Course Status:      Course Open 28/03/2017 1st on Temporary Green Course Maintenance
Before the inauguration of St Ives (Hunts) Golf Club, golf had previously been played on a short course in St Audrey's Lane. On 19th October 1922 the Mayor announced in the local paper that to help promote the general welfare of the town, it was planned to have a 'very excellent nine-hole golf course' on the edge of town.
A meeting of those interested in a proposal to establish a Golf Club for St Ives and District was held at The Fountain Cafe, St Ives on Wednesday, 28th February 1923. The Chair was taken by Mr J Johnson, prime mover and co-founder.
The Chairman recalled that some months previously, there came onto the market a site known as the Brick Hills and adjoining lands at St Ives, which were deemed suitable for a golf course. Immediate steps were taken to lay out the course. The Promoters, who had purchased the land, had become incorporated as 'St Ives Sports Ltd' and handover of the course to a Club was negotiated. It was unanimously agreed at this first meeting that those present would resolve themselves into a Club to be known as 'St Ives (Hunts) Golf Club'. It was to take another 10 years before the Golf Club officially took over all assets and loans from St Ives Sports Limited in 1933.
A rough (natural) course came into play fairly quickly, maintained by mainly volunteers, grazing livestock and a horse-drawn mower; horses wore 'goloshes' to prevent hoof-marks on course and greens. Single horsepower was replaced by a tractor after 5 years of sterling service.
The Club carried on functioning during the war years and the course remained playable throughout using volunteer members and servicemen. Though post golf entertainment was limited, the Club did its bit by allowing Home Guard exercises in the Clubhouse. However, during the winter of 1943/44, the course was in danger of being ploughed up to assist in the war effort following a standby order issued by the District Office of the Hunts War Agricultural Committee. Thankfully the land was not needed much to members' relief.
During 1947, Huntingdon Golf Club closed and St Ives (Hunts) GC accepted a large number of their members thereby aiding the popular continuance of golf in the Huntingdon area.
There were several alterations to both the course and clubhouse since the inauguration in 1923. The first course layout remained unaltered until after the Second World War and seven of the nine greens remained in use until 2010. There were only three changes to the course from 1923. The first change (1953/54) was to take out the 5th and 6th holes and introduce new 3rd and 4th holes; allowing a school playing field to be made behind the Clubhouse. Planned course changes to bring about the 9-hole layout, (incorporating a practice ground adjoining the 8th hole and lengthening the 7th by playing from the top level) were drawn up in March 1962, with work finally completed in April 1964. The last change, completed in 1983, was to lengthen the 8th tee to make it into a par 5; thereby increasing the Standard Scratch from 68 to 69. In 1978 the Thicket Path was sold to the local community for the princely sum of £1, thereby alleviating the maintenance burden from the Club's greenstaff and also providing a much needed access facility to the people of St Ives and Houghton/Wyton.
The Clubhouse underwent many changes both inside and out. The open veranda of the first build was converted to an enclosed sun lounge in 1975. In 1986 major refurbishment and extensions were carried out.
Expanding to 18 holes was first investigated back in May 1965 but obtaining land adjacent to the course proved to be major problem. The investigation lasted several years, even going as far as submitting plans to local authorities to 'test the water'. Eventually it was discussed at an EGM in July 1973 that, as land was not available adjacent to the present 9-hole course, if thoughts were still strong for an 18-hole course then it would need to be constructed elsewhere. There was very little support for the scheme with an overwhelming majority in favour of remaining on the 9-hole course at Westwood Road. However, in 1998 the Club again proposed an extension to 18 holes entering into strong negotiations for the purchase of land belonging to the Poultry Research Centre adjacent to the 9-hole course and The How. The extension was to be self-financing by the sale of part of the existing course to a developer. After 4 frustrating years, extending to 18 holes became untenable and, as the developer was in a position go ahead, plans were put in place to site a new course and clubhouse on land on the outskirts of the town. Purchase and planning began in earnest in 2002 with construction starting in 2007. In 2010 the club moved to a brand new 18 hole inland links style course on a 230-acre site at Giffords Farm near Needingworth with driving range, practice facilities, club house and a Titleist fitting centre.
Now, approaching the Club's 90th birthday, we are embarking on an exciting phase after the huge step of moving to a new 18-hole golf course and clubhouse. However, we still maintain the vision of our founders by providing golf amenities which are, in the words of the Mayor in 1922, '.......to promote the general welfare of the Town'.
The official opening of the new course, clubhouse and Titleist Fitting Centre was carried out by Robert Karlsson on August 16th 2010.