1907: Professional Competition marks the formal opening of Cuckfield's first golf course

Globe - Monday 29 July 1907


GOLF NOTES.


(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)


Of the making of golf courses there is no end. To all intents and purposes, Saturday's professional stroke competition at Cuckfield was the formal opening of the newest links in the county of Sussex. A year ago the ground on which the Cuckfield course is situated was a series of hay fields, and, considering the difficulties with which they had to contend and the short time at their disposal, those who undertook the work of masking the links are to be congratulated on the result of their efforts. The home green was laid as recently as last March, so that the complaint of some of the players that the putting greens were unequal was hardly surprising.


And it, cannot be said that the lies through the green were all that could be desired. Time, however, should remedy all defects in this respect, and with its many natural advantages there is no reason why Cuckfield should not, in time, become one of the best courses in Sussex. Originally, Willie Park designed a full round of 18 holes, but certain alterations have since been made, and at present only 14 holes are in use. The ground is rented from Captain C. W. Sergison on very liberal terms. But perhaps the term "rented" is misapplied, considering that the club holds the land rent free for two years. Captain Sergison was in the Scots Guards, and served in the Transvaal War during 1899 and 1900.


Cuckfield Golf Links Club House c1910

Although the first round—a very incomplete one—was not played till January 1 of this year, and the club has been instituted scarcely ten months, the membership already numbers 250. Even as at present arranged, the holes are of excellent length. The longest is the tenth, which measures 460 yards from tee to pin, and the shortest is the fourth, which is 150 yards in length. The total length of the 14 holes is 3,825 yards.


One of the most notable performances in Saturday's tournament was W. E. Reid's 3 at the tenth—the longest hole—in the afternoon. The Banstead Downs professional, who played a magnificent long game all day, was four yards beyond the pin from his second, and then holed his put for a 3. But the most remarkable performance of the day was accomplished by young Ben Sayers. For the last 8 holes, which he did in 29, he took only seven puts. He required only one put at 7 holes, and at one—the eleventh—he holed his mashie shot for a 2.


Mitchell, the winner, will be remembered as the player who defeated J. H. Taylor in the third round of the P.G.A. £240 tournament at Walton Heath in 1903. Mitchell learned his golf at Ashdown Forest, as a member of the Artisan Club. This organisation, like a good many more of the same class, was instituted by the members of the club over whose links it plays, as a sort of protective measure. Years ago the Royal Ashdown Forest links suffered a good deal at the hands of some of the destructive youths of the district. Since the formation of the Artisan Club, however, the course has no more zealous guardians than the lads of the village.


One of the best performances in the London district on Saturday was that accomplished by Mr. J. C. Reid at Romford. He set up a record for the altered links with a fine round of 73. Curiously enough, Mr. Reid, like his namesake, W. E. Reid, in the professional tournament at Cuckfield, did a hole measuring 460 yards in three strokes in the course of his round. Mr. G. O. Simpson, who won the amateur tournament at Carnoustie, has been a pretty regular competitor during the last few years, but he had never previously got into the final. Mr. A. Gallacher, the beaten finalist, was a strong local favourite in the amateur championship at St. Andrews. In the championship, however, he met more than his match in Mr. G. M. Boyd in the third round.

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