Royal Norwich history photo

1893 to present day

King George V 1910-1936
King George V 1910-1936

Since our formation in 1893 Royal Norwich has been at the forefront of golf in Norfolk.

We were privileged to be given our Royal status by George Duke of York who went on to be King George V 1910-1936. We are also privileged to have HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York as our current Patron.

Our aim is to carry forward our rich heritage that has been created over the past 125 years and to take this forward into a new era for our club when we relocate.

Formation of club

Formed on 8th November 1893 the original land, sufficient for a 9-hole course measuring 2,920 yards, was purchased from the Gurney Trustees for the sum of £1,800 and the funds for this were raised by offering £10 debenture shares at 4% interest.

The Club's operating costs were to be covered by membership entrance fees and annual subscriptions, with the latter fixed at one guinea each for those joining before 31st December 1892.

Course Opening

The course was opened on St Andrew's Day, 30th November 1893, and the first medal competition was held on 25th January 1894, with the winning net score being 51.

The official opening of the club was held on 1st February 1894 and by this time the 18-hole course had been constructed measuring 4,925 yards.

Lady members were able to play either the full 18-hole course or specially selected 9 holes, measuring 2,425 yards, which was officially opened on 24th March 1894.

Within 6 months of being founded, Royal Norwich had attracted over 300 members and they appointed their first Professional in January 1894.  They played their first club match against Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Club at home on 12th July 1894, winning the 9-a-side contest by a 15-holes-up margin.

Opening of the Royal Norwich Golf Club
Opening of the Royal Norwich Golf Club

The First World War

The following years witnessed a period of consolidation and steady development leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. When golfing activity resumed following the end of the war, Royal Norwich embarked upon a scheme to improve and extend the course in 1923.

The re-design of the course was undertaken by James Braid and resulted in the layout of 8 new greens and extending the length of the course to 6,399 yards.

These changes have survived to the present day with only some minor alterations.

The Second World War

The course escaped largely unscathed as a result of the Second World War and was soon back in use following the end of the war - it was however unable to celebrate its Jubilee in 1943.

A number of legacies and personal contributions from members soon restored the club's finances, although the annual subscription had increased to 10 guineas by 1952!

Post war to present day

Subscriptions were raised progressively from Five Guineas, to 10 Guineas in 1952.  By 1960, a new crisis had been reached which was only overcome by raising the subscription to 13 Guineas.

The financial position then began to be transformed, strengthened by an influx of new members, enabling the present Clubhouse to be built in 1964, at a cost of £30,000.

Several national golfing events have been drawn to Royal Norwich, including the Martini International Tournament (1971), the Girls' Home Internationals (1972) and the Ladies British Open Amateur Stroke-Play Championship (1981).

The future

On the 17th March 2017, after 11 years of hard work, the club welcomed another exciting era in its history by announcing its decision to relocate to Weston Longville to a brand new Championship 18 hole course.

The new course has been totally redeveloped by one of the leaders in golf course design - European Golf Design - and will open in the summer of 2019.

Heralding a new era for golfing in Norfolk, our new course will, unquestionably, offer the most impressive course and facilities in the region, rivalling not just some of the greatest golf courses in the UK, but also the world.

125 years of history