150 not out

We take a look back at the 150th anniversary celebrations at Alnmouth Golf Club

Alnmouth Golf Club’s 150th celebrations have proved a huge success at local, regional and national level.

Major events were held at England’s fourth oldest club in 2019, including Northumberland’s victory in the Northern Counties Men’s Qualifying tournament, AKA The Big Six, in August. The club also hosted the Senior Home Internationals in September, which were won by England.

The 10th anniversary of the Northern Junior Golf Tour Grand Final welcomed four 25-strong teams of juniors from Northumberland, Cumbria, Co Durham and North Yorkshire with Northumberland winning the team title.

Morpeth’s David Clark produced one of the rounds of the year at Foxton to win the 150th Anniversary Pro Am. His six under-par 65 led one of the finest fields of this year’s NENW PGA season as Ken Ferrie finished second.

At club level, events have included a hickory club tournament, a triangular match with Royal Liverpool and Stirling golf clubs – both of which also turned 150 in 2019 – and a tournament which brought together the county’s clubs.

For many, the highlight of the celebrations came off the course as 370 guests enjoyed a gala dinner in June. Guests included R&A captain Chris Hilton along with The Amateur Championship trophy, which was originally sponsored by 24 clubs, including Alnmouth.

Club manager Peter Simpson said: “The year couldn’t have gone better. The committees and staff have worked really hard to make it truly exceptional.

“The golf club has always been evolving. Even this year we’ve opened an indoor studio, but this year was a great opportunity to reflect on what we’ve achieved in 150 years.”

The year has been recognised with a number of additions to the incredible archives at the club. Gifts from clubs and England Golf will be displayed along with the original plans for the course, which were presented by the Duke of Northumberland, the club’s president.

Established in 1869 at what is now Alnmouth Village Golf Club by a group led by captain Arthur Walker, with Mungo Park as the club’s first professional and greenkeeper, the club moved to Foxton Hall in 1930.

This year’s celebrations have also involved Alnmouth Village, which took over the running of the original nine-hole links in 1936. The clubs hosted a match over nine holes at Foxton and the nine holes in the bay along with members swapping courses for events.

Peter added: “Personally, I have two highlights from 2019. First was creating new relationships with Royal Liverpool and Stirling. We’ve formed friendships which will carry on with regular events. Second was our gala dinner. We welcomed 370 people for a true celebration. It will stand out as a great occasion for many years to come.

“We enjoy celebrating our history at Alnmouth, but we’re not a club to stand still for long.

“Howard Swan has set out a five-year plan to keep the course moving forward in line with Colt’s original work and we’re looking forward to continuing our success for the next 150 years.”