The CUGC had a turbulent and varied start to its life. This section outlines the key events that shaped the CUGC into what it is today during its first fifty years. The bibliographies of key figures from this section are outlined under the ‘Notable Members’ tab.
Michaelmas term 1868
An 8-hole course created on Midsummer Common/Jesus Green by George Gosset (King’s).
May term 1869
George Gosset and Andrew Graham Murray (Trinity) create 18-hole course on Therfield Heath, Royston. Andrew Graham Murray, a Scot, was a member of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.
Michaelmas term 1869
Cambridge University GC formed with 17 original members paying 2s/6d subscription. Gosset is first Captain (1869-71), Hon Sec, Claude Cathcart Carnegie.
All the original members had gone down by 1871. CUGC goes into abeyance until 1876.
W T Linskill (Jesus) arrives from St Andrews with his parents to live in Cambridge. Linskill creates a 7-hole course on Coe Fen and also some holes on Sheep’s Green.
Linskill creates a 9-hole course on Coldham Common with the first matches played in February 1876 and he re-establishes CUGC in October 1876.
In March 1887, the Linskill Challenge Cup for best scratch score is first played for. The Linskill Cup is the oldest extant CUGC trophy.
6 March 1878, the first Varsity golf match (instigated by Linskill) is played on Wimbledon Common (home of London Scottish GC). Oxford, led by Horace Hutchinson, win 24 holes up from the four singles matches played.
Match played at Coldham Common on 8 March 1884 between the CUGC professional Bob Martin and Willie Fernie, professional of Felixstowe GC. Martin won the Open Championship in 1876 (and later in 1885) and Fernie was the existing Open Champion at the time of the match having won in 1883.
Coldham Common course extended to 18 holes, measuring about 5,000 yards.
Cambridge (University) Ladies GC formed with 14 members playing on a short 9-hole course on Coldham Common. Short-lived.
H S Colt becomes Captain of CUGC.
J L Low, Captain of CUGC for two years. New ‘commodious’ clubhouse opened on Coldham’s Road in April 1892. CUGC reported to have 500 members, making it one of the largest golf clubs in England.
W T Linskill resigns as Hon Sec and moves with his family to St Andrews where he would remain until his death in 1929. Bernard Darwin becomes Captain of CUGC.
The Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society is formed with John Low as the first Captain.
Agreement reached for CUGC to play and hold fixtures at Royal Worlington and Newmarket GC. Coldham Common golf course abandoned after 25 years of use. New CUGC 9-hole course (subsequently extended to 18) created at Whitwell Hill, Coton, to west of Cambridge.
Gordon Barry, the Amateur Champion, becomes an undergraduate at the University and a member of CUGC.
J F Ireland becomes Captain of CUGC and is also Captain at cricket and hockey.
The First World War. CUGC in abeyance. The course at Whitwell Hill is dug up and converted to agricultural land (and remained so ever since).