History states that a golf course has been in existence within St Bees since 1906, however, St Bees School built its own course on the same grounds in 1929. Under the direction of J.S.Boulter (St Bees School Headmaster) and a golf committee, an energetic band of volunteers from the school cut out the teeing grounds and greens.
In the early days, boys from the school and a local farmer maintained the course and Eddie Park who was one of those boys in the early forties, later became one of the country’s leading experts on green keeping and course maintenance. He had many articles published in “Golf Monthly” and “Green Keeper” magazines in the 70’s and 80’s culminating in a series titled “ The Management of British Golf Courses” written in collaboration with his son, Nicholas Park, which was later printed as a booklet and distributed widely to British Golf Clubs.
The course length up to 1990 was 5,122 yards and in the mid eighties, Will Weatherup wanted to construct extra tees, but the opportunity never arose. However, in the late summer of 1990 under the guidance of the Club Captain Brian Ritson, extra tees were installed so that the second nine holes would have different lengths and angles of approach. The new tees came into operation in 1991 and saw the SSS set at 65.
In 2001, the direction of the course was changed to reduce the bottleneck of playing two par threes together. There were more changes to the course in 2003 when we experimented with further changes to a couple of holes, but reverted back in 2004 to playing the ninth hole from the top of the hill with an additional green developed for the eighteenth hole. The fourth hole was converted from a par three to a par four in 2003 and remains this way today.
Therefore by 2004 the course yardage had increased to 5,307 yards with a par of 66 and a SSS of 66. In 2008 the additional green developed for the eighteenth hole became an extensive short game area/practice facility. This meant the length of the course was extended to 5326 yards with a par of 66 and a SSS of 66, which is how the course remains to be played today.
St Bees Golf Club, Peck Mill Lane, St Bees, Cumbria, CA27 0EJ