Thursday, August 7, 2014
Guests come from around the world to mark England’s oldest golf club’s 150th anniversary
ROYAL North Devon Golf Club completed a week of celebrations for their 150th anniversary last weekend with a gala dinner attended by nearly 300 guests from overseas clubs, golf organising bodies and members at the Durrant House Hotel in Northam.
The dinner saw 11 overseas royal clubs, 13 overseas clubs, 12 royal UK clubs and 17 UK clubs and golf organisations and RND members coming to North Devon.
Speeches were made by Sandy Dawson, captain of The Royal and Ancient St. Andrews, Charles Churchill, president of RND and Raymond Saunders, president of England Golf.
Guests were warmly welcomed at the entrance by the Bideford pipes and drums band and the main function room was decorated with a special effects screen and ‘starcloths’ supplied by Ilfracombe-based S&H Technical Support Group.
The international week had commenced with a welcome reception at the RND clubhouse when the flags of all visiting clubs were flown and displayed during the following two days of anniversary competitions.
The Royal and Ancient game was first played on Northam Burrows in 1854 and on April 4, 1864 a decision was made to form a golf club.
In 1866, HRH Prince of Wales graciously accorded his patronage and presented the club with a Gold Medal. From this time, the club became ‘The Royal North Devon and West of England Golf Club’ and was the first club in England to have the ‘Royal’ title conferred upon it.
Hugh Bone, chairman of the 2014 organizing committee, said: “RND is the oldest golf course in England and is a place of historical importance with its museum and honours boards attracting golfers from all countries of the world.
“The economic benefit to Torridge District and North Devon is considerable in regard to green fees, employment, hotels etc. and this in turn benefits the local economy.”