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Gloucestershire Golf Union

a history of the gloucestershire Golf Union (GGU)

Here we take a look back at the long history of the GGU...

2nd January 1906 - Proposed Union of Gloucestershire Golf Clubs by a letter from Honourable Secretary of Gloucester Golf Club (H W Grimes ) following several other counties taking the same step. 

31st January 1906 - As a result of Grimes’ letter, on the 31st January 1906 representatives of the following Clubs attended the meeting and The GGU was formed;.
Cheltenham, Minchinhampton, Gloucester, Rodway Hill, Stinchcombe Hill, Henbury, Sapperton Park (to become Cirencester), Clifton Downs, Wotton-under-Edge, Churchdown and Cotswold Hills. The Alveston Club, although not represented, had intimated its intention of joining the Union if formed, as did Badminton. 

27th June 1906 - Following the formation of the GGU, the first County Club Championship is held in Cheltenham. Each team would consist of four players, playing two rounds of 18 holes, with the best three aggregated. The same rounds would be used for the individual championship. 

A further sub-committee was set up to agree a common set of local rules for the county’s clubs. An inter-club competition for The Minchinhampton Cup was started, in which teams would play each other home and away. Finally, a fixture was arranged with neighbouring golf unions at Worcester and Warwickshire.

1906 -The most controversial happening of this founding year occurred in December when representatives of Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire met and agreed to form the Midland Golf Association. This caused considerable discussion in both the national and regional press. 

1908 - The GGU matured steadily, although the Inter-Club competition was abandoned but in the same year, a North v South match was instituted to help better select county teams. An invitation was received from Somerset to play in an Inter-County competition with Somerset, Dorset and Cornwall.

1914 - The constitution was amended to allow admittance of clubs “whose links though not actually situated within the county are on or near the borders of it”  Long Ashton Golf Club and Bristol and Clifton Golf Club became affiliate members as a result. 

1915 - It was agreed that “no annual meeting be held as long as the war continues but that in the event of it terminating before the end of the summer, the question of holding the meeting be left on the hands of the Executive Committee.” 

1918-1924 - After WW1, county matters settled to a routine until 1924, when a major change occurred. GGU resigned from the Midlands Golf Union to join the South West Counties Golf Association (SWCGA). “The feeling was very strong in the county that some parts of Gloucester were situated at too great distance from Birmingham to create much enthusiasm over the Midland Golf Union.” Given the improvements in transport since the Union was formed, it is hard to imagine that Birmingham had suddenly become more inaccessible than the links of west Cornwall! 

1927 - A South West Counties Golf Association proposal that clubs should be affiliated to the county union in which they were situated was soundly rejected.

1930 - Gloucester joined the English Golf Union. 

1932 - The first match was held with the Gloucester Ladies County Union.

1934 - After discussions with Monmouth Golf Union, it was agreed that although the Chepstow Club was located in Gloucestershire, the great majority of members lived in Monmouth, and so the club should remain in the Monmouth County Union. 

Up to 1939 - An annual County Veterans competition for the Dunford Cup was introduced for the over-50s in 1929, the age limit being raised to over-55 in 1932.

1946 - After WW2, activities soon resumed with the first County Meeting on 22nd June at Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club, and an expansion in the fixture list.

1947 - The county enter a team in the English County Championship at Ganton.

1948 - Matches are arranged with Worcestershire, Glamorgan and Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. 

1949 - Away match with Monmouth.

1950 - Home and away matches are played against Wiltshire. This settles a pattern of around four matches each season for a number of years. 

As a way of raising some needed finance, a Supporters Club is formed with a subscription of 10/- per year, enabling each member to have one day’s free golf at each member club within the Union. This went on to become what we now know as the County Card

September 1952 - The first County Junior Championship is held at Minchinhampton.

1961 - Somerset County Golf Union agreed that Lansdown Golf Club should transfer to Gloucestershire.

1971 - The Channel League is formed allowing competitions between Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Gwent, Glamorgan, Somerset and Dorset. 

1972 - The Duchess Salver trophy is presented to the County by J.K.R Graveney during his term in office as County Captain, it remains the Gloucestershire Order of Merit for amateur golfers.

Mid 1990s - Dorset leaves the Channel League and Devon and Cornwall join. 


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