The present site of the golf course and the club’s constitution were established in 1919. Originally named the ‘Rushden and District Golf Club’, the ‘District’ being removed in 1986. The club began some years prior to 1919 with a small group of local business men marking out and playing a few holes in a field at Stanwick. During this period Mr G A Wetenhall inaugurated the club’s first competition, presenting a silver trophy. The first recorded winner was Mr G S Mason in 1908.
The first 59 years of the club’s tenancy to the Duchy of Lancaster was a sub-let arrangement via the adjacent farmer. The farmer had grazing rights which meant up to 200 sheep could be on the course. This lease gave the farmer authority over the mowing frequency and height of fairways and rough grass could be cut, also the type and quantity of trees that could be planted. With farmer, Harry Robinson’s death in 1978 the club negotiated a direct lease with the Duchy, hence no more sheep and freedom to develop the course.
The leather bucket is symbolic of the leather trade that dominated this area. It is shown here in the canting arms of the Pemberton family. In the 15th century the Pemberton family settled in Rushden, they were a prominent family in the area for 200 years, employed at the courts if succeeding Kings and Queens in such high offices as Members of Parliament and High Sheriffs. They were very instrumental in the development of the Rushden district, including the building of the present Rushden Hall incorporating parts of the hunting lodge that had been set up in the Norman conquest era of the 11th century.
The heraldic lion is depicted due to the course being laid out on land owned by the Duchy of Lancaster. The Higham area was passed down to the family of Ferrers in the 12th century. In 1226 Henry III granted the town to his son, Edmund Duke of Lancaster. This is the era of the sovereign change from the Plantagenet to the House of Lancaster, and remains crown land to this day, thus making H.M. the Queen the Lady of the manor. The Lion’s stance is known as Passant Guardant.
The golf course is laid out on land that was originally used for agriculture. The wavy lines in the 4th quadrant of the shield represent the Ridge and Furrow style of ploughing that was commonly used. These contours are still readily visible and make for an interesting variety of stances when addressing the ball.
Rushden Golf Club, Higham Road, Stanwick, United Kingdom