Nine-hole course has ‘unique’ history

HISTORIC: Betty Reeve and Alice Grant walking towards the old dock wall at Sutton Bridge. Photo: SG250216-115
HISTORIC: Betty Reeve and Alice Grant walking towards the old dock wall at Sutton Bridge. Photo: SG250216-115
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Sutton Bridge Golf Club, established in 1914, is a fine nine-hole parkland course in and around an abandoned late 19th-century dock basin adjacent to the River Nene.

The origins of the golf course are known in part to many people but there is almost something romantic in its history which marks it off as ‘unique’.

Back in 1881, the Sutton Bridge Port completed the construction of the dock basin some ten acres in area.

No one could have foreseen the engineering disaster that quickly followed its opening.

Three ships had sailed into the basin and fortunately all three managed to escape before the dock walls began 
to collapse and two large pumping engines sank into the running silt.

The basin was abandoned for some 30 years until local people had the foresight to see the 35 acres as a golf course.

The original walls of the dock basin form an intrinsic part of the course and create changes in levels which are not found in many other Fenland courses.

Today the course is well populated with trees, mostly willows and poplars, which provide definition to the nine holes.

Each hole is totally different and the greens are rated among the best in Lincolnshire with their quality being maintained all year.

The private members’ club has two teams in the South Lincolnshire Scratch League, the ladies section in recent years has won Division Two of the Lincolnshire League and the seniors section is a thriving part of the club – meeting on Wednesday mornings throughout the year.

The current clubhouse was built in 1996 and adjacent to the car park is a four-bay driving range open to both members and visitors at reasonable rates.