Golf in Lincolnshire dates from the 1890’s when the first Golf Clubs played the game in Parks and on the commons but as the game grew more popular the sand dunes of the coast were soon appropriated for courses.
The first Club in the County was Burghley Park (Stamford) which was formed in October 1890 with a 9 hole course. A number of Clubs have also celebrated their Centenaries, Belton Park, Lincoln, Woodhall Spa, Canwick Park, Carholme, Seacroft, Boston, Elsham, Sandilands, Blankney, Cleethorpes, Sleaford, Spalding ,Holme Hall, North Shore, Market Rasen, Thonock Park and Sutton Bridge.
The Lincolnshire Union of Golf Clubs was founded in February 1900 on the initiative of a Mr W T Warrender. Thirteen of the leading Clubs in the County became affiliated to the Union and the first Championship meeting extending over a week was held on the green of the Lincoln Golf Club in April of that year. Today their are 49 Clubs in the Union within the geographical area from the Humber in the North to the County Boundary in the South with a male playing membership of some 14,500.
The objectives of the Union are to affiliate recognised Clubs in the County which must have a constitution approved by the Union and have facilities for players of a standard acceptable to the Union; to further the interests of Amateur golf; to arrange County Competitions and matches and; to co-operate with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the England Golf in all matters relating to Amateur Golf. Before a Club can be affiliated to the Union an inspection is carried out by Officers of the Union to ensure that the principles as set out by the LUGC are met and that the Club will be organised in accordance with the Rules of the LUGC.
Each male playing member pays an annual subscription to the Union, the majority of expenditure is incurred in playing other Counties at various levels in different Leagues and for Junior coaching. The Union also organises 18 County Competitions and Championships including the Lincolnshire Open Championship involving as it does the County professionals together with various inter-Club and individual competitions from which members of the 53 Clubs can compete. It is from this system that Club players can progress to play for their County, their Country and eventually to represent Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup. Some will then make the move into the professional arena and hopefully to the highest ranks of professional golf as have former Lincolnshire players Tony Jacklin (Scunthorpe) and Mark James (Burghley Park), both of whom went on to Captain the Ryder Cup Team.
The Union has a governing Council on which nominated representatives of ALL the affiliated Clubs can sit and in which the entire management of the Union is vested. To carry out the decisions of the Council a number of Officers and Officials are elected annually including the President and the Honorary Secretary.Ensuring that the policy of the Union is carried out, an Executive Committee which includes nominated representatives from ALL of the affiliated Clubs meets some 3 times per year…
Members can have their views raised at Club level, discussed, and taken to the LUGC. The Union is represented on the Midland Golf Union where issues can progress to England Golf and finally, if appropriate to the Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews which is the world authority on golf. It is in this way that golf in the United Kingdom is governed for the benefit of Amateur Golfers.