The History of Chippenham Golf Club
The first records of the Club date back to March 1896 when a group of enthusiasts got together to rent land and a shed, laying out a course of seven holes which were tended by a local man on a retainer of 2/6d twice weekly. By 1898, the course was played as nine holes, with a Bogey (par in today’s language) of 37. The first and ninth holes were re-played from different tees to facilitate this. Records cease for almost ten years, but re-appear in 1909 when a reference has been found to a course at “Allington Gorse” where the annual membership was £1, and green fees were 1 shilling.
Allington Gorse is actually the copse of trees that borders the old 17th and 5th tees, and intriguingly the course was originally laid out in the area bounded by the old 1st, 15th, 17th and 18th holes with the remaining 3 holes over the hill beyond the copse, where one hundred years later we again have plans to extend the course!
The next twenty years saw a period of rapid development with the course layout expanded to a true nine holes (adding the old forth and fifth holes). Purchase of the land that the current clubhouse and car parks still reside on today, and a permanent club house was erected.
By 1932 the course had been extended to a full 18 hole 6030 yards, although it’s not clear how the layout of the additional nine holes mapped to today’s course. The club thrived until the outbreak of the Second World War when it was forced to give up nine holes to agriculture and allow the grazing of livestock on the remainder!
It wasn’t until 1965 that four new holes were added, and until 1975 that the current loop from the old tenth to fourteenth holes were added to finally restore the course to 18 holes after a thirty five year break. Since then , the water feature on the old seventh hole was added and a number of tree planting schemes went ahead.
Today the course resides on sixty three acres leased from the Council, and an additional 43 leased from a local farmer that constitutes the course extension that we are so excited about.
Two of our members Les and Janie Sharpe have kindly put together a Competitions History Book with details of competition winners going back as far as 1896. The book is located in the Trophy cabinet and can be viewed by members on request. Our thanks go to Les and Janie for putting together such a fantastic record of part of the Club's history.