Club History

From its origin in 1886 as Ashbourne and Dove Valley Golf Club, golf has been enjoyed in the ancient market town of Ashbourne for well over a hundred years.

Ashbourne is referred to in the Domesday Book, as Esseburne and is believed to mean “the brook of the ash tree.”

The first course comprised 6 holes and was laid out somewhere between the Isaak Walton and The Peveril of the Peak Hotels. This course was on the edge of the Peak District and was somewhat inaccessible for the few who were privileged to play. Subsequently, the club struggled and a new home was found at Boothby Farm, Ashbourne Green and clubrooms were rented from the Boothby Arms Inn. The course was some 40 acres of permanent pastureland with the advantage of a sandy subsoil. Mr W Lowe of Buxton was retained to lay out the holes.

In 1909 the club moved to Clifton and a 9-hole course was constructed on land, the majority of which formed part of Hollies Farm.

In 1928 a further 38 acres of land was rented from Lodge Farm and 5-holes were re-designed by James Braid (Open champion 1901/5/6/8/10) and constructed by John Strutt of Scotland at a cost of £795. The new 4th hole was modelled on the famous Road Hole at St Andrews.

In November 1937, Ashbourne Golf Club Limited was formed with a share capital of 2,000 £1 shares.

In March 1941 notice was received from the County War Agricultural Committee that part of the course be handed over to the war effort and ploughed up. The recently acquired 38 acres from Lodge Farm was sacrificed but a small parcel of land from the Clifton Estate was secured in exchange and a shorter course was used.

The following years were somewhat chequered, including the Limited company going into liquidation, the selling of the Clifton Estate and the construction of the A515 Clifton by pass. This resulted in the compulsory purchase of part of the course by the Derbyshire County Council.

The freehold purchase of the course was completed on May 9th 1980, thanks largely to the generosity of members in making interest free loans and a grant from the Sports Council. A new Limited company was formed.

The next chapter in the history of Ashbourne Golf Club began in 1996 when the Joules family relocated to Wales, putting Lodge Farm on the market. Lodge Farm, a former hunting lodge for the Cokayne family of Ashbourne and 158 acres of land was purchased.

David Hemstock a locally renowned golf course architect was instructed to design an 18 hole golf course and practice ground. Modern clubhouse facilities were constructed and the opening ceremony was conducted on May 1st 1999 by the then Captain Mr G Bould and President Mr F Price.

The golf course has won acclaim among the members and has proved to be a challenge for both high and low handicaps and offers spectacular views into Dovedale and the Peak District. The greens are built to the modern USGA specification with 70% sand base and feature both fescue and bent grass.

Since the opening of the new 18-holes, the course has hosted the DUGC Boys Championship and the DLCGA County Foursomes. The Derbyshire Alliance has also resumed its close association with the club and staged 4BBB competitions.

To go into the new millennium the club logo was re-designed to incorporate 2 crossed golf clubs and a cock. The cock is a familiar symbol in Ashbourne and is the legacy of the Cokayne family who were landed gentry in the town. The date in the scroll recognises the founding of the original Ashbourne and Dove Valley Golf Club in 1886 and highlights the formation of the oldest Golf Club in the county.

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