Course History

Retford Golf Course dates from 1921, in which year Colonel Sir Albert Whitaker Bart., CBE. of Babworth Hall, leased the fledgeling golf club 38 acres of land on which the first six holes were created.

Tom Williamson designed these holes. Retford is one of more than 60 courses in the UK laid out by Tom (the nearest other course is Coxmoor). The club membership back in the early days was of 100 Gents and 67 Ladies - a very progressive ratio even by today's standards.

In 1924, the club hosted an event that was attended by the Open Champion of the time, Mr. Arthur Havers. In 1928, a Retford member, Miss K. Watson won the Nottinghamshire Ladies Championship. Her sister, Miss N. Watson, also a Retford member, subsequently won the same championship during the 1930s.

The club raised money during the 1940s through a share issue, and throughout both the 40s and 50s bought additional land. Two further new holes were opened in 1958 by Sir Stuart Goodwin (holes which today are the 13th and 14th), and this completed the first nine holes of the golf course.

Plans to extend the course to 18 holes were first mooted in the mid seventies by the Captain, Major G. Foster. The proposal was to turn the course into a municipal, as part of a joint venture with Bassetlaw District Council. These plans however came to nothing, as did further attempts at cooperation with the local council during the early 1980s. An extension plan was eventually approved by the membership in 1986, and Retford Golf Club remained, as it is today, a private members' club.  Then in 1990, after more than 60 years of play, a further nine holes, mostly at the far side of the Sheffield to Lincoln railway line, were opened by Major Sir J. Whitaker Bart. 

In the following year club membership reached a record level of 504 Gents, 116 Ladies and 75 Juniors.

The current Clubhouse was erected in the early part of the current Millennium, and opened by Mr. Bob Wilson of Arsenal F.C. and Scotland in April 2001.

The photograph from the new Clubhouse opening also includes a youthful-looking Craig Morris (standing to the left of Mr. Wilson), who still today is our head PGA Professional at Retford Golf Club.