The origins of Leominster Golf Club can be traced to 1903 when the course was located somewhere in Kingsland before it moved to Steens Bridge. By the mid-1930s it had moved again to its present location at Ford Bridge. At the start of World War II the course was spared the plough (for food production) but falling membership led to its cessation in late 1942.
There was an attempt to revive the club post-war but it failed, which is the reason we cannot claim continuity since 1903.
In 1967 a small band of hard-working pioneers resurrected a modified course at Ford Bridge and went on to open 9 holes.
This year we commemorate and celebrate the re-formation.
A Sad Beginning.
It was sad that, in January, our retired Head Greenkeeper, Reg Gibbons, passed away. He served from 1988 to 2000 and in that time oversaw the conversion of the course from 9 to 18 holes by 1990. He supervised the construction of a new 11th green, new 5th and 12th tees, the moving of the 12th green, a new 6th hole, a new 15th white tee, a sprinkler system and the moving of the 18th green to accommodate the new clubhouse and carpark. The work of his hands is very visible in the fundamental layout of the course.
At his wake in the clubhouse, there were, among relatives and friends, 17 Leominster GC Captains to pay respects and honour his contribution to the club. Many there enjoyed a mellow tot of whisky in his memory from a 2 litre bottle that Reg had won in the old clubhouse and had kept since the 1990s.
Acorns Hospice Visit
Just before Christmas 2016, the Bargoed Male Voice Choir gave a concert at the club and, during the interval, Gemma Timmins of Acorns Hospice Trust gave the audience an outline of the work of this local children’s charity. In January, Captain Cyril Jennings and helpers were able to visit the Acorns Hospice in Worcester to present Gemma and volunteers with a cheque and toys provided by LGC member’s donations.
Hannah Lockerman Band
It was a return visit in February for Hannah and her band to give a Valentine’s evening of quality singing and light jazz. The cheese and wine evening was organised by the Ladies Section.
Ladies Spring Charity Coffee Morning
In the first week of March the club hosted 50 ladies from 6 clubs for the first of the Coffee Mornings. A commendable sum in excess of £500 was raised for charity. Both red and purple tees were used with prizes for the competition played off each. Additionally prizes were awarded for birdies and nearest the pin on the 6th and 17th holes.
AGM and ALE
After the more serious business of the AGM it was announced that, in conjunction with Wye valley Brewery, there would be a specially re-named beer dedicated to the Anniversary on sale in the clubhouse. The winner of the competition to name the beer was Brim’ junior with the beautifully parochial name of Golden Lemner.
In mid-March the Ladies Section organized a successful quiz where 10 teams of four had their general knowledge tested and raised a useful £200. The victorious team was the Sahara Desert Canoe Club
In perfect weather, 88 members assembled for a shotgun start and, on the 1st tee, new Captain Mark Lane was joined by President Paul Chapman, Past Captain Cyril Jennings and Vice- Clive Brimmell. The Captain’s awaited drive found its way 195 yards through the trees on the right. Three members estimated the distance within 1 yard although nobody was exactly correct.
British Heart Foundation
A wrist operation prevented new seniors’ captain, Vince Fish, from driving-in at the beginning of April so the competition was changed to a monthly medal. Afterwards, past-captain Ian Robertson presented Clare Cassidy of the British Heart Foundation with a cheque for more than £700 accumulated as his charity last year. Clare gave a brief talk on the important and life-saving work of the BHF.
Round Robin Trophy Relinquished
For the previous 3 consecutive years LGC seniors have won the trophy competed between 5 local clubs. The past winter’s result was the closest ever with only one point separating the 1st and 4th places. The head-to-head result was needed to separate the winner. The presentation, held this year at Sapey GC, saw Ian having to relinquish the trophy to the victorious Ross GC seniors.
The men’s Hopbine Trophy, a four day running Stableford, was run through the weekend. On the first day, Richard Maloney Jnr shot 67-5=62 which equalled Craig Brimmell’s best round on the course since the new 3rd tee was added. “Winter Rules” were in play which give an advantage but it was an excellent achievement and justly won the trophy.
Ladies Open Am-Am
Ten clubs were represented on a beautiful Saturday 22nd April. The course was playing well and witnessed a hole-in-one by visitor Alison Harvey and it was visitors who also took prizes for the longest drive and nearest-the-pin. LGC ladies were in the majority of the 3rd placed team and LGC members Kath Parsons, Jo’ Jull, Jackie Price and Wendy Lawrenson took 1st place in the team prize with 85 points.
Fun Open Texam
On May Day an open 4-man competition was run with a novel format where the preferred drive was selected then 2nd and subsequent shots as normal golf. LGC took the first 2 places, top honours going to Phil’ and Kev Green with Tom and Kev Tandler, 104 points cb. Chris Chadd, Kirby Jones, Jon’ Small and Taylor Merrick took second, 104 points. Bromsgrove GC’s Ryan Coy, Woody James, Ray Cole and Paul Davibell took 3rd with 102 points.
Senior Mixed Open Greensomes
A week later Kath Parsons, with Ian Robertson, took first place with 42 points in a Greensomes where 12 clubs were represented, the furthest from Northants. Second were Mike and Anne Belshaw, Church Stretton GC 40 points, 3rd were Debbie & Hugh Jones, St Giles GC 36 points cb and 4th LGC’s Kath’ Carter and Phil’ Green also with 36 points.
Seniors’ Open Texas Scramble
Local knowledge and a dry course clearly played a trump card in this competition where only one prize went to a visitor from the other 10 clubs represented. Dave Leeson from Minchinhampton GC was closest to the pin with his 2nd shot to the 18th. Prizes for the longest drive went to Rob Harris, nearest 6th pin Paul Oatley and nearest 14th pin Kevin Waterman. The 3rd team captained by Ray Chambers scored 57.7 (and the only double two), the 2nd team captained by Paul Chapman returned 57.1 and the winning team captained by Bob Holloway 55.9 (below, L to R, Kevin Waterman, Bob Holloway, Bryan Leech and Rod Garvey).
LGC Evening with Alan Kennedy ex LFC
Ex captain Wayne Barton (Chelsea supporter) pestered ardent supporters of almost every other footbal club in the league to attend what became a well-supported evening of laughter and discussion of football. Alan Kennedy, of Liverpool FC fame, has an amusing manner of speaking and entertained an attentive audience on his exploits at Liverpool, Newcastle, Sunderland, Wigan and all stops between, including Barrow!
He was backed by comedian Freddie Farrell who extracted some intriguing information from club members in the audience!
A rewarding change from sitting in front of the box.