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The Naze Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. (1928 - WW2)

It was reported in January 1925 that 120 acres of land had been purchased at the end of the Naze for a golf course. The area was being tilled in preparation for sowing in the spring. Mr E E Alexander M.P. for Leyton, bought the land and offered it for purchase outright to the promoters of the golf club at a cost of £5,500 over a period of 10 years. The cost of laying out the course would amount to about £3,500. Additional cost would be the clubhouse which would be built on “palatial lines” It was hoped the course would be ready for play in early 1926. 

The club was Instituted in 1928.

The 18-hole course was designed by James Braid. The first hole on the plan below is bottom left, it then runs in an easterly direction.


The Naze Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. The James Braid course plan.

The James Braid layout of The Naze Golf Course.



The Naze Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. Holes, yardages and bogey.

Holes, yardages and bogey score.


It appears that the Naze golfers were keen to start playing. Could they have been playing on a temporary course? Following is a result for the Coronation Cup which was played in April 1925!; R G Mack, 89-12-77; R H Andrew, 88-9-79; G O Heron, 85-5-80. The Hargreaves Cup (bogey); A Kearsley 3down; T Deacon, R H Andrew and F M Green 6down. The April medal; S M Green, 86-9-77; April bogey; R H Andrew (9) 1up.

Results of competitions played over the holiday in May 1925; Annual Cup (36 holes, final) D O Heron beat F T Goddard; Rath-Palmer Cup, R Beard, 80-11-69; E R B Upton, 80-7-73; R H Andrew, 82-9-73; Yeomans Cup (mixed foursome) M V Taylor and Miss Hoskins, 1up; D O Heron and Miss Hodges, 2down; Driving, E R B Upton, 307 yards; R G Mack, 300 yards.

August 1925 competition results; bogey, H V Upton, 4up; medal, E R B Upton, 74-7-67.

Result of the April 1926 medal; E R B Upton, 80-6-74; W M B Newcomb, 90-14-76.

The following is an extract from a report that appeared in the Chelmsford Chronicle on Friday 9th December 1927. It was headlined – The New Walton Club; “Mr Howard W Franklin, the first captain of the new Naze Golf Club at Walton-on-the Naze “played himself in” on Saturday, and drove a ball from the first tee. Mr R F Garnham presided at a luncheon in the beautifully appointed clubhouse, supported by; Mrs Garnham, E E Alexander M.P, Mrs Alexander, Mr & Mrs H W Franklin, Mr & Mrs Dix, Brig.-Gen. Tufnell and others.

They had a magnificent course which was second to none, and they had a splendid view of the sea for fifteen of the eighteen holes. There were already nearly 300 members”  

This is referred to as the “New Naze Club” was there an old one as the earlier results suggest? 

In 1928 the secretary was J A Bolton the professional A Tingey, greenkeeper H Cordell. Winter fees for visitors were 3/- a round and 5/- a day. Summer fees 7/6 a round and 10/- a day. Sunday play allowed.

There were over 80 entries for the open amateur meeting held at the Naze on Saturday 24th May 1930. Results; The Naze Cup, best scratch score played over 36 holes, C J Anderson (Muswell Hill) 75-82=157; The Douglas Challenge Cup, 36 hole handicap, F J Dobson (Naze) with an aggregate of  152. Both would have qualified for other awards but no competitor was allowed to take more than one prize. J S Brown (Clacton) won a scratch prize and M G Gibbs (Naze) a handicap prize.

At the AGM in June 1930 Mr G A Dutfield JP was elected captain.

In August 1930 record entries were received for the holiday competitions. The Seligman Cup, 18 holes bogey, was tied for by R Garnham (3) and F Garnham (6) both all square. In the play off R Garnham won 3up. The Grinter Challenge Cup, mixed foursomes over 18 holes resulted in a tie; Mrs Hulford and E S Wyer, 94-12 ½ - 81 ½ and Mrs Pugsley and C Willcox, 101–19 ½ -81 ½ Mrs Pugsley and C Willcox were the ultimate winners.

Monthly bogey August 1930, was a tie between, N N Bach (8) and W C Hepworth (14) 2down. Mixed foursomes, Mrs Bolton and W C Poyser, 90-16-74.

Result of the ladies’ medal played in September 1930; Mrs Bolton, 104-30-74; Mrs Hicks, 103-28-75. In a ladies’ team match the side chosen by the captain, Mrs Garnham, beat the secretary's team  by six matches to five.

Result of the November 1930 medal; G L Seabrook, 89-15-74; T G Grinter, 91-10-81; R F Garnham, 97-16-81.

A prominent family of golfers at the Naze Golf Club were the Garnhams. In 1935 R F Garnham was Chairman at the club, Mrs R F Garnham was Lady Captain there was at least two other Garnhams Kathleen and Bob.

Kathleen Garnham was one of Britain’s leading amateur golfers prior to WW2. She was named golfer of the year in 1931 by fellow women golfers. She was a member of the British team which toured the United States in 1933. She was a member of the English Ladies Golf Union team which won the International matches played at Ranelagh (also now defunct) in 1934 and 1935. She won the French Open in 1933 and the Belgian Open in 1939. She was also an accomplished painter of portraits and landscapes.


The Naze Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. A great reception for Kathleen Garnham in 1933.

From The Sketch Wednesday 2nd August 1933. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


During the Second World War she served as an officer in the British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She moved to Baltimore in 1948 and married architect Charles M Nes Jnr.

She continued to play golf and was a member of the Green Spring Valley Golf Club, Maryland, where she won the club championship in 1972 at the age of 68. She also won the US Women’s Golf Association Senior Championships (70 years and over class) five of the first six years she was eligible, she missed out on six out of six because of a broken wrist.

Kathleen Nes died in a car accident in the US in 1990 at the age of 86.


Walton-on-the-Naze Golf Club, Essex. The winning ladies' team in 1934.

The English team and winners of the trophy in 1934 at the Ladies Golf Union International meeting at Ranelagh Golf Club (now defunct); Left to right, Miss Phyllis Wade, Mrs Herbert Guedalla, Miss Diana Fishwick and Miss Kathleen Garnham.


Result of the monthly medal played at the Naze in January 1934; G L Seabrook, 99-11-88; J Fenn, 100-12-88.


The Naze Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. The centuries old Naze Tower.


Walton-on-the-Naze Golf Club, Essex. The Tower and golf links.

The Tower, Golf Links and eighth green Walton-on-the-Naze. 


The Naze Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. Article from the Bystander in September 1935.

From The Bystander September 25th 1935. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Personalities in the above picture from top left to right - (1) Frank Ritchie, Robert Warner (ex-captain); (2) Sir Albert Clavering, R F Garnham (chairman), J A Bolton (secretary); (3) H H Heap (ex-director); J C McTurk, A E Hillary. Middle row - (4) Walter Leuw, J Arnold Dix; (5) C Nethercott, F Mullis, F J Dobson; (6) W F MacLaglan, T C Price, J D Dean. Bottom row -  (7) C Clifford Reeves, L C Patterson; (8) H H V Carter, Major B Carlyon-Hughes; (9) J E Farr, S H Sutcliffe; (10) G Boon (steward), C G Bright (professional.)

Below are the results of club matches played against Chelmsford Golf Club on Sunday 26th July 1938.

The first team result played at Walton. The matches were played in pairs but the games were singles. Chelmsford winning 6 - 1.

Walton       Chelmsford      
Col Ward (half) 0 L Whelpton 0 J Ellis Pilgrim (half)  0 J Sargent  1
T R Grinter  0 A T Bolton 0 T Malcolm  1 N Squier 1
F J Dobson  0 Whelpton jun 0 J White  1 G J Hawkes 1
R P Rutter  1 L Harvey 0 P B Lake  0 J Ewers 1
  1   0   2   4

The second team result played at Chelmsford. The home team winning 6 - 1.  

Chelmford       Walton      
R Finch  0 E P Copland (half)  0 H L Plummer  1 L C Patterson (half) 0
W Elliott (1up) 1 H Berry (2up) 1 F Woodhead 0 A J Adams 0
A J Adams (6&4) 1 G F Purvis (2up) 1 A S Brewis 0 R L Seabrook 0
J C Leslie (5&4) 1 R O Harris (1up) 1 R J Flatan 0 I W A Macbeth 0
  3   3   1   0

In 1938 and to its closure the secretary was J A Bolton telephone 97 and the professional C G Bright. The 18-hole course had a SSS of 75 and a membership of 500. Course records were, amateur L A Wilson 71 and professional C A Whitcombe 71. Visitors’ fees from October to June were 3/6 a round, 5/- a day, gents 15/- a week, ladies 10/6. Easter and Whitsun 5/- a round 7/6 a day. August and September 4/- a round, 6/- a day. Saturday and Sunday 5/- a round, 7/6 a day. Gents £1/5/0 a week. ladies £1. There was a licensed clubhouse. The station at Walton-on-the-Naze was one mile from the course.

On Sunday 6th August 1939 Miss Kathleen Garnham (Walton-on-the-Naze), the English international, won the Belgium women’s championship beating Mme J de Meulemester (Belgium) by 5&4 in the 36-hole final.


Walton-on-the-Naze Golf Club, Essex. Two views of the course.

Two views of the course, fifteenth green (top) sixteenth green (bottom)


It was a thriving club up until the onset of WW2 when the land was requisitioned by the war department for the emplacement of anti-air craft batteries and observation posts. The area was virtually destroyed as a golf course and with no funds available following the war the club was never reinstated.

With the coast line gradually being eroded it's probable that the sea will eventually claim parts of  the former golf course.   

A James Braid masterpiece lost forever.


Walton-on-the-Naze Golf Club, Essex. Walton-on-the-Naze golfers 1935.

Walton-on-the-Naze golfers. From the Tatler 1935. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Walton-on-the-Naze Golf Club, Essex. Ladies' meeting 1931.

The Ladies' open meeting at Walton-on-the-Naze in 1931. Author's Collection.


Walton-on-the-Naze Golf Club, Essex. Location of the former course.

Location of the course in the 1930s. Grid reference TM26510,23735, co-ordinates 626510,223735.