History of Sleaford Golf Club
It was on 1st march 1905 when some 40 members of Sleaford’s prominent citizens responded to a circular to attend a 2 hour public meeting at the Sleaford Sessions House (Town Hall) where they declared their support for the establishment of a golf club for Sleaford and District. The initial proposal was for a 9 hole course, with the declared aspiration to extend to 18 holes at a later date.
The First Clubhouse & Course
The first clubhouse was a small corrugated pavilion, transported by horse and cart from the defunct Sempringham Golf Club, a venture that had survived for only 12 years. The first Annual General Meeting was held on 2nd April 1906 at which time the Club boasted approximately 100 members. Play started in July of that year on a 9 hole course designed by Tom Williamson, a professional golfer attached to Notts Golf Club at Hollinwell, and later Captain of the English International Golf Team. The holes varied in length from 140 yards up to 460 yards, giving a total length for the 9 holes of 2,800 yards.
By 1910 the membership had risen to 176 and increased accommodation and a cycle shed had been added to the facilities. The standing of the Club even at this early stage, was such that the Committee succeeded on 10th May 1910, in arranging a match between Open Champion J H Taylor and former Open Champion, Harry Vardon. Harry Vardon, also famous for inventing the Vardon Grip, prevailed with a score of 148 against J H Taylor ‘s 156. Jersey born Harry Vardon, a self-taught golfer, was professional at Ganton, having been a caddie for a couple of years and a gardener from age 14 until becoming a professional golfer at the age of 21. J H Taylor was renowned as an exponent of mechanical accuracy in all parts of the game and was the ‘golf scientist’ of his age.
Extending the course to 18 holes was a constant topic for discussion and in May 1911, influenced inter-alia by the Club having a healthy 193 members together with a healthy financial state, the Committee was authorised to take advice from a suitable expert developing a further 9 holes. Five months later, following the further advice of Tom Williamson, the extension was approved at an estimated cost of £100, plus the cost of work to the greens.
From these early beginnings, the Club continued to prosper and develop. Mechanisation brought improvements to the course and the growth in membership necessitated enlargement of other member facilities to eventually develop into the excellent golfing venue of today.