Nailsea Golf Club. Somerset. (1891 - WW1)

Nailsea Golf Club was founded in 1891.

The original course course situated on the Chelvey Road between Nailsea and West Town.

It was known as Flax Bourton Golf Club, or sometimes Backwell Golf Club, in the early years. Old habits die hard and even in the later years the club was sometimes referred to as Flax Bourton. 

It was appearing as Nailsea Golf Club from 1914 until it closed prior to WW2. The club had a small pavilion, which was still in use in the 1970s on the Grove Sports Field.

The 1904 O.S. Map below shows the golf course at Backwell.


Nailsea Golf Club, Somerset. The 1904 O.S. Map showing the golf course at Backwell.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1904}


Nailsea took over the private course that was used by Backwell Golf Club just prior to WW1.

During June and July 1914 a ladies match play competition was played. Two prizes were given by Mr R Durant, one of the founder members of the club. The winner was Miss Bucknill, runner-up, Miss Gladwell.

A medal competition was played on Saturday 1st August 1914, L H Durant and B J Garrington won the prizes of silver spoons. 

In 1923 the secretary was C S Leaver.

From the mid 1920s until the mid 1930s, the secretary was S Drewett. The professional and green-keeper was C Frappell. The 9-hole course had a membership of 80. Visitors’ fees 1/- a day, 2/- at weekend and Bank Holiday. Sunday play was allowed after 1pm without caddies.


Nailsea Golf Club, Somerset. Hole in one prize.

Above is a silver napkin ring bearing the following inscription “5th hole in one trophy 2/4/28 H McCaig”. Apologies for the poor quality of the image.


There were 26 entries for the Silver Spoon competition played in July 1928, leading scores; F C Williams, 81-22-59; H Good, 79-18-61; W Knee, 89-89-24-65; G Coombes, 83-13-70; C Parsons, 82-11-71; G Parsons, 88-12-76; H Stafford, 95-18-77.

Result of the Spoon competition for August 1928, leading scores; F M Pyle, 77-16-61; J A Jacobs, 84-16-61; S G Good, 82-14-68; H T Symonds, 92-24-68; W T Knee, 91-22-69; J D Mitchell, 97-22-75. 

A very rare occurrence! Whilst playing together on the Nailsea course in April 1932 Mr G W Smith, a club member, and Mr C A Norris, from Bath, both holed in one at the 125 yard fourth hole. 

In 1935 the secretary was recorded as H Drewett, White Oak House, Nailsea (club telephone Flax Bourton 71). The professional was R Harris and the greenkeeper D Barnett. Course records, amateur H Pruett 66, professional A Harris 63. Local hotel was the Royal Oak.

There were 19 entries for the 1935 January Spoon Competition, result; Mr Sanderson, 86-21-65; Mr Smith, 91-20-71; Mr Parsons, 79-8-71; Mr Bobjoy, 93-21-72; Mr Coombs, 81-8-73; A Shaw, 86-9-77; Mr Carpenter, 104-24-80; Mr Cagdzoy, 109-24-85.

There was a good attendance for the annual general meeting held at the Royal Oak Hotel, Nailsea, in March 1935. The president, Lieutenant Commander C E Evans, was in the chair. He complimented the officials and members on the sound position of the club. Membership was well over 100, and 3.000 visitors’ fees were paid during the year. The president presented a cup to be played for by the ladies, Mrs Holland thanked the president on behalf of the lady members. The following officers were elected; president, Liet-Commander C E Evans; secretary, Harry Drewett; treasurer, S P G Holland; captain, George Coombs; caterer, A Shaw.

There were 25 entries in 1935 for the March tankard competition, leading scores; S P G Holland, 82-15-67; M M Dennes, 88-20-68; A Cousins, 92-22-70; R A Pobjoy, 91-21-70. 

Result of a match against Lodway Artisans September 1937.

Nailsea Golf Club   Lodway Artisans Golf Club  
W J Sanderson and A Shaw 1 A Monks and J Woodruff 0
S P Holland and H A Hackitt 0 H Hillier and P Sheppard 0
J S Good and G W Martin 0 J Kemp and F Cull 1
E A Smith and N Allen 1 S Jefferies and V Wallington 0
K Snow and C G Coocker 1 L Ford and R Gilder 0
A Routley and M Heally 0 E Shuker and W L Tapp 0
  3   1

Following is the result of the president’s cup competition played in April 1937; J E Caradine, 89-24-65; W C Tavener, 89-22-67; R A Pobjoy, 82-14-68; N Allen, 84-16-68; S P G Holland, 82-13-69; A Shaw, 78-9-69; G C Coombs, 78-8-70. 

November 1937 stableford competition, winner received a tankard; C G Crocker, 36¾; G W Martin, 36¼; A Shaw, 35; S P G Holland, 34; R Maxwell, 34.

Below is the result of a club match (singles) played at Nailsea against Rodway Hill in May 1938. The home team also won the foursomes 4 matches to 1, same players involved.

Nailsea Golf Club   Rodway Hill Golf Club  
G Shermur 0 G Iles (6&4) 1
G W Coombs (3&2) 1 G Strawford 0
A Shaw 0 S W Long (5&4) 1
G W Martin (4&3) 1 H Hall 0
N W Allen (half) 0 A Hassell (half) 0
R A Pobjoy (5&4) 1 P Edwards 0
S P G Holland 0 A Gillard (5&4) 1
R A Maxwell 0 M Rosenthal (3&1) 1
C S Crocker (2&1) 1 J Howard 0
W C Tavener (2up) 1 W Hancock 0

Below is the result of the afternoon foursomes match played against Rodway Hill Artisans in June 1938 on the Rodway Hill course, the Artisans went on to win the evening foursomes and the match.

Rodway Artisans    Nailsea Golf Club  
C Andrews & G McNiece 0 G Shermur & G C Coombs 1
P Watts & C Lovell 1 G W Martin & J S Good 0
E V Wallington & S Jefferies 0 N W Allen & S P G Holland 1
J Kemp & G Woodruffe 1 R A Pobjoy & C G Crocker 0
A Cull & F Cull 1 W C Tavener & L G Grove 0
R Gilder & L Ford 0 E C Griffin & J Duff 1
  3   3

Result of the “Daily Telegraph and Morning Post” competition played in May 1939; Senior division – A Shaw and G Coombs, tied with a score of 73 (replay required); H Ball, 77; Junior division – J R(o)edgers, 66; E Shuker, 67; W C Tavener, 73; F W Noble, 77; H Boulton, 95. The club’s final appearance was in 1940 when the secretary was still H Drewett, of Browtop, Nailsea.The green-keeper was H Barnett. The 9-holes had a SSS of 68 and a membership of 125. Amateur course record was held by G Coombs 64. The railway station at Nailsea was 1 ½ miles from the course . There was also a bus service from Bristol to the clubhouse. Visitors’ fees 1/6 a day, 2/- a day at weekend and on Bank Holidays. 

The Ordnance Survey Map below shows the location of the clubhouse and course in the 1930s.


Nailsea Golf Club, Somerset. Location of the golf course clubhouse in the 1930s.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1932}