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The Club - History

 

Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in Suffolk and is the only true Links Course. Golf has been played at Felixstowe for over 120 years but it was in 1880 that the clubs was formed. At that time there were only 5 golf clubs in the country – now there are well over 2,000.

How it all began – in 1874 Colonel Jeff Sharp, Master of the Suffolk & Essex Foxhounds and a member of the Blackheath Golf Club, played golf on Langer Common. He cut holes near Landguard Fort and later laid down links between the For and the Ordnance Hotel.

In 1875 Lord Elcho MP was president of the London Scottish Golf at Wimbledon and a frequent guest of Colonel Tomline at Orwell Park. On his visits he played a few holes there and in the spring of 1880 he was accompanied by General Lee Hope Grant of India and Tom Dunn the Wimbledon Golf Professional and went down to the Deben side, laid out a golf course and played with the enthusiasm of a discoverer.

The enthusiasm of both Tom Dunn and Lord Elcho soon spread to the Wimbledon Club and the brothers Frank and Alexander Crawford went down to Bawdsey Ferry and enjoyed a game over the close-cropped turf. They were followed by a party from London Scottish Golf Club. They cut 9 holes and played for the Challenge Gold Medal which was won by Mr. Muir, who presented the Trophy to the Felixstowe Golf Club on its formation. Thus the “Bawdsey Challenge Gold Medal” became the first of the club’s valuable trophies.

The inaugural competition held on 30th October 1880 was won by John Kerr and the Club was formed at the dinner which followed at the Bath Hotel.

Willie Fernie was appointed Greenkeeper/Professional at a salary of £1.00 per week. Willie was the Open Champion.

In 1894 the Ladies section was formed.

1914 the Course was closed for the Great War and in 1920 the course was reconstructed under the supervision of John Braid and a further 9 holes added. The clubhouse was refurbished after being used as a barracks during the war.

In 1939 the course was closed due to the Second World War and was devastated due to becoming part of the coastal defence system against invasion.

1946 the course was purchased by Mr. Walter Cross to enable the club to be reformed. Henry Cotton and Sir Guy Campbell were given the stupendous task of reconstruction.

1948 the Club is re-established and by May enough progress had been made for an open meeting to be held at the Conservative Club. The Chair was taken by Mr. W. Mulley a Trustee, appointed by the Proprietor and a large number of enthusiastic people were present. A Steering Committee was formed and the decision was made to call the club Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club. Subscriptions were set at two guineas for gentlemen and one and half guineas for ladies.

1949 official opening was performed by the twice Open Champion, Henry Cotton.

1987 Miss Julie Wade wins the England Stroke Play and follows this by winning the English Championship in 1988. She is subsequently elected Captain of England Golf team and plays a successful role in the Curtis Cup.

1991 opening of the extensive Practice Ground.

1996 opening of the very popular “Kingsfleet 9 hole course” designed and constructed by the Club. This delightful course is ideal of the beginner, Junior, or those coming back to golf and is also extremely popular with the “Pay & Play” golfer.

2000 Millenium celebrations held to commemorate 120 years golf at Felixstowe Ferry.

2011 The Club moves into a new era. At the AGM in 2011 the Club incorporated as a Company limited by Guarantee, which limited the liability of individual members and Club Officers to just £1.00.

The Executive Committee was formed as the Club’s Board of Directors with appropriate Letters of Appointment and the Club prepared the Articles of Association.

It was agreed by Club members that the responsibility of sporting and social activities would remain with the Club Captain’s committee, but that for Finance, Marketing and the management of the courses and Clubhouse, this would become the role of the newly elected Executive Committee.

2011 at the end of 2011 saw the retirement of our highly respected Golf Professional, Ian Macpherson, who had served the club for the past 35 years.

For a more in depth look at the club's history click here

 

Play the video to hear some interesting stories about the club
BBC INTERVIEW

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Ferry Road, Felixstowe, Suffolk, IP11 9RY