East London Golf Club celebrates anniversary

TEEING UP: The East London Golf Club has a history stretching back nearly 130 years
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

April 20 marks the 128th anniversary of the East London Golf Club, which was first established back in 1893.

The original club was very different from the one that stands today,and in fact wasn’t even in the same location. There is still debate as to where exactly the first location actually was – some put it in the Quigney, others say it was in the old railway workshops.

This first clubhouse started out with just a single putting green, but that changed in July 6 1893, when the club officially opened the rest of its 12 holes.

This date was chosen specifically to honour of Prince George V’s marriage to Mary of Teck. It went on to hold its first competition on September 23 of that year, which was won by E. Page who scored 72 with a handicap of 35. Scratch golfer HH Elliot is recorded as having the best gross, scoring 83.

While there were plans early on to relocate the club to a more suitable location, this was delayed by the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899.

Once the war was over, the club relocated in 1903 to Baysville and was able to convert an old military blockhouse into their clubhouse.

The new course was 18 holes and while many members found it unsatisfactory, it didn’t stop the club from hosting the SA Open and SA Amateurs tournaments in 1906.

A body was formed shortly after by members in order to find a more suitable location for the club along the coast but once again relocation plans were put on hold due to war, this time World War 1.

The project picked up again in 1923 and building of the new facilities on the current site in Bunkers Hill began that same year.

128 years later, the East London Golf Course is still a popular feature for locals and visitors alike and is often listed among the top 20 golf courses in the country.

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