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It was a delight to visit Bude Golf Club on Friday. More about the changes happening there soon, but I hadn’t realised the club has quite a history. If you visit you can see some of the old images relating to golf in the town.
The golf club is now very accessible and open to all, but it hasn’t always been that way. It was founded in 1891, not for locals, but as a meeting place for local gentry and officers (primarily ‘incomers’) and was then known as North Cornwall Golf Club. It was extremely exclusive.
In 1905 though, it was visited by Open Champion, Harry Vardon, who won the British Open a record six times. Vardon was exceptional, developing the Vardon Grip, which I’m sure a golfer could explain far better than I ever could. He hailed from Jersey, son of a gardener, so certainly not gentry, nor officer, but highly talented, nonetheless, and presumably his talent got him in.
Even post World War I, local members had restricted playing times, were not allowed in the clubhouse, and had to do work on the course as part of their membership, but this all changed post World War II, when the laws of supply and demand kicked in. The club was struggling for members and money, so entry became more open, to maintain the game.
If you have any golf club memories, or photos, it would be great to build an archive on the website, so please add your comments. Meanwhile, if you go to the club, you can see a little gallery of old photos. Vardon is featured among others but what I found wonderful were the ladies’ photos, simply because of the fashions of the day.
Thanks to Ray Boyd for these additional photos…