Mayor opens new golf course

Newark Golf Club's new 18 hole course was formally opened on Tuesday, 2 April 1935 by the Mayor (Coun. P J C Staniland) in the presence of a large number of members. Immediately afterwards the Club Captain (R A Hambling) drove the first ball from the first tee.

In asking the Mayor to declare the course open, the Vice-President (H D Mumby) apolo­gised for the absence on important business of the President (Enos Smith). He reminded those present that golf had commenced on the Hawton Road links in 1901 and pointed out that sev­eral of the original 1901 members were with them to witness the opening of the new links. He explained that a number of people had been looking out for a suitable land, but the cred­it for discovering the Kelwick site belonged to Mr Cafferata and he had also worked very hard throughout the whole scheme.

Having got the land the next thing they had had to do, he said, was to consider how to lay it out and in that respect they had been very fortunate in securing the services of Mr Tom Williamson who had laid out many courses - approaching 80 courses. Also they were indebt­ed to Mr Bembridge who had carried through the details as Mr Williamson's manager. Mr Mumby added that he was sure members were very well satisfied with the results of their efforts.

Course of charm and utility:

The Newark Advertiser reported that the ceremony marked the culminating point of seven months hard work and careful planning and congratulated Tom Williamson on the way he had successfully managed to blend the natural beauty of the site with efficiency from the playing point of view. Compensating for its flatness was the fact that the course was remarkably long, being just under 6500 yards. The land was sand with a gravel sub-soil. Several boreholes had been sunk during the construction work and had revealed that there was an ample supply of water - a great asset to any club.

The report described the course as being bounded by woodlands all the way round and its appearance enhanced by a fair amount of gorse and silver birch trees. Parts of the course were flanked by masses of rhododendrons. Among the 'feature' holes was the sixth which was 540 yards long, and a very pleasing short one of 140 yards which was made into the wood (prob­ably the 17th). Even though most of the greens had been made out of the natural turf, their condition was considered as really good though they were naturally still on the rough side.

Magnificent clubhouse:

Mr Mumby said he did not think 'magnificent' was too eulogistic a word to describe the clubhouse and he congratulated Mr Patterson on the design he had chosen. Tiles from the farm buildings had been used to roof the clubhouse. They helped to remove the impression of newness. They gave the building quite an old-world effect and made it harmonise subtly with the surroundings. Externally the clubhouse had been constructed of multi-coloured brick and Kelwick Wood, which formed the background, showed up the building particularly clear­ly from various parts of the course.

The accommodation in the clubhouse consisted of a lounge 'in which there is a very fine ingle-nook.' The panelling was of oak, as were the floors, and there was a 'gentleman's smoke room, a ladies' room and the usual ladies' and gentlemen's locker and dressing rooms.' There was accommodation for the stewardess but this was for the catering - not residential. As was mentioned earlier, the construction was carried out by Messrs J Wright & Son. The woodwork and panelling was done by Mr G E Rose, the plumbing by Mr A Snaith and the painting and decorating by Mr W S Heading. The Professional's shop was built at the side of the road. This is the small building now used to store trolleys.

Exhibition match:

On 13 April 1935, an exhibition match was played by Tom Williamson and Miss Enid Wilson, one of the first lady Professionals. Miss Wilson was paid a fee of £3.3s. She was also one of the world's greatest golfers and had been taught by Tom Williamson from the age of 14. 

She won the British Girls Championship in 1925, and played in Internationals for Great Britain against the USA from 1928 to 1931. She won the British Ladies Championship for four consecutive years from 1930 to 1933. In 1932 she introduced Enid Wilson Irons and, in conse­quence, was later deemed to be a professional.

Tim Hambling is, we believe, the only member we have in our Centenary Year who actually attended the opening of the Kelwick Course. His father R A Hambling was the club Captain and Tim remembers going up to Kelwick with him for the occasion. He was just a very young schoolboy at the time.

Tim told us that when his father was playing golf in those days he carried a small canvas golf bag with just six clubs in it. This was to leave room for a gun which he used to shoot rabbits for rabbit pie!

The competitions programme for the first season at Kelwick was as follows:

Saturday, 30 March 1935 - Captains Prize Competition Easter Bank Holiday (22 April) - The Howitt Cup Saturday, 27 April 1935 - a free competition to be known as the Premier Cup to be given by Mr Rayner in the first year and to be won outright - medal round Saturday, 27 April 1935 - Entries close for the Victory Cup

May 1935 - Whitsuntide competition for the Rayner Trophy and the Halliday Tankard On a Thursday in June 1935 - The MacRae Trophy July 1935 - The Wilkinson Cups

The Titchfield Cup to be played over 2 rounds on a Thursday evening for the first round and a Saturday afternoon for the second. The Coronation Cup to be played for as early as possible after match fixtures have been arranged.

It must have been decided later that the Premier Cup should not be won outright because it has been played for annually ever since, apart from the interruption caused by World War II.

Ball manufacturers Dunlop confirm that the 65 ball

used by the captain on the opening day will be mounted

and inscribed.