 – 12 – 76, Hon E Gibson (Royal Dublin GC) 78 scratch; (ladies), Mrs E M de G Napier, (Ilfracombe GC) 85 nett;18 hole Match play for the Lee Golf Club Cup winner, Hon E Gibson.

Annual Open Meeting in September 1912.


Lee Golf Club, North Devon. Results from the annual meeting in September 1912.

North Devon Journal Thursday 5th September 1912. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In 1914 there was a membership of 38. The entry fee was £1/1/0. Subs for gents, £1/1/0 and ladies 10/-. Visitors’ fees from April 1st to October 31st were 2/- a day and 7/6 a week, from November 1st to March 31st 1/- a day, 5/- a week. At all times 17/6 a month. Sunday play allowed without caddies.

In 1923 there was a membership of just 18 Gents and 17 Ladies. Visitors’ fees were now 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and £1 a month. Stations at  Morethoe (GWR and LSWR) 2 miles away.

Below are a couple of articles covering the visit of James Braid in May 1923.


Lee Golf Club, North Devon. The visit of James Braid in May 1923.

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Saturday 26th May 1923. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


The following text accompanies the above image. "JAMES BRAID AT LEE - An important event in the history of Lee Golf Club, North Devon, was the visit of James Braid, five times Open Champion. The principal game he played on the course was a foursome in which he was partnered with L Cook. the local professional, against Sir James Stevenson (Chairman of the British Empire Exhibition) and Captain Davis.

The Lee golf course is situated among the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles, and the visitors were enchanted with the wonderful panorama which unfolded as the players proceeded from tee to tee. Braid, in conversation with a press representative, expressed himself as delighted with the position of the course, commanding such magnificent scenery, and with the excellent quality of the turf. He is to submit a report to the committee of the club with a view to the further improvement of the course and the enhancement of its popularity. The course is one of 12-holes, some of which are played twice to make up the full eighteen. We understand that the primary object of Mr Braid's visit was to advise as to the best means of improving and extending the links which are a great acquisition to Lee. This charming little seaside resort is likely to become increasingly popular with golfers and others in quest of recuperation and quiet enjoyment. 

Among those who witnessed the match were; Lady Stevenson, George Paterson Walker, Rev. W F MacMichael (President of Lee Golf Club,) Miss Armstrong (hon. secretary,) H J F Stewart, Capt. G C Shiers, Col. and Mrs Parker, Mr Dawkins, Mrs and the Misses Blair, Mr HUnt, and others staying at the Lee Bay Hotel."   

The following report is from the North Devon Journal Thursday May 10th 1923. "On Tuesday, Mr James Braid, several times open golf champion, played over the links at Lee with Sir James Stevenson. Mr Braid was engaged by Mr G F Walker to go over the course with a view to suggesting improvements. We understand that the links are to be extended to 18-holes, at a cost of £2,000."


Lee Golf Club, Ilfracombe, Devon. James Braid on the Lee course.


Lee Golf Club, Ilfracombe, Devon. The visit of James Braid in 1923.

Above images from The Tatler June 6th 1923. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In 1925 the course records were, amateur Hon E Gibson, 72 and professional James Braid 71.

From the 1933 Golfer's Handbook; Membership of 50; Hon. secretary - F C Pilley, Cliff Lee, Ilfracombe; professional, L Cook; green-keeper, J Ley.

From 1940 to 1951 there was a membership of 50. There had been no change in the fees.

Lee Golf Club, Ilfracombe, Devon. Lee golf course.

Lee Golf Club disappeared in the early 1950s. Postcard by Valentine’s “Bromotype” Series. 88185.


Lee Golf Club, Ilfracombe. Location of the former golf course.

Location of the Lee golf links.

Grid reference SS47100, 46455, co-ordinates 247100, 146455.