Still going strong at 75
PUBLISHED: 12:43 05 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010
GOLF: Rushmere Golf Club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary later this year. Although golf has been played on Rushmere Heath for more than a century, the club was known as Ipswich Golf Club until 1927.
RUSHMERE Golf Club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary later this year.
Although golf has been played on Rushmere Heath for more than a century, the club was known as Ipswich Golf Club until 1927.
Then, Ipswich GC moved to their present home at Purdis Heath and Rushmere GC has been going in its own right for the past 75 years.
There have been strong links between the two clubs and since 1963 they have played for the Queensland Cup.
The Queensland Cup, known as the Friendship Cup, was put up by a member who moved to Queensland, Australia, and wanted a cup played for between the two clubs on a home and away basis.
To celebrate the anniversary, Rushmere are planning to hold a day in the summer that involves all members of the club followed by a social event in the evening.
The anniversary comes at a time when the club is at its strongest.
Tom Howard, who hands over the captaincy to Harry Gallant later this month, said: "The club has gone through major changes in recent years both on the course and in the clubhouse.
"We took on 50 new members last year and the club has become more and more competitive.
"Every competition is full up and that reflects the state of the course which many people are saying is in the best condition that it's ever been.
"In the January Medal we had 160 members entering which is a record, while social events have all been sold out."
Rushmere has had its teething problems during the past decade, but now the club is in a strong and healthy position.
"We're still open for membership," said Tom, "but we've changed the time of year when members pay their subscriptions from January to April to bring it in line with other clubs."
During the past year Rushmere has benefited from being an ideal winter course and unlike many in Essex in particular, hardly had to close.
"We had a lot of golfers up from Essex clubs during last winter because their courses were closed for long periods," said Tom, who is looking for success on the competition front during the coming months.
"We have high hopes of winning the Hambro Cup," he said. Last year Rushmere were beaten by Stoke-by-Nayland in the final.
Rushmere can boost some of the lowest handicap players in the county with James Wright, Danny Barton and Kevin Eagle all playing off scratch and several other players with handicaps under five.
The junior section has always been strong and it has produced many players who have gone on to make a name for themselves in Suffolk golf.
There are four girls in the junior section – Sarah Owen, Lisa Meredith, Laura Goldfinch and Jennifer Woodhatch – who all represented the county at their various age levels last year.
The Suffolk Junior Matchplay Championship will be held at Rushmere in August while the club is delighted that it is to again stage the very successful Rushmere Pro-Am.
Considering the course is on common land, Rushmere has improved dramatically over the years.
It is regarded as one the best courses in Suffolk and certainly a demanding test of golf off the back tees.
Rushmere certainly couldn't be in better shape in its anniversary year.
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