Golf at Frinton is as old as the town, but the club has a more vibrant history and these days arguably a more progressive outlook.
The town of Frinton-on-Sea is often in the news, mostly featuring a gentle dig at the strict regulations that govern the town. Frinton was designed in the early 1900s as a seaside resort and has remained unspoiled ever since with some of the finest beaches in the country. 'Progress' is carefully controlled to preserve the original Edwardian nature of the town. The decision to open the first pub was long debated until plans were approved in 2000. Sandwiched between the sea and a railway line, there is little room for expansion, which helps retain the charming small town feel.
Frinton Golf Club was founded in 1895 and used a nine hole design by Tom Dunn, on land now occupied by houses in Second and Third Avenue. In 1904, twice Open Champion Willie Park Jnr. designed a new 18 hole course on the present site, an area formerly renowned for hare coursing. On the advice of the famous golf course architect Harry S Colt, various improvements were made to the original design that left the layout largely as we know it today.
These improvements, however, were greatly set back by the coming of the Second World War. Frinton lies on a stretch of coast that was thought to be a possible site for an enemy invasion and so, with the exception of the first three holes, the course was requisitioned by the Army and sown with mines. The resultant damage was obviously considerable and it was not until 1947 that the course began to resume its former shape.
Over the years many famous golfers have played at Frinton, including in the early part of the twentieth century the great triumvirate of Vardon, Braid and Taylor. In 1929 the British Professionals practised at Frinton prior to their first Ryder Cup victory at Moortown. A member of that team, 1923 Open Champion Arthur Havers, was subsequently to return in 1956 as Club Professional, a post he held until his retirement in 1964.
In more recent years Frinton has been at the forefront of change by being one of the first to embrace total equality of the sexes in its membership as well as being the first Golf Club in Essex to achieve England Golf's prestigious Golf Mark award - thereby demonstrating that Frinton Golf Club is indeed fit for purpose and a club for all ages!