Designed and planned by Sir Henry Cotton

The following is from the Official Handbook of Castle Eden Golf Club 1949 kindly given by Mr. R. Hodgson, Past President:-

Castle Eden Golf Club was formally known as THE DENE GOLF CLUB and was formed after the first World War by some of the staff of Messrs. J. Nimmo & Son Ltd., Brewers of Castle Eden, with the help of the owner. The land, which was rented for the purpose, is situated between the Sunderland and Stockton Road and Castle Eden Dene, which dene is rated as one of the best in the countryside.

Although the course stands amidst coal mines, there are no signs of mining activities from the course, and the surrounding scenery is beautiful indeed. When the Club came into being, the persons concerned obtained for a Club House a large army hut from the War Department, which with a little alteration was made into an excellent Club House, comprising a large Lounge overlooking the course, a smaller lounge, Ladies Room, Gents’ and Ladies’ Locker Rooms and a Bar. At a later date a brick kitchen was added at the rear. The Club House, although mainly made of wood is still in an excellent state of preservation.

The Dene Golf Club when it was founded in the 1920’s was used solely by the members of the Brewery as a private Club, although a few local residents were members on invitation. In 1922 the Club was changed to Castle Eden Golf Club and opened to the public for membership. During the 1939/45 World war the Club lost two of its most interesting holes and two emergency holes were made to keep it a nine-hole course, but it is hoped that the lost holes will be restored some time in the future.

Two holes are always referred to as the “Clock hole” and the “Punchbowl” which are the present 5th and 6th holes respectively. The “Clock” hole derives its name from the fact that the green is near the side of the road in front of the Brewery on the wall of which is a large clock overlooking the golf course; while the “Punchbowl” is so called because the former green at the 6th hole was in a hollow in the shape of a bowl. One of the most interesting holes id the 8th hole which is 190 yards long, there being about 100 yards carry over a ravine, often a graveyard of good scores.

The course, placed as it is, is easily accessible with a bus stop at its entrance. There are also ample car parking facilities. High and plain teas are catered for. The Castle Eden course is a joy to the golfer practically all the year round, the turf being in excellent condition, and survives excessively dry weather better than most. The President, J. W. Nimmo Esq. has been President of the existing Club since its commencement and has always taken a keen interest in Sport, and the welfare of the Club.

The golf club was originally established with 6 holes which was designed by Mr O L Rowntree. it was then later extended to 9 hole, designed by Sir Henry Cotton - with few members by invitation only. Most in which were members of Castle Eden Cricket club. Castle Eden Golf Club was then open to paying membership in 1922 when we also became a part of Durham County Golf Union. As the Nimmo family owned and leased the golf club land, the first president was Mr J W Nimmo. Throughout the late 1930's, Mr Nimmo's daughter became president where she played a big role during that time. When individuals used to play, it was usually on a Wednesday afternoon with high tea served between matches.

Compared to the present 18 hole golf course which was again designed and planned by Sir Henry Cotton. The work to create the course commenced over a 2 year period. The course included a new design with a par 3, our signature hole, the 17th. With the course length being 6420 yards.

There are many wonderful scenes which surround the course such as: the Old Brewery, owned by John W Nimmo & Sons in 1826-2002 and the Castle which was built by the Rowland Burdon Family. This stunning view of the castle will be directly seen from the 10th-13th hole.

The first recorded visiting party was in June 1926 where the Excise Golf Society also played their annual competition. This lead to a record number of visitors. This would have been surprising considering there was a 'hut' as a club house. This 'hut' included a large lounge which overlooked the course and a smaller lounge which was named the ladies room.There was a locker room for the gents and the ladies, with a bar in the front. A brick kitchen was then added at a later date.

The Aircraft Crash at Castle Eden Golf Club
The Real Story

Aircraft Crash

• On 1 January 1942, at 15.55, Sgt Ronald Graham White Carter of 55 OTU RAF, based at Usworth (Sunderland Airport from 1958), was killed when his Hawker Hurricane MK1 V7400 Fighter, (similar to the one in the picture) dived into the ground from 7,000 feet during a dog fight exercise.
• The Fighter aircraft crashed and burnt into a field west of Castle Eden Dene, now the 13th hole fairway of Castle Eden Golf Club. The site of the crash is noticeable as a hollow indentation in the ground on the left side of the 13th fairway.
• He was an experienced RAF pilot, with 120 solo flights under his belt.
• The cause of the crash remains unknown.
• A memorial service is held every year on Memorial Day at the site.
• Sgt R G W Carter, of New Malden, Surrey, the son of Albert Edward and Rose Carter, was born on the 2nd March 1917. He was aged 24 at the time of his un-timely death. He is buried at Hylton (Castletown) Cemetery, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.

A big thank you to all who helped with the above information Cyrus Muwanga, Captain CEGC 2019.