Bedfordshire Golf Club History
In 1891, Guy Pym and others founded the Club and golf was played on fields adjoining Brickhill farm about a mile from the centre of Bedford. The initial entrance fee was half a crown, the annual fee half a guinea and membership limited to 150.
Demand was such that by the following year, the entrance fee had been increased to £1 and the annual subscription was also £1. The course at Brickhill was only large enough for 9 holes, but it had a short life as by 1895 an alternative site had been found on land at Biddenham, sufficient to lay out 18 holes. At the turn of the century, the grass was kept low by sheep. This course was fairly flat but full of features that gave variety and interest to the holes.
The hazards consisted of hedges, a cart road, a pond, ditches and turf bunkers with sand or pot bunkers. Many a ball was lost in cracks that opened up in dry weather! There were no trees on the course for around thirty years, except possibly a few poplars, and the layout of the course remained largely unaltered until 1925, as you can see from the 1925 aerial photo below.
In the early years, it was felt that there was no call for a Professional, but in 1922 Bill Moore was appointed and remained at the Club for over 40 years.
By the 1930’s, the club was sufficiently well established financially to consider the construction of a clubhouse. The same meeting which resolved to do this went on record to congratulate Mr Henry Longhurst, a member, on winning the Amateur Championship of Germany. By this time, Subscriptions had risen to 5 guineas.
Bedford escaped virtually all the bombing in World War II, but holes 11, 12 and 13 were reclaimed for the “Dig for Victory” campaign. Even as late at the 1940’s there were few trees, or rough, on the course, but the years of Kenneth Vane-Percy’s captaincy changed that.
Sadly, in 1954 the clubhouse was destroyed by fire, together with the bulk of the club records. For two years the club resided in Nissan huts until the new building was opened by Henry Longhurst in 1956.
This building was our clubhouse and golfing home until a decision was taken that the old course at Biddenham was to be developed by the Freeholder, and approximately 900 houses constructed, together with a major link road joining the A6 with the A428. Once this decision was known, the members of Bedfordshire Golf Club decided to identify a new home where they could be masters of their own destiny for the long term future.
This search took some time, but eventually in 1998 an ideal piece of land was identified just a couple of miles further west of Bedford at Stagsden and having secured the freehold of the land, work began in earnest to build a comprehensive range of golfing facilities to match the very best in the area.
The new courses being built during 1998-99 (above) and new Clubhouse (below)
In September 2000 Bedfordshire Golf Club finally moved into its new home at the completed golf complex on the A422 at Stagsden. The new Bedfordshire Golf Club was opened by Laura Davies C.B.E, Britain’s favourite lady golfer, on Saturday September 30th 2000, and provides a facility that caters for everyone who is interested in the game plus the additional facilities of banqueting and conference rooms.