The course and clubhouse were officially opened on the 28th May 1932, but it was some two years before that date that the idea of having a golf club at Tiverton was discussed at a Rotarian meeting in the town.
The main instigator in forming a golf club was a Mr. Raymond Penny, but it was only through the generosity of Sir John Amory who was the main employer in the town of Tiverton and himself a Rotarian, that the project really got off the ground. Sir John bought Bradford farm, just outside Tiverton and agreed to let approximately 120 acres of the farm to form a golf course. James Braid, who had won the Open Golf Championship five times in the early 1900`s and who became a prolific golf course designer of some 150 plus courses, including Gleneagles, was invited to come to Tiverton to design the course, which he did.
The course itself stands on undulating, but not hilly ground and is basically the same as when designed in 1931, although lengthened in some areas and played in two 9-hole loops so that the 9th and 18th holes bring you back to the clubhouse. The views from the course are very spectacular, looking over the glorious Devon countryside and at one point, across to the two hills at Sidmouth, approximately 20 miles away.
In his address to the inaugural meeting in 1931, Mr. Raymond Penny stated that "The site for the new golf course is a beautiful one, above the town and the air alone is worth a visit". I believe that this remark still applies today.
Tiverton Golf Club had a very chequered time during the 30`s and 40`s because golf was not as popular or affordable in those years, also half of the course was ploughed up during the second world war for agricultural purposes. Sheep were kept on the course during the 40`s and 50`s to help with the cost of maintaining the course but, thankfully, they were removed in the late 50`s.
The course was fairly open during its early years, but from the 40`s onwards a large number of trees have been planted especially in the last thirty years, which have turned the course into a truly magnificent parkland course with many different species of trees. The course is just over 6,300 yards from the back tees with a par of 71 and a standard scratch score for men of 70. The standard scratch score for ladies is 74 and the ladies course measures 5747 yards.
Over the last 15 to 20 years the club has prospered greatly and in 1999 the clubhouse was completely refurbished and extended, giving very convivial surroundings for both dining and relaxing. The views from the clubhouse are very beautiful, looking across the course to the countryside beyond. The clubhouse faces virtually south, so the lounge, patio and dining area receive whatever sun is available.
Tiverton Golf Club is a very friendly club and the course itself is challenging without being overly difficult, providing you don`t go into the many trees. With the updating of the clubhouse, together with money spent on the course and machinery, Tiverton has become arguably the best parkland course in the south-west. The opening hole, in particular, as shown on the main picture of the web-site is almost without doubt, the best opening hole of any course in Devon. It is a par 5, of approximately 500 yards, played from an elevated tee which invites you to play the course, but equally it can punish you severely if you cannot keep the ball on the fairway.
Much of what we have at Tiverton is due entirely to the generosity of Sir John and Lady Amory (Joyce Wethered) who did so much for the club during the difficult years and without their help would probably never been formed, and certainly would not have survived to become what it is today
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