Golf Courses in Compton and Shawford
Did you know that in 1900 there were 2 Golf Courses in our Parish? The popularity of golf was increasing with the development of the railway and improved transport.
Twyford & Shawford Golf Club
Twyford and Shawford GC was established in 1890 on Shawford Down as a downland 9 hole course; it closed in 1940. In 1902 there was also a Ladies Section. Holes were played over both the Winchester and Shawford roads to Southampton causing much concern to passing traffic. In 1914 membership was 2 guineas p.a. for men and 1 guinea for ladies, who were not allowed to play on Saturday afternoons.
Rex Roberts, aged 11 when he joined, described members as “elderly, with many retired Admirals and Generals, who talked, argued and drank a lot rather than practising their golf”!
Play could be slow and on one occasion an exasperated American Officer pulled out his revolver and fired over the heads of the 2 elderly men in front! The Club House based at the bottom of the Down, 50yds from the Station, was given planning permission in 1910 and was later moved after WW11 to the Memorial Playing Field on Compton Down as the pavilion where it remained until 2003.
Winchester College Golf Club
Winchester College GC was established in 1891 for the boys and dons on the land between the Winchester to Southampton Roman road and what is now Badger Farm Road. It was grazed, like many Courses of the time, by sheep to keep the grass short.
On one occasion a passing wayfarer was hit in the chest by a golf ball. To his consternation he was then barracked for being in the way. The police were involved and later the Tee for that hole was moved. The Course closed in 1915 and moved to the then recently established Hockley Golf Course.
With acknowledgements to Suzanne Foster, Archivist, Winchester College, Hampshire Records Office and golfsmissinglinks.co.uk
Peter Betts for Compton & Shawford Local History Society
This article appeared in the February 2015 issue of the Compton & Shawford Parish Magazine
Editor’s note: Austin Whitaker, in his 1985 booklet “Compton & Shawford”, records that
the wooden Wayside Cross, near the main road, used to stand further west, when the old road passed below Cliff Way – significantly named – through a narrow cutting, so narrow that golfers would drive across it to and from a green lying near Hurdle Way, until a stray shot hit a double-decker bus and the green was abandoned.
and that the
nine-hole golf-course on the Down closed on Sundays because the land belonged to the Dean and Chapter