Bedfordshire County Golf

Union History

A brief history of the Bedfordshire County Golf Union

The Union was founded on the 16th February 1923 in Bedford by four clubs, namely Bedfordshire, Dunstable Downs, South Beds and Mid Beds (now Bedford & County). The Affiliation was 2 guineas per club. It has grown to 22 clubs, one of the smallest Counties in the English Golf Union. In its early years it was part of the Midland Golf Union and only joined the South East Group after the war.

Even though Bedfordshire numbers were small, in comparison to the larger counties, there have been a number of personalities who have made their mark. The earliest and possibly the most famous was Henry Longhurst who was an active member of the Bedfordshire Club in the 1930s. Leslie Randall of South Beds was a pre and post war Champion, County Captain and made a reputation in a number of National Championships. Leslie Day of Bedford & County made a major contribution to the Union during the 1950s through to his untimely death in 1977. He won the Championship, was Captain from 1952-54 and was Secretary for 21 years. Cyril Rose, who in recent years was the doyen of Bedfordshire Golf, having been County Captain and President he served Bedfordshire as the voting member on the EGU Council and Committees for a number of years. He particularly worked hard for the furtherance of Junior Golf.

The first President was His Grace the 11th Duke of Bedford whose Coat of Arms forms the Bedfordshire Badge. No further Presidents were elected until 1954 when Bertie Browning of South Beds became the first of the modern day Presidents. Since that time the Union has been fortunate with its Presidents, most of whom served for two years with much credit to themselves and the Union.

One of the great strengths of Bedfordshire has been the feeling of family within the Union, This may have been assisted by the fact that there has only been eight Secretary's throughout the eighty six years history. All have served with enthusiasm, dedication and pride.

It is impossible to list all the Unions successes over the years but worthy of note is that on a number of occasions the County Team has won and been runner up in the South East Group Northern Division League and has won the Eastern Inter-Counties Foursomes on five occasions, the last time in 2000. The Union is strongly committed to improving Junior Golf and over time a number of boys have been selected for England Coaching Squads, England Schools and full National Boys Teams.

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