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Our Golfing Heritage

Compiled by Sheila Williams

Our Golfing Heritage

First published in 1993 and then revised in 1999 and 2012 this interesting and informative book is a team effort, with the input and comments from many Sussex golfers. It not only records officials and trophy winners, there are reminiscences and insightful stories as well as opportunity for thought provoking debate!

"Our Golfing Heritage" by Sheila Williams

The modern game of golf is generally considered to have been started in Scotland. The R&A says ‘stick and ball games have been around for many centuries, but golf as we know it today, played over 18 holes, clearly originated in Scotland’ – its first documented mention was in the mid 1400’s.

The ladies of Scotland took to golf, following the example of Mary Queen of Scots and the fisherwives of Musselburgh who didn’t want to be left at home by the golfing menfolks! The first Sussex clubs in 1887 – Royal Eastbourne, Seaford and Brighton – were for men only, but it wasn’t long before the ladies put themselves on the map. Brighton became Brighton & Hove Ladies Golf Club in 1891.

SCLGA was initially created as Sussex County Ladies’ Golf Club and they held their first meeting in Lewes in 1900, with their six founding members Ashdown Forest, Bexhill, Crowborough, Hastings, Royal Eastbourne and Seaford. Today, there are 58 clubs in Sussex affiliated to the SCLGA, with nearly 3,800 members. The county colours of canary yellow and blue were adopted in the 1960’s.

The Sussex County Championship was inaugurated in 1923, and all our County Champions have played inter-county matches for Sussex. It is now the Champion’s honour and privilege to lead the County team, and in recent years she has had an automatic place on the County Committee and the Selection Committee.

Another contributor to the history of ladies’ golf is Rosemary Milton whose book “History of Ladies’ Golf in Sussex” is available to buy.  A short extract which looks at naming conventions, and the reason why ladies were addressed formally as Mrs H. Jones or Miss W. McNamara may be found by clicking here.