Royal Jersey Golf Club
Royal Jersey Golf Club
From the club website The club was formed in 1878 when a number of residents decided to lay out a small course on the land that is known as Grouville Common. The rules and regulations of the club were approved at the first meeting in December that year. The club received its Royal warrant in 1879 from Queen Victoria.
The club continued to flourish in the early years, moving to the present clubhouse in 1908, following a number of venues including the 'Golf Inn' now the Pembroke Hotel, behind the 16th tee.
During the two world wars golf was suspended and during the German Occupation the course was turned into a minefield. The remnants of the German invasion can be seen alongside the opening hole where two gun emplacements are situated.
The course has gone through many changes in its history and the present layout has been in existence for approximately 20 years.
Jersey, and in particular the Royal Jersey, has a rich history of players coming from the Island. The most famous is Harry Vardon, arguably the greatest ever English golfer. His haul of six Open Championship wins is still a record. His two US Open Championships means he is one of only three Englishmen to have achieved this feat. The other two are Ted Ray, another Jerseyman who was also the first ever Ryder Cup captain, and Tony Jacklin, who lived in the Island in the 1970s.
Vardon and Ray were part of a group of professional golfers who were known as the 'Jersey School'. They sprang from the Caddies Competitions run by the committee of the club. These men learned to play the game on the course but were not actually members. Apart from Harry Vardon and Ted Ray, there were Harry's brother Tom; William, John and Phillip Gaudin, all of which placed in Open Championships; the Renoufs and Aubrey Boomer. The first international match was England v Scotland, and the English team fielded no fewer that four Jerseymen, all from Grouville.
Other notable players with links to the Club - Tommy Horton was the Head Professional at the Club for 25 years, a Ryder Cup Player (1975 and 77), Captain of the PGA and five times European Seniors Award of Merit winner; Carol Le Feuvre, an amateur golfer, played in the Curtis Cup in the early seventies; Martin Gates, a European Tour player for eight years and more recently Olivia-Jordan-Higgins, who is currently playing on the LPGA Symetra Tour and recorded her first victory in July 2013.