CLEVELAND Golf Club
CLEVELAND GOLF CLUB 1
Before the golf club was formed the dunes and lands, on which the Cleveland Golf Club was situated, belonged to the Kirkleatham Estates. The grazing rights for the particular land which formed the start of the golf club belonged to a farmer called Suggett. Mr Suggett objected to people using his grazing lands for the game of golf.
A Captain Phillips who was head of the Coastguards at Redcar joined them at the time. He had been at Alnmouth where they had a golf course. He brought along with him a ‘Cleek’ and ‘Gutty Ball’. The farmer Mr Suggett indicated that if a formal club was formed and the necessary ground rent paid to him, he would have no objection to them playing on the land. (Little did he or they know what was to come about?)
On the 3 rd May 1887. A first meeting took place of the golf club where a proper committee was formed along with 180 members. So the Cleveland Golf Club was formed. How good was the course was best described in an extract from a letter sent to the then Yorkshire Post, by C.A. Ridley.
“In those early days ‘golf architecture’ was an unknown art. There was no such thing as an incorrect place for a bunker. The correct position was anywhere that nature had put it, and if a player’s found a home in a bunker, so much the worse for him. He blamed himself – or fate – seeing that there was no one else to blame. But the quality and strength of his language was quite equal to that of any linguistic expert of the present day”.
Little did he know, what was going to happen, and that this land would be the ideal setting for the only championship links course in Yorkshire today.
The First World War saw gun emplacements on the course to guard the entrance to the River Tees, and the coastline. The Second World War was to see further disruption to the course in that it was covered in barbed wire and land mines for defences. The clubhouse was commandeered by the Armed Forces, and alas the clubhouse facilities caught fire in 1919, and were totally destroyed.
In 1934 a new clubhouse facility was built which was much larger and more comfortable. It saw the introduction of Majuba Road, and the club paying a ‘peppercorn rent’ to the council for the lease of lands along the stray and dunes. The course was extended to eighteen holes.
Several old rights of way still exist across the course, and the building of Majuba Road saw the 1st and 18th holes on the East of the road with the other 16 holes being on the West of the road. Recently the ‘peppercorn rent’ again came up for review, and as a result new club house premises were built on the West side, and the 1st/18th holes land handed back to the council, in exchange for more land on the west.
Majuba Hill is now the first competition tee-box of the golf club, and overlooks the whole course.
February 5, 2010 Education, Classes, Clubs & Organisations