Golf's Missing Links -
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Defunct golf clubs and courses throughout Great Britain, R of I and Continental Europe.
- Club and Course history – Dates, Officials, Prominent Members, Course Layout, etc.
- Maps, showing course locations.
- Pictures and photographs.
- Personal contributions and recollections.
- Interest to Local and Social Historians and Family Research enthusiasts.
- A wealth of material gathered from over 20 years of dedicated research.
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GOLF’S MISSING LINKS - Defunct Golf clubs and courses.
Around the turn of the twentieth century, travel was becoming popular and was made easier with the improvement of road and rail networks. Golf courses were laid out near many wayside railway halts and country beauty spots. Many of the original courses were laid out haphazardly rather than constructed to a plan; with few artificial bunkers they relied on “natural hazards” The greenkeepers had a thankless task, with hand mowers and rollers for the greens and fairway cutting machinery hauled by horses fitted with special shoes to avoid damage to the course - at least there was plenty of fertiliser supplied free of charge. Unfortunately some of the courses enjoyed only brief success, tragically curtailed in many cases by the two World Wars. Clubs which began with such optimism and commitment on the part of their founding members were forced to close when those members went to war, or when the land itself was needed for the war effort. Many of the courses were never going to be “Championship” standard, but each brought the game of golf to those communities.
In some cases remnants of these courses can still be seen, sadly overgrown, neglected, and barely recognisable. In other places motorways, airports, power stations, schools or housing estates now dominate a once green and pleasant landscape. It is still possible, however, to reflect and catch the echoes of a different way of life and to learn something of those “missing links”. Just as now, clubs had members who were a driving force, without whose efforts those now defunct clubs would never have existed. There were problems to overcome, mostly financial, similar to those faced by many golf clubs today, and, just as today there were “characters” who made the clubs unique, most of them sadly lost in the mist of time. Perhaps the saddest fact is that some of these courses disappeared so quickly. The planning, fund raising and layout can be obliterated and forgotten in an amazingly short time. Once thriving and successful clubs quietly sank into oblivion, in some cases in the space of a year or two, and can now only be remembered by a handful of people, if at all. This is an attempt to preserve and record something of some of those clubs and courses, so that they may be remembered for their part in the history of the sport, before they are forgotten forever.