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Club - History

 

James Braid

Newton Green is privileged to be a member of the exclusive Association of James Braid Courses, which has more than 50 affiliated clubs in the United Kingdom, offering reduced priced golf between its members.

In the immediate locality, Newton members can enjoy special rates at Colchester Golf Club, and in Ipswich at Rushmere Golf Club. Slightly further afield, courses are affiliated in Norfolk and south Essex.

Host clubs should be telephoned in advance for bookings.

Many of our members who enjoy golfing tours in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and various parts of England, take advantage of special rates at Braid courses.

The common link is that all were originally designed or advised in their setting up by the legendary Scotsman Braid, who was British Open champion five times.

His hallmark as a designer was the way he used natural contours of the land to create interesting holes, with the original nine holes he helped set out at Newton in 1907 bearing testimony to this fact.

By ensuring natural water courses had to be negotiated in front of greens, and three times taking fairways through ancient, former gravel pit workings, Braid ensured Newton was a gorse lined, highly respected nine-hole challenge. Playing the original links today still gives participants that unmistakable air of golfing history.

Meanwhile, the additions more than two decades ago that allowed the club to offer 18 holes, illustrate a more contemporary feel, and combine to provide a challenging test of the best of ancient and modern golf.


Part of Newton’s original nine holes laid out by James Braid (right)

 

Arthur Davey

Arthur Davey - Professional 1919-1979


1978: President Roly Oliver and Arthur Davey. Right: New Starter’s Shelter.

A significant feature of the first tee at historic Newton Green is a starter’s shelter commemorating the club’s long-serving professional, the late Arthur Davey.

The shelter was paid for by subscriptions and grants, and officially opened by president Michael Oliver in August 2014.

Having completed 60 years at Newton, Davey is believed to have been the world’s longest serving golf professional.

The shelter is designed to resemble the little shed from which he operated. The hut was situated off the course across the main Sudbury-Colchester road - in leisurely days of considerably less traffic. However, it was well placed to serve the first tee – now the 18th tee.

Arthur lived only a couple of hundred yards from his workplace, from where he organised his day mowing greens and fairways, taking green fees, teaching and making clubs.

Born to a Bungay golfing family in 1895, he was known for his self-effacing benevolence and diffident charm.

His elder brother William had been appointed professional at Newton’s then nine-hole course in 1910. But, after joining the armed forces for the 1914-18 World War, William was killed in action in France during September 1915.

Arthur also served in the war, but survived and, in 1919 at the age of 24, was appointed professional at Newton. He had previously started as assistant to E A Larke at Bungay at the age 14. With rudimentary equipment, he set about getting the course into shape following wartime neglect. In his early days fairways were kept in trim by sheep, goats and geese.

Arthur settled in the village and, in 1924, married a local girl.

In 1927 the club acquired its first horse drawn mower. Arthur temporarily suspended his professional duties during the 1939-45 World War, and worked as a grounds man under the supervision of the committee. He resumed full duties in 1945, but it was not until 1948 the club purchased its first tractor, when Arthur was earning £5 per week.

In the early 1970s the club sanctioned the appointment of an assistant professional, but Arthur continued at the helm until 1979. His retirement was marked by being made an Honorary Associate Member of the Professional Golfers’ Association.

Arthur’s original hut was last used in 1981 - a year in which he was guest of honour at the opening of the present professional’s shop. He died in May 1992 at the age of 97, and is buried in the village church yard. In 2009 the club launched its first pay and play membership - naming it after Arthur Davey.

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Newton Green, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 0QN

Manager: 01787 377217   Pro: 01787 313215   Clubhouse: 01787 377501

Email: info@newtongreengolfclub.co.uk