Canterbury Golf Club

The Early Days of the Ladies Section

The lady members of Ickham Court Golf Club, which closed in January 1926, formed the nucleus of the Ladies’ Section when Canterbury opened in 1927.  The first Ladies’ A.G.M. with an attendance of 15, was held on August 12 th and was opened by the Mens’ Captain, Mr Douglas Grant, and conducted by the Secretary, Mr T. R. Worthing.  Miss Beatrix Palmer was elected Captain and Miss B. Slater, Honorary Secretary.  It was decided “to have the Medal on the second Wednesday in the month, to see at once about joining the L.G.U. and getting our own handicaps as soon as possible”.


The Ladies’ first match against the Men (lost 2½ to 10½) that year provoked the comment that “ if the men had not got such a strong team, had left out the short handicaps and chosen longer ones, we should have made more of a match ”. This spirit did not prevail long. By November 3 rd it was noted that “Ladies received ¾ of handicaps plus 9 strokes plus ladies’ tees. Stroke allowance far too big-insulting to the Ladies.” Kentish Gazette 20th August 1927


Miss Joan Champion, later Captain of the Ladies’ Section and still a member in 1992, noted in her diary that on September 15 th 1927, she bought a baffy (a number 3 wood) for 16/6d and six new balls for 6d. Clothing for play in that far-off time was Harris tweed, Weatherall and suede jackets, with brogues!


By the second Ladies’ A.G.M. held on April 2 nd , there were twenty- three members of the Club and although the occasion was remembered as being “heated”; tantalisingly the records do not indicate why.  In 1928 a Challenge Cup was purchased and by 1929 the finances were strong enough to buy six chairs. The distinguished lady golfer, Wanda Morgan, was elected to the Committee in 1931 and became Captain later.


The minutes of the Committee of August 1935 mention the Jubilee Cup and the conditions of play, which were to be an annual competition of 36 holes of medal play on two afternoons in the autumn.  Boards listing the names of the Lady Captains, the winners of the Captain’s Prize and the Jubilee Cup were purchased in 1936. A Ladies’ Bisque Bogey Foursomes was instituted and the Ladies recoded their highest balance ever of £10.17.6d in their own funds!


In 1937, the Club’s tenth season, the Ladies won their highest number of matches; the Kent Ladies’ Championship was held at the Club in April, and from that month a Vice-Captain was installed.  In 1938 the Ladies received a cup from Mr William Pollard and a salver from Miss Tchitcherine to be played for annually.  There was a record entry to the Ladies Open Competition of 43 players, but disastrously in October the Clubhouse burned down. The new Clubhouse was in use by November 1939 and it was resolved that the Officers and Committee should remain the same for the duration of the war and the silver cups be stored in a place of safety. 





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