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Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. (1902 - WW2)

The club was founded in 1902.

The original 9-hole course was situated on Slonk Hill Downs, a further nine-holes were added and a clubhouse was built shortly after opening. The course was requisitioned by the forces and used as a military camp during WW1. The course was devastated and it was impossible for golf to be played over the old course following the war.


Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. The early clubhouse.

Above the pre-WW1 Southdown Golf Club clubhouse. Image courtesy of


On Wednesday 20th April 1904 Golf Champions J H Taylor (Mid Surrey) and James Braid (Romford) met in a 36-hole match play competition on the Southdown course, Taylor won the match 3&2.

In August 1904 David Cuthbert junior of St Andrews was appointed Professional at Southdown. Whilst at St Andrews Cuthbert had worked for Old Tom Morris as a club-maker.

The following is from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Membership 300; hon. secretary, R B Dell jnr., Erringham Lodge, Shoreham; captain, Major W R Prickett; professional, N Kettley; Entrance Fee, £3/3s and subs, £3/3s; 18 holes; professional record, J H Taylor, 74; amateur record, R B Dell jnr., 79; terms for visitors, 2/6 a day, 10/- a week and £1/10s a month.

In 1909/10 the secretary was R B Dell jnr. The professionals were P Wake and C Johns. Amateur course record; D F S Smith, 72. Bogey score was 78. Entry fee was £3/3s and subs £3/3s. Visitors' fees 2s/6d a day. Good downland course, kept in fine order, all greens well guarded.  

Competition results from August 1911; monthly medal; Senior - V S Carter, 75 net; Junior - L Jones, 70 net; monthly bogey; Senior - F D Thorogood and V S Carter tied at 4down; Junior - S Barnes, 1down.

Below is the result of a home match played by the Southdown Ladies' against Crowborough in June 1913. 

Southdown Ladies   Crowborough Ladies  
Mrs J E Dell 0 Miss M E Stuart 1
Miss A Stanier 0 Hon. Mrs O Scott 1
Miss Bird 1 Mrs Kirlew 0
Mrs Vowell 1 Miss Hulme 0
Mrs Lloyd 0 Mrs Jacson 1
Miss V Stanier 0 Mrs Cordy 1
  2   4

In 1913/4 the secretary was Walter Cook and the professional J Johns (1913 to 1926). The 18-hole course measured over 5,280yds and was laid out on best down turf. It was stated at the time to be essentially for the use of wooden clubs. A tight course with good fairways were accurate play was necessary. All greens were well guarded and the course was an excellent test of golf.  The greens were stated to “provide an object lesson in green keeping” There was a membership of 200 gentlemen and 75 ladies. Entry fees for gents were £3/3/0 and Ladies £2/2/0. Subs for gents £3/3/0 and ladies £2/2/0. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 10/- a week, £1/10/0 first the month £1 afterwards. Sunday play was allowed without caddies. The station at Shoreham-by-Sea was 1 mile away.

It was not until the 1930s that Shoreham Golf Club re-appeared. A new site was acquired and an 18-hole course was laid out, it was reputed that an old Coaching Inn at Erringham Farm was used as the clubhouse. 


Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. The clubhouse in the 1930s.

The Southdown clubhouse in the 1930s. Image courtesy of John Kilshaw.


Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. Course layout 1930s.

Plan of the 1930s course. Thanks to John Kilshaw for supplying and allowing us to use the above image.


Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. Scorecard and hole description.

Scorecard for the 1930s course. Image courtesy of John Kilshaw.


From the mid 1930s to its disappearance the course was located to the north of Shoreham between Erringham Farm and Beeding Hill. The secretary was H Hughes OBE. The professional was A D Thomson and the greenkeeper W R Grinyer. An 18 hole course with a SSS and Par of 76 and a membership of 270. Course records, amateur Miss Enid Wilson 79, professional Abe Mitchell 70. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, weekends 3/6 a round and 5/- a day. The station was 2 miles from the course.


Southdown Golf Club, Sussex. Opening of the course in 1935.


Southdown Golf Club, Sussex. Opening of the course in 1935.


Southdown Golf Club, Sussex. Opening of the course in 1935.


Southdown Golf Club, Sussex. Opening of the course in 1935.

Above images from The Bystander October 2nd 1935. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


The course was taken over for the war effort during WW2, the course was obliterated by tank exercises and the clubhouse was used for target practice.

The club continued to be recorded in the Golfer's Handbook into the 1950s but Southdown Golf Club never re-opened following WW2.

Thanks to John Kilshaw for his help with the Southdown Golf Club research and confirming the closure date of the later course. 


Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. The golf course on Slonk Hill.

Course location on Slonk Hill. Grid reference TQ22300,06805, co-ordinates 522300,106805.


Southdown Golf Club, Shoreham-by-Sea. The golf course at Erringham.

Location of the later course at Erringham. Grid reference TQ21585,08410, co-ordinates 521585,108410.


The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the later course at Erringham.