Enmore Park was formerly known as Cannington Park Golf Club and originally was situated roughly six miles to the north of its current location. Cannington Park was opened on Easter Monday, 1906. It was a nine-hole course, 2,200 yards in length, with a bogey score of 38 and some of the original holes can still be seen next to Cannington Quarry.
Groundstaff used horse-drawn grass cutters to tend to the course and put leather shoes on the horses’ hooves to save the greens, which had the reputation of being very fast. The course was closed during the First World War because the land was taken over and used for the grazing of mules for the military.
A new pavilion was erected in 1926, but it became clear there was not enough land to accommodate possible expansion, so a new site was sought and Enmore Park identified.
Enmore Park Golf Club was officially opened on Saturday, September 24, 1932 at 3pm by Mr R.P. Croom Johnson, K.C., M.P. It was initially a nine-hole course measuring about 2,500 yards.
The Bridgwater Mercury called it “a most delightful spot” and added: “The land is undulating and there are no roads, stiles or barbed wire to negotiate as on the old links at Cannington.”
Mr Croom Johnson was the first to tee off and his ball was later mounted with a small silver plaque and a bird above it (it can be seen in our trophy cabinet).
Five new holes were opened for play on Roughmoor in 1938 and plans were afoot for further expansion before the outbreak of the Second World War changed everything. Much of the course was ploughed up to help the war effort and despite Enmore Park eventually being reduced to seven holes, members decided to keep the club going rather than close down until the war ended.
Some up-and-coming professional golfers took part in two exhibition matches at Enmore Park in 1967. Their names? Tony Jacklin, Clive Clark, Harry Weetman, Hugh Boyle, Peter Green, George Will and Peter Townsend.
In 1969 Mr Philip Pensabene, the millionaire chairman of a firm in Bridgwater, donated £73,000 to expand the course to 18 holes. His gift transformed the club and his portrait hangs over the centre of the bar in the clubhouse.
Messrs. Fred Hawtree & Co. (golf architects) designed and laid out the new 18-hole course, which measured 6,431 yards and which was opened for play on May 16, 1972 with a local police inspector, T.C. Lane, the first man out at 4.20am.
Nigel Wixon became our professional from June 6 of that year. Four days later saw the official opening ceremony, performed by Sir Roger Hollis, the then President of the Somerset Golf Union. Nigel remained as the club professional until July 2019, serving for 47 years, making him the longest-serving club professional in the country.
The club hosted a spectacular celebrity golf tournament in October 1982 which featured a host of big names from the world of showbusiness and sport, including Barry Took, Leslie Crowther, Kevin Keegan and Ian Botham and drew more than 2,000 spectators. Somerset’s West Indies batsman Viv Richards won the event.
In March 1990 there was a visit from European Ryder Cup star Jose Maria Canizares, who won a challenge match against the Club Captain, John Packer, and our professional, Nigel Wixon, 3 and 2.
Tony Hill, the English Golf Union President, opened our new £450,000 clubhouse in August of that year.
In 2009 Enmore Park became a championship golf course when invited to host the English Women’s Amateur Open Stroke Play Championships.
In 2011 it co-hosted its first R&A event, the prestigious British Boys Open Championship.
England Golf Women South West selected Enmore as the venue for their Foursomes Championships in 2012. Then in 2013 the Southern Regional Qualifiers of the Brabazon Trophy, the English Men’s Amateur Championship, were held here.
In 2019 Barry Forster took over as Head Professional, having previously been at North Wiltshire Golf Club. Joining Barry to complete his tea were Harry Brown from Yeovil Golf Club and newly-qualified Alex Clapp.