Nestling on the hills between Whitburn and South Shields next to Cleadon water tower, is one of the longest established clubs in the North East of England. South Shields Golf Club was founded in 1893 following a meeting at a local Grammar School and within months, a nine-hole course was laid out on a 26 acre site on Cleadon Hills. Local architect Thomas Page was responsible for the design and had the honour of striking the first shot on the course.
During 1903 and 1904, the course was extended to eighteen-holes and measured 4725 yards. In 1913, the club acquired further land and Dr C. A. Mackenzie was commissioned to oversee the development of the new course but a year later, the First World War started and the Military Authorities took over the area.
It wasn't until the period 1922 to 1928 that the committee implemented major initiatives. In 1928 and following a successfully negotiated tenancy of 187 acres of Church Commissioners land on Cleadon Hill Farm, the course as we know it opened for play.
Although this is a predominantly a heathland course, the gorse and many bushes combine to give it a wild links feel and one of the things South Shields is famous for is the fact the course is open 12 months of the year. Built on limestone, it never floods and any lying water is gone in minutes leaving the course playable.
Another great asset is the scenery with views up and down the River Tyne, the North Sea coastline and on a clear day, the Cleveland and Cheviot Hills - they all add to the charm of playing the course.
By modern day standards, the 1960's style club house may appear externally a little dull but plans for a new modern building have been prepared and hopefully work will commence on the project in the not so distant future. Inside the present club house, you are assured of a friendly welcome, the lounge is comfortable and there is a spacious dining area along with a gent's only bar.
The membership at the club is strong however, like most clubs there has been a decline in young adult members. And in a very brave step for a Private Members Club, they have now introduced an increment ladder style membership fee for adults between the ages of 21 and 30. Starting at £195 for gents and £185 for ladies, the club hopes to entice players back who have given up the sport for one reason or another.