Kendal Golf Club was formed in 1891 which makes it one of the oldest clubs in Cumbria. Over the clubs 125 year history it has seen many changes to the layout of the course and the clubhouse. In its early days many famous faces from the world of golf played at Kendal Golf Club in exhibition matches. The most famous being Old Tom Morris who helped design the layout of the course in the early 1900’s.
The Formation of Kendal Golf Club 1891
The Kendal Race Course Club was formed in 1891 and play was over the disused racecourse high above the town adjacent to Scout Scar. This was the original Kendal Golf Club and at first consisted of 12 holes but later six more were added.
Around the turn of the century two courses existed in Kendal, The Race Course Club and a nine hole Cunswick club. However both courses were rather inaccessible and in 1897 the Cunswick club obtained the lease on approximately 88 acres belonging to and quite near the town.
The club employed the services of Old Tom Morris to survey the land. Old Tom describing the land as ‘admirably adapted for golfing purposes and in such an admirable situation’. The club was given a putter believed to have been used by Old Tom Morris and also a portrait of the great man himself.
The Cunswick club adopted the name ‘Serpentine Golf Club’ and a clubhouse was built and membership increased rapidly.
This led to the eventual closure of the Race Course Club in 1907 and the younger more energetic club absorbed the membership and took the name Kendal Golf Club.
The Early 1900’s
In 1907 the club appointed its first Professional, Mr. John Shiells. He was to serve the club from 1907 to 1951 . A clubmaker of distinction many of his clubs are to be found to this day.
In 1912/1913 the course was considerably altered and lengthened. Numerous alterations have taken place since with many famous Professionals of the time having a say in the arrangements, notably E. Ray, Harry and Tom Vardon and J.H. Taylor.
A number of exhibition matches took place at Kendal in these early years with players including Ben Sayers, Harry and Tom Vardon, Sandy Herd and E. Ray welcomed to Kendal.
In 1960 major alterations took place to the clubhouse to provide better facilities for the membership and with more recent additions to the lounge dining area and the Professional shop the clubhouse offers a warm and friendly atmosphere with magnificent views down the valley towards Morecambe Bay.
In the mid 1990’s decisions were taken to extend the course further and to re-lay the soil based greens with USPGA specification sand based greens. This work commenced in 1997 and to date 11 greens have been re-layed and extended.
Helped by the natural limestone drainage of the area the course is playable all year round and although short in yardage terms, by modern standards, the course plays to its par of 69 and is a true test of golf for players of all standards. If you have any photographs or stories about our club, please email them to us.
2016 – Kendal Golf Club Celebrates 125 Years
In 2016 we celebrated 125 years of Kendal Golf Club, it was a very special year for Club Captain Mike Fishwick, Club President Sid Roe and Lady Captain Nancy Stock. To celebrate 125 years at Kendal Golf Club we had anniversary competitions and anniversary functions throughout the season. Anniversary jumpers and shirts were very popular in the pro-shop. The club also saw the opening of the par 3 course and the new portable driving range.
The Men’s Club Championship was won by James Atkinson for a 5th time and the Ladies Club Championship was won by Caitlin Whitehead for a successive 3rd time. In the clubs 125th year Caitlin became the Cumbria Ladies County Champion for a second year and the Scottish Girls under 14 Champion.
As part of the anniversary celebrations four past presidents Gordon Andrew, Alex Gordon, Barrie Coates and Bill Phillips bought an anniversary flag for the club.