Royal Norwich Golf Club Ltd was formed on the 8 November 1893, and the then Duke of York (the future King George V) kindly consented to become Patron of the Club. The Club’s emblem was therefore designed around the white rose of York and this is still reflected in its logo today.
How it all started
The original land, sufficient for a 9-hole course measuring 2,920 yards, was purchased from the Gurney Trustees for the sum of £1,800 and the funds for this were raised by offering £10 debenture shares at 4% interest. The club’s operating costs were to be covered by membership entrance fees and annual subscriptions, with the latter fixed at one guinea each for those joining before the 31 December 1893.
St Andrews Day
The course was opened on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1893, and the first medal competition was held on 25 January 1894, with the winning net score being 51.
The official opening of the club was held on 1 February 1894 and by this time 18 holes had been constructed measuring 4,925 yards. Lady members were able to play either the full 18-hole course or a specially selected 9 holes measuring 2,425 yards, which was officially opened on 24 March 1894.
Within six months of being founded the Royal Norwich Golf Club had attracted over 300 members and they appointed their first Professional, Richard Kelly, in January 1894. They played their first club match against Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club at home on 12 July 1894, winning the 9-a-side contest by a 15-holes-up margin.
World War 1
After the dynamic activity of the early months of the club’s founding, the following years witnessed a period of consolidation and steady development leading up to the outbreak of World War 1. When golfing activity resumed following the ending of the war, Royal Norwich embarked upon a scheme to improve and extend the course in 1923. The re-design of the course was undertaken by James Braid and resulted in the layout of 8 new greens and extending the length of the course to 6,399 yards.
These changes have survived to the present day with only some minor alterations.
Second World War 2
The course escaped largely unscathed as a result of the Second World War and was soon back in use following the ending of the war. It was, however, unable to celebrate its Jubilee in 1943 due to the war and its finances had suffered badly during that period. A number of legacies and personal contributions from members soon restored the club’s finances, although the annual subscription had increased to 10 guineas by 1952!
The club is proud to have hosted a number of national golfing events during its history and to have produced golfers of a high calibre. Notable amongst these is Arthur Perowne, who represented Great Britain in the Walker Cup on three occasions, and Mrs Peggy Carrick, who was an England international and won the Norfolk Ladies Championship on no fewer than 8 occasions.
The highlight of the club’s more recent history was the celebration of its Centenary in 1993. Guests from over 40 other Royal Clubs from around the world attended the week of celebrations, and the club was privileged to enjoy the company of HRH The Duke of York at the Centenary Banquet.