Southampton golf club was established at the Municipal course in 1935.
Prior to this the club was nomadic playing competitions on other courses, much like a society today. Some events were even staged on the Common on Sundays. The Sports Centre, and the Golf Course, was the brain-child of Sir Sidney Kimber. He envisaged the council providing leisure activities for the people of Southampton after the Great War and work finally started in the thirties.
The course was completed in 1935 although it wasn’t until after the war it was playable throughout the year. The course was designed by five times British Open Champion J H Taylor, the professional at Royal Winchester. There have been some changes to the course since then including the addition of ditches and ponds. The course used to be involved in hosting professional events and was once an Open Qualifier venue. The Southampton Men’s Amateur Open is still held on the course in the last week in June.
The club is open to all but is male only since there is also a Southampton Ladies Golf Club based at the course, established at the same time as the Men’s club. The club is inclusive rather than exclusive and joining fees are the lowest in the county. The aim of the club is to provide competitive golf for all, and by running about one hundred competitions a year this is maintained. When the club was installed at the Municipal Course this was an innovative idea as most ‘private’ clubs were fairly exclusive and ‘the working man’ was not invited to join. Even professionals were rarely allowed into the clubhouse. Certainly times have changed for the better and the club provides a very friendly atmosphere.
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