Cantelupe Golf Club
Cantelupe Golf Club was established in 1892 and named after Viscount Cantelupe, son of Earl de la Warr, the President and Landlord of Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club. The Cantelupe are now the second oldest artisan club in England after Northam Golf Club at Westward Ho! - both clubs having been founded to introduce golf to the locals in exchange for maintenance and protection of the course.
The Forest Row artisans had an aptitude for the game and the Club soon became a nursery, producing golfers and greenskeepers for the clubs of the area. The Mitchells were particularly adept, with Arthur being the first to qualify for the Open in 1904. The best known club member was his nephew, Abe, who won fame as an amateur international and Gold Vase winner, then grew up to become the most successful English Ryder Cup player - apt for someone whose statuette stands atop the trophy. In 1933 there were two Cantelupe graduates, Abe Mitchell and Alf Padgham, in the British team, with a third, Mark Seymour, named as a reserve. All three won numerous titles - Alf Padgham having the best Open record, finishing third in 1934, second in 1935 and finally taking the trophy in 1936 at Hoylake. Mark was the winner of the Czech Open in 1935/36 and Scottish Professional Champion for three years whilst another Cantelupe golfer, Jack Smith, won the World’s Longest Driver title in 1922/1924.
The current members of the Cantelupe aspire to neither the Ryder Cup nor to the Open but nevertheless strive to master the two superb courses on Ashdown Forest. The Club has a very busy fixture list which sees the members playing across three counties on courses such as Royal St George’s, Walton Heath and West Sussex, with the oldest fixture being the annual match against the parent Club, first played in 1894.
From 1st January 2009 Cantelupe starting times MUST be off the 1st tee by 8.00am. Cantelupe members may also play from 11.00am to 12.00pm (excluding Fridays). From 1st October to 31st March Cantelupe members may play after 3.00pm, and after 3.45pm from 1st April to 30th September. If a Cantelupe member wishes to play at any other time during weekdays they must speak to the Secretary of R.A.F.G.C. No member may play with a non-member unless they have paid a green fee.