Alnmouth Village Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses in England. Situated along River Aln and Alnmouth Beach, AVGC is home to some of the most beautiful views you’ll see on a links-style golf course. But that beauty is currently under attack – and club members are growing worried that might lose their golf course.

Floods and Erosion Are Ruining The Course

Being situated along the coastline means AVGC is prone to two primary concerns – flooding and erosion. While they’ve had issues arise in the past, it has never affected what they describe as the ‘link end’ of the course – well, that is until now.

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Recent photos show several sections of turf falling into the sea as a result of coastal erosion. The land loss has club members worried about what might happen if they don’t take action – with some members saying it could spell the end of the historic course.

Club Secretary Suggests Using Boulders

“We will eventually lose the golf course if nothing is done,” said club Secretary Ian Simpson. The club is celebrating the 155th anniversary of its opening this year, but Simpson wonders how many more years they can celebrate.

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“We are very concerned and need to look at new ways of dealing with it,” he continued – adding that they could potentially use boulders to help mitigate the impact of the waves. Even then, the question becomes how long it’ll last before further improvements are needed.

Treasurer Details History Of Issues

John Graham, the club’s Treasurer, has been a member at AVGC for more than 65 years. He not only understands the history behind this course, but he has witnessed some of the tragedies that have occurred there in recent decades.

Source: Tripadvisor

“We had a big problem in the early 1960s near the boathouse. The sea got in, and it destroyed about 15 yards,” he said. “There was more trouble in the 1990s, but we had some pipes buried, and we had marram grass planted and that stabilized that area.”

Councillor Is ‘Very Concerned’ About Future

Club members aren’t the only ones concerned about the course’s future. Gordon Castle, the County Councillor for Alnwick Ward (including Lesbury and Alnmouth), is making all the right calls in an effort to find a permanent solution to preserve the course.

Source: JThomas

“I’ve contacted the cabinet member for the environment at Northumberland County Council to see if it is possible that money allocated for coastal erosion could be used to protect this spot,” he said – adding that not all coastal changes can be avoided and/or prevented.

Meet England’s Oldest Nine Hole Golf Course

Alnmouth Village Golf Club is a nine-hole golf course located in Northumberland, England. It was established by Captain Arthur Walker in August 1869 – when he issued a notice of intent to build a golf course in Alnmouth.

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According to historical documents kept at the Club, the first annual meeting took place in October 1869. It didn’t take long for the course to become a go-to source of entertainment for those in the area—and it still is today.

Designed By Mungo Park

Mungo Park was the architect behind the course’s design. He was just 32 years old at the time, but he went on to become one of the most famous golf professionals of his time – including the first-ever club professional at AVGC.

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In fact, Park went on to win the Open Championship in 1874 – just five years after AVGC was established. He shot a 159, including a 37 and 38 in the first two rounds – ultimately defeating Tom Morris Jr. by two strokes.

1869-70: First Competitions Are Held

The Club didn’t waste any time in holding competitions and awarding prizes. Captain Walker won the club’s first-ever competition – the Percy Medal – in October 1869, while Revd. A. Medd won the club’s first-ever silver Challenge Cross.

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The Browne Cup (presented by A.H. Browne) and the Cadogan Medal (presented by Mr. C.W. Cadogan) both debuted in the Spring of 1870. Mr. C.E. Riddell won the Browne Cup, while Mr. Alexander Strath won the Cadogan Medal.

1907: Alnmouth Ladies Golf Club Formed

Women were allowed to play at the Alnmouth Village Golf Club as early as 1881. In fact, the Newcastle Daily Journal printed a note saying that the Alnmouth Ladies had made a request to the men’s club to play a horse shoe round on the links, according to the course’s website.

Source: Shutterstock

With that said, it took more than 25 years for the course to establish a women’s club. The Alnmouth Ladies Golf Club was formed in 1907, and its first meeting was held in July 1908. Mrs. MacLean was named the club’s first-ever Lady Captain between 1908 and 1911.

1930: New 18-Hole Course Added

In the late 1920s, the Duke of Northumberland was approached with an idea to expand the golf course’s offerings by creating a separate, 18-hole course on nearby land. The Duke agreed, and the Alnmouth Golf Club at Foxton Hall was established.

Source: Golf club and golf course in Northumberland

The new course opened on May 9, 1931, but the Duke of Northumberland, who approved its creation, died just months before its launch. Today, it is one of the premier courses in England.

1936: Alnmouth Village Golf Club Formed

In 1936, the course earned its name – the Alnmouth Village Golf Club. The club has done an excellent job of maintaining the course’s history and tradition. For example, they still hold a number of competitions that have been held there for 100+ years.

Source: Alnmouth Village Golf Club

One such tradition is called ‘the upper and downer’ – a match between the two clubs—the Alnmouth Village Golf Club and the Alnmouth Golf Club at Foxton Hall. It usually incorporates the nine holes at AVGC and the back nine at AGC.

Fourth Oldest Golf Course In England

The Alnmouth Village Golf Club is the oldest nine-hole golf course in England, but there were three other courses (shorter than nine holes) that came before it – making it the fourth oldest golf course in the country.

Source: Dmytro Aksonov from Getty Images Signature via Canva

If you’re looking for a brief history lesson on golf in England, don’t worry. We’re going to take a look at the three other golf clubs that were built before the AVGC – one of which dates back more than 400 years!

1865: Royal Wimbledon Golf Club

The Royal Wimbledon Golf Club was established in 1865 with a seven-hole course. It was extended to 18 holes in 1871 and touted as ‘equal in extent and superior in number and variety of hazards to St Andrews.’

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The course is located in Wimbledon, London, east of Richmond Park. It features 18 holes with tight fairways and gorse and heather thrown in for good measure. The clubhouse is more than 100 years old and has seen several renovations over the years.

1864: Royal North Devon Golf Club

The Royal North Devon Golf Club was founded in 1864 and designed by Old Tom Morris – a Scottish golfer and one of the most famous golf architects of all time. Many people describe the course as the ‘St Andrews of the South.’

Source: Lewis Clarke

“The golf course is as tough as any of the UK’s more famous links layouts and has recently been placed in Golf World ‘s ‘Top 100 Courses in the World’ that a golfer ‘must play,’” their website reads.

1608: Royal Blackheath Golf Club

The Royal Blackheath Golf Club was established in 1608 – more than 400 years ago! It is said that King James VI of Scotland introduced England to the sport of golf in the early 1600s. The clubhouse was built in 1664 and is still standing (and in use) today.

Source: Robert Lamb

The course – one of the oldest in the world – is situated near historic Greenwich, south London. It’s known for its prestige greens, stunning views, and historic clubhouse.