Sudbury Golf Club Heritage
The club was originally founded as Acton Golf Club in 1896 and moved to its present location in 1920 after the area surrounding Acton GC was to be developed to create housing after the First World War. Part of the course was subject to a compulsory purchase order, so prominent Acton GC member, Sir Sidney Skinner set about searching for a new site. That site is Sudbury Golf Club today, but was then known as Horsenden Farm. The purchase of the freehold cost £18,000 and a sum of £6,250 was agreed for the surrender of the lease from Major E.C. Murray, the land owner.
Having acquired the farmland, Skinner commissioned the celebrated course architect, Harry Colt, to design the new course and the firm of Fowler & Simpson set about fashioning his design. With over 100 men working to create greens, fairways, bunkers, tees, planting trees and shrubs, 14 playable holes were ready within only five weeks. On Friday 2nd April 1920 Sir Sydney hit the first ball off the 1st tee (present day 15th) just two days after being elected Chairman and Club Captain. Sir Sydney remained as Captain for six years.
The present day clubhouse was built in 1921 at least four years before any residential development on the Bridgewater Road and Whitton Avenue. Changes and additions have been made through the years, but the Clubhouse today is very close to the original.
The Club owes its very existence to the foresight and generosity of Sir Sydney Martyn Skinner J.P. (1864 – 1941) who became Chairman of the famous store Barkers of Kensington in 1914. It is no wonder that today’s Sudbury members covet the prestigious Skinner Match-play Trophy.
Henry Shapland “Harry” Colt
(4 August 1869 – 21 November 1951) was a golf course architect born in Highgate, England. He designed over 300 golf courses (115 on his own) in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa and is considered to be one of the greatest of all course designers. Colt’s courses of note in the UK include Sunningdale ‘New’, Rye, Stoke Park, Calcot Park and the East & West Courses at Wentworth. He performed extensive redesigns of Sunningdale’s ‘Old’ course and of Muirfield and the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, two of the courses on the rota the Open Championship. He designed the original layout at Sudbury in 1920. In 1897 he became a Founder Member of the Royal & Ancient Rules of Golf Committee.
(20 April 1924 – 24 August 2005) was a Detective Chief Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police in London. He was famously known as "Slipper of the Yard" (referring to Scotland Yard) and was mainly known for his role in investigating the Great Train Robbery in 1963 and in tracking down Ronnie Biggs in Brazil after he escaped from prison in 1965. He was involved in several major investigations such as the Bank of America robbery in April 1975, in which £8 million was stolen from a branch in Davies Street, Mayfair and was also involved with Britain's first "Supergrass" trial in 1973, in which bank robber Bertie Smalls testified against his former associates in exchange for his own freedom. Maurice O'Mahoney. Slipper helped to set up the Robbery Squad, which later merged into the Flying Squad.
(21 November 1905 – 8 November 1977) was a popular English comedian of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, on radio and television. His BBC radio show Ray's a Laugh ran for 12 years.
Ray was an accomplished golfer, frequently playing with professional sportsmen. Later in his career he appeared in the comedy radio panel game Does the Team Think? For several years, he presented a radio show on BBC Radio 2 in the early 1970s. He was also involved in Jokers Wild, an ITV celebrity comedy game show (1971–74) which was chaired by Barry Cryer. He was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions. In 1975, returning home from a day on the golf course, Ray was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. The injuries sustained had a physically debilitating effect and left him dependent on crutches.
Joan Marley Spearman
( November January 1928 - 19 August 2011 ) was an English amateur golf star and is Sudburys most celebrated golfer. Born Marley Joan Baker in 1928, she was the daughter of a businessman and was brought up in Wimbledon. She left school early to embark on a career on the stage, joining a dance troupe which performed with The Crazy Gang at the Windmill Theatre in the West End of London.
In her early 20s she married Tony Spearman, who worked in the car trade, and she left the stage. The role of housewife, however, did not suit her, and she was on the lookout for a new interest when one afternoon, while shopping at Harrods, she saw a notice advertising free golf lessons. She decided to give it a try, and became hooked. Having had her lessons, she took to practising in the garage of her mews house in London, striking balls against a carpet hung on the wall.
Spearman later said that she was at first regarded with some suspicion in the golf world — possibly, she thought, because her style of dress did not accord with that expected of lady golfers in the 1950s. But she persevered, and won the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship in 1961 and 1962. She was New Zealand champion in 1963, and English champion in 1964. In 1960, 1962 and 1964 she was a member of the Curtis Cup Team and was Captain in 1970. She also played in the Vagliano Trophy matches in 1959 and 1961, and in the Commonwealth Tournament (now the Astor Trophy) in 1959 and 1963.
Between 1955 and 1965 she was the Middlesex champion eight times; she reached the semi-finals of the Canadian championships 1959, and of the French in 1964. In 1962, after she had won the British title for the second year in succession, Madame Tussauds commissioned a waxwork of her. Marley died, aged 81 in 2011.
(Born 8 November 1969) is a Thai professional golfer who plays on the Asian Tour and the European Tour. On the Asian Tour, he holds the record for the most career earnings and is second in victories having won 13 times. He has won the Order of Merit on the Asian Tour three times during his career. Jaidee was the first man to win US$2 million, US$3 million, US$4 million and US$5 million on the Asian Tour in prize money. In July 2016 Jaidee claimed his eighth European Tour victory with a four stroke victory at the Open de France. He shot weekend rounds of 68-68, which included a run of 39 holes without a bogey. Jaidee became the oldest winner of the tournament, at the age of 46, since it became part of the European Tour in 1972. He has been an honorary member of Sudbury since 2015.