Centenary Year For Rushden Golf Club

One of our longest serving tenants is celebrating their centenary this year. Rushden Golf Club first began with a small group of local businessmen who in the early 1900s marked out a field at Stanwick in order to play a few holes. By 1919 however the Club had settled into its present site on Duchy land and established itself as a formal organisation compete with its own constitution.

For the first 59 years of its tenancy the Club was a sub-lessee of the Duchy’s adjacent farming tenant Harry Robinson. Mr Robinson had grazing rights over the land which meant that up to 200 sheep could potentially be allowed onto the course at any one time. As the primary tenant Mr Robinson also had authority over the mowing and height of fairways and rough grass and the right to make decisions over the species and quantity of trees that could be planted on the site. So, when the farmer passed away in 1978, the Golf Club was keen to negotiate a direct lease with the Duchy, giving it the freedom to develop the course without fear of grazing herds.

The layout of the golf course today still echoes its earlier agricultural use. The contours of the traditional ridge and furrow style of ploughing are still visible and are also represented in the Club shield by the wavy lines in the 4th quadrant. The heraldic lion (passant guardant) also present on the Club shield is a direct reference to the Club’s long-standing landlord, the Duchy of Lancaster.

Congratulating the Club on its long history and successful growth to date, Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow said; “Not many organisations have the privilege of congratulating a tenant on achieving its centenary! We are delighted to hear of Rushden Golf Club’s successful track record of growing the membership and encouraging local people to take up the sport. We wish all those associated with the Club continued success and hope that they will continue to enjoy their tenancy for another 100 years.”

Rushden is a parkland course in a rural setting to the east of Rushden and Higham Ferrers in Northamptonshire. In 2010 the course was extended by 9 holes to provide a full-size 18-hole course. Surrounded by open fields and farmland the 6,200 yard par 71 course is undulating and includes large numbers of mature trees. For further information and tee times please visit the website www.rushdengolfclubonline.com.

Part of the Duchy’s ancient inheritance, the historic Higham Ferrers Estate covers 818 hectares and consists mainly of arable farms. It is part of the Southern Survey which extends to 3,688 hectares and includes lands in Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, the Peak District and South Wales.