Scarborough South Cliff Golf Club


At the turn of the century, the game of golf had come very much into vogue, chiefly among the leisured and professional classes. The absence of links in Scarborough was to the disadvantage of the town, the well know links of the Scarborough Club at Ganton being inconveniently situated for many owing to its distance.

Hence a movement was set afoot, it's object, the provision of golf links and tennis courts on South Cliff. The proposal at first was that the Corporation should carry the scheme as a municipal one; there were difficulties however in the way of this. Consequently the movement became one of semi private character, a Limited Liability Company.

The Scarborough Town Golf and Lawn Tennis Company Limited being formed with a capital of £1,500 in £1.00 shares to carry out the scheme. Subsequently the following notice appeared in the Scarborough Evening News on the 4th November 1902:


A meeting of those who propose to become members of the Scarborough New Golf Club will be held at the Cambridge Hotel on Friday night next at 8:00pm.

It was eventually decided that a Limited Liability Company should be formed for the purpose of carrying out the golf links and lawn tennis scheme, with power to let the lands to a Club or Clubs to be afterwards formed. The two Clubs subsequently formed were the Scarborough Town Golf Club and the Scarborough Cliff Lawn Tennis Club. The latter Club was never really a success, it became defunct and the lease of the land surrendered despite its title, thereafter the company became only interested in golf.

The first professional to the Club was W. C. Gaudin, a member of the well-known Jersey golfing family. In 1905 he left to go to Portrush and Arthur Day was appointed in his place.

James Braid and Harry Vardon

During the early years a number of very distinguished golfers played the course; all three members of the famous triumvirate, Harry Vardon, James Braid and J. H. Taylor, as well as Open Champion of 1907, Arnaud Massey of the La Boulie Club. On the 6th August 1907 the Duke and Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia visited the Club. The second visit of royalty took place on the 9th September 1910, when Prince Henry of Prussia, the Kaiserís brother, enjoyed a round with Prince Muster Van Dernberg.

The course suffered considerably during the years of the First World War and both the Limited Company and the Club experienced some financial difficulties.

After the war Dr. MacKenzie of Leeds, a surgeon gave up his profession to take up a full time occupation as a course architect and was responsible for the design of numerous courses world wide with the most famous being Cypress Point, the Augusta National and Royal Melbourne.

Dr MacKenzie

After obtaining the lease from the Corporation of the new land on the seaward side of Filey Road, the newly formed company engaged the services of Dr MacKenzie . He was commissioned to design and supervise the construction of a new course, which is, with some alterations over the years, the one that is played on today. Dr MacKenzie later became a Director of the Company.

1921 saw membership of the Club rise to 348 and visitor tickets to 3750 and the company under the guidance of Dr MacKenzie further developed and improved the course.

By the end of the decade the pavilion was in need of repair, plans were drawn up for a new Clubhouse and the building was duly completed and opened in 1930. The professionalís shop was built later in 1937.

The Club suffered further setbacks during the Second World War. There were virtually no resources and with maintenance equipment that was either worn out or obsolete. The enthusiasm and loyalty of its members pulled the Club through and put it back on the road to recovery

1949 saw a new innovation when a charity match was arranged against the Bronte Archers. Play was under better ball rules. Archers had to forfeit one stroke if the arrow landed in a sand bunker. To hole out, the arrow had to hit a 4-inch disc. If the arrow fell within one yard of the disc, one stroke was added. This event proved to be a popular competition and continued successfully for a number of years.

The 1950ís saw the company enter into a new lease agreement with the Scarborough Corporation. The Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary with exhibition matches and competitions. Mr Gillery with appointed Head Greenkeeper, Mr Beilby became the Club Professional and on the retirement of Mr J Sutcliffe, Mr E H (Eddie) McCullough became Hon. Secretary.

During this period both the Limited Company (Deepdale Golf Club Ltd) and the Club (South Cliff Golf Club) were experiencing difficulties as two separate entities running the Club. Over the years discussions had taken place to the benefits of changing the two existing Club status into a single company. It was not until 1962 however, that such a company was formed. The golf club was we know it "The Scarborough South Cliff Golf Club" was duly registered.

Over the next decade the increase in membership and extra activities within the Club enabled the Clubhouse to be extended by the addition of the sun lounge. This in turn brought the Club a unique World Record. Peter Chambers, a member of the Club broke the world record for completing the most holes of competitive golf played in 24 hours. This remarkable achievement gained him a place in the Guinness Book of Records, a record, which stood for several years.

The 1970ís heralded a number of important changes and developments to both the course and the running of the Club. The automatic watering system to all the greens was installed. Discussions with Scarborough Council resulted in a renewal of the lease for a further 28 years. With concern the day to day running of the Club had become too much work for a Hon. Secretary the services of a full time Secretary/Administrator was duly appointed.

Over the years the club has hosted many events which have attracted many sports and showbiz personalities. In 1979 the club hosted the "News of the World Under 23 Match Play Championship" which provided Ian Woosnam with his first professional tournament win

Ian woosnam recieves the NEWS OF THE WORLD under 23 PGA Matchplay Championship Trophy, at South Cliff Golf Club in 1979 from Lady Carr. In attendance is the club captain Mr. R.A.Dale.

The Club continued to attract an increasing number of visitors and parties or 40 or 50 were not uncommon. The Dai Rees Golf School visited twice a year. C.I.S.W.A staged their National Championships at the club and showbiz personalities visiting for the summer seasons were known to be regular visitors.

Throughout the years, a number of South Cliff Lady and Gentlemen Members went on to be distinguished people in the world of golf both as players and officials. Which the club is justly proud. The most recent success is that of Christopher Smith, who won the British Boys Championship in 1994 at the age of eighteen.

South Cliff Golf Club is proud to be associated with the achievements of all past and current members in the wider field of golfing fellowship.

Scarborough South Cliff Golf Club
Deepdale Avenue
North Yorkshire
YO11 2UE
Tel 01723 360522   
Fax 01723 374737

Powered by