The Mate’s Guide to Burnham of 1903 tells us that the Burnham Golf Club was formed in 1890 with a 9 hole course, extended to 18 holes in 1897. By the time of the guide the size of the course had been extended to 3 miles. It was laid out by Chas. Gibson of Westward Ho “who has taken every advantage of the natural suitability of the ground…..in fact, nature has provided bunkers such as man could not devise and yet the ball is always playable if one knows how……..The course, as a rule, punishes erratic driving and there is a hazard in front of every tee………there is a charming variety about the holes rarely to be met with on other links. A cosy pavilion, facing the first tee and the last hole, supplies all the needs of a golfer.”
At this time the membership was over 250 and the entrance fee was £5. 5s. 0d. plus an annual subscription of £1. 1s. 0d. Visitors were admitted by introduction of a member or the secretary and paid 2s. per day or 10s. per week.
Photos above from the Mate’s Guide 1903
Pictures below from the Golf Guide (1910’s?)
The picture above indicates that the 17th hole was named ‘Majuba’. It is likely that this was named after the battle of Majuba Hill (1881, First Boer War), although it is curious given this was a British defeat. One wonders whether the hill in the background was anything to do with the naming after a battle involving a hill considered by some to be unscaleable! The picture is by Montague Cooper, local photographer.
The 1903 guide describes the ladies club as being adjacent to the mens course and “situated in a most picturesque position among the sandhills, and command an extensive view of the surrounding country.” The guide claimed it to be one of a very few ladies’ clubs in the country to have an 18 hole course. The fees were approximately half those for the men’s club.
Below is an extract from the Golf Guide: