100 Years History of Bangor GC
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Situated not far from the centre of the seaside town of Bangor on the north coast of County Down, Bangor Golf Course reflects the character of the county with its undulating parkland course.
The Club was founded in February1903 and affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland in March the same year. The Ladies Branch was founded in May 1903.
The original nine-hole course was opened on the 13th June 1903, and the second nine was added the following year.
More land was bought in 1933 and the Club moved across the lane known as Broadway to its present site, where a completely new 18 hole course was designed and laid out by James Braid the legendary golfer who won the “Open” five times, and who was at that time the pre-eminent golf course architect in Britain.
The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Rt. Hon Viscount Craigavon opened the present clubhouse on the 6th of April 1935 and Lady Craigavon officially opened the new course by driving the first ball to the delight of the huge crowd.
Although the course has been modified from time to time, yet it still retains many of its original features and is recognisably a “James Braid” course. Seventy years on, trees planted in those early days are now to be seen in their full beauty and thanks to the untiring efforts of successive Councils and teams of ground staff, the fairways and greens would do justice to many a more famous course.
The Club celebrated its Centenary Year in 2003. The highlight of the year was a visit by HRH the Duke of York. To mark the occasion a commemorative plaque is located in the foyer of the Clubhouse.
An article by a Bangor golfer from its early days (renamed from Club History
Speaking as a resident of Bangor, I can truthfully assert that a goodly proportion of the joy of life would be gone if I were suddenly called upon to say farewell to the Bangor Golf Club. Its fellowship is so happy, its air so invigorating, its course so excellent that those who. Like myself, have tasted of these good things, cherish them very dearly.
The Club House is situated on the Hamilton Road, about ten minutes’ walk from the Railway Station. It is a modern and spacious building, containing Club Rooms, Billiard Room, Locker and Dressing Rooms. A section of the House has been set aside for the exclusive use of ladies, but owing to the rapid progress of the Club arrangements are now complete for the erection of a separate Club House for the members of this Branch. It will be most commodious and thoroughly up-to-date in equipment.
A considerable amount of social life centres round the Clubhouse, and here any week evening one can meet friends and enjoy a game of billiards or auction. The Steward is capable and obliging, and visitors may rely on every attention.
But it is when one turns his mind to the game itself that the great attraction of the Bangor Golf Club presents itself. Here you have l8 holes excellently planned and most scientifically bunkered. A vast amount of thought and money has been expended, and it may be said at once that the result does credit to the Council of the Club. Very special attention has been paid to the greens, which are now recognised as equal to, if not rivalling, those of any other inland course in the country. Variety is a feature. Every club is brought into action, and the player who equals bogey (77) must display skill, versatility, and resource.
Charming scenic panoramas can be seen from many points on the Links. Spion Kop, so named on account of its elevation, is perhaps the place of best advantage. To the north there is a fine view of Belfast Lough and the Irish Sea, across which, on a clear day’, one can discern the distant hills of Scotland and the Harbour of Portpatrick On the opposite side a ” Patchwork Quilt” of undulating cultivated country unfolds itself, fringed with the green of Lord Dufferin’s Woods, where stands
” Dominant o’er sea and land,”
the famed Helen’s Tower. Nestling between these two points we have perhaps the best view obtainable of the town itself.
From a visitor’s standpoint a great advantage lies in the fact that temporary members being so numerous a stranger can always, without difficulty, find a partner at almost any time of the day during the summer months; indeed, as evidencing the high reputation the Links, nearly £600 was received in visitors’ fees last year.
The Golfing Union of Ireland has also testified to the reputation of the Club those temporarily off their game will find James Ross a clever and painstaking Professional and Club Maker.
Clubhouse, Bangor Golf Club
The fees for visitors are as follows: –
2/6 per day; 10/- per week; 30/– per month;40/-for two months. The fees for Ladies are lower than these
For those who go minutely into the game I append a table of distances.
In conclusion may I recommend the keen golfer to try Bangor for its golfing worth? For the nerve weary I would prescribe the” wine” that sweeps the award of Bangor; to the morose and out-of-temper I would say,” Come! It will buck you up and do you good. Remember, if you come once you won’t need my advice again. You will come of your own free will.”
Extract from Official Guide to Bangor
Date of the original article unknown – Re-production date 5th September 2012