The year 2014 will see Royal North Devon Golf Club celebrate a historic 150 years of golf on Northam Burrows
Words: Matthew Field
The year 2014 will see Royal North Devon Golf Club celebrating a historic 150 years of golf on Northam Burrows.
The course is situated on the coastline between Westward Ho! and the estuary shared by the rivers Taw and Torridge. It is the oldest club in England to be playing on its original layout.
Several events marking this milestone have been arranged for the upcoming year. A special Anniversary Dinner took place on Friday, 4th April, the actual birth date of the club 150 years ago, with a talk on the Club’s history by Club historian and former Secretary, Robert Fowler.
RND is also the home of the oldest ladies’ club in England and the second oldest in the world.
Formed in 1868 they represent a direct line back to the ladies who pioneered the game on the Burrows. Now, as a playing section of the club, they enjoy the same voting rights and committee representation as their male colleagues.
The Club attracts golfers from all over the British Isles and beyond with golf writer Bernard Darwin stating in The Golf Courses of the British Isles, “To go to Westward Ho! is not to make a mere visit of pleasure as to an ordinary course; it is, as is the case of a few other links, a reverent pilgrimage.”
This remains as true today as it did when Darwin was writing. Visitors are warmly welcomed and viewed as adding vitality to the club and adding income to the local economy.
The Club is very much a part of the local community, run by local people for local people. Part of that ethos is a strong committment to junior golf.
The members of RND are justly proud of the 150-year-history of their club. Those years have led to the creation of the current facility which is available to all those who love the game and those who are considering taking it up.
News of the various events planned to celebrate Royal North Devon's 150th anniversary will be released in due course.
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Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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