The Early Days: 1904 to 1912
Golf is no stranger to this corner of Bromsgrove as the game was first played on the present site some 100 years ago on a course described as consisting of “9 rather sporting holes”.
In those days golf was only played on Saturday afternoons, the greens having been mowed in tthe morning. The rest of the course was left more or less in a natural state probably grazed by cattle or sheep. This early course would certainly not have borne any resemblance to todays with its well tended fairways and manicured greens.
Originally founded in 1894, Bromsgrove Golf Club was based at Breakback (just off Rock Hill) until 1903, before moving to Slideslow farm for the period 1904 to 1912, the site of today’s Club. The Club then returned to Breakback before closing in 1918. The Slideslow course measured 2537 yards, with a bogey of 38 and Breakback measured 2434 yards, bogey 42.
In its early days the 800 men and 20 lady members of Brommsgrove Golf Club enjoyed inter club rivalry with matches played against neighbouring clubs including Moseley, Kings Norton, Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Ipsley (Redditch). The Blackwell Club was first played in 1896 and resulted in a victory for the members of Bromsgrove. The return fixture the following year unfortunately saw Blackwell gain revenge by a wide margin.
Slideslow Farm: 1956 to 1989
Having purchased Slideslow Farm back in 1956, many of our current members still recall the old farm shop selling a variety of fresh produce particularly the sacks of potatoes and home reared meat.
Familiar sights at the time were the herd of pigs grazing amongst their shelters on the land bordering the Redditch carriageway- now the 18th fairway. It was then in 1987 that the family took the decision to try and diversify into golf.
Ted Morris had initially tried to obtain planning permission for a golf course back in 1979 only to be thwarted by the Ministry of Agriculture on the back of their policies which restricted diversification. But now a window of opportunity appeared and the time felt right.
Bromsgrove Golf Centre: 1989
It was a further 70 plus years before golf was restored to Bromsgrove, by the present owners of the Golf Centre, the Morris family.
It was decided to first test the market with a golf range which could give an immediate return unlike a course which required a further 18 months of constant attention before being mature enough and fit for play. In 1989 the Bromsgrove Golf Centre was born consisting of a 41 bay floodlit range and accompanying facilities. Interest was high and with land available an application was submitted to build a 9 hole course and on the land remaining a short Par 3. On the basis that it was not believed that a 9 hole course alone totally fulfilled the needs of golfers, the Par 3 project was shelved indefinitely biding time until the purchase of additional land could provide the much needed extension to 18.
The success of the first 9 holes which opened in 1992 soon became very apparent thanks to the initiative of Ted and his sons Philip and Adam who invested in the flair and style of the highly respected golf course architects Hawtree & Son. Many golfers at this time started asking about membership which resulted in the Club being formed in 1993, the affairs of which are managed jointly between the Members.
In 1994 the opportunity of more land arose and thus it was decided to use the same winning combination of the Hawtree Practice together with Beveridge Plant Hire to form the second 9 holes. Opened in 1996 the current 18 hole layout now consists of a unique series of well defined adventurous holes, some with panoramic views.