Timeline and Notable People

CUGC – timeline to 1918

Michaelmas term 1868

An 8-hole course created on Midsummer Common/ Jesus Green by George Gosset (King’s).

May term 1869

George Gosset and Andrew Graham Murray (Trinity) create 18-hole course on Therfield Heath, Royston. Andrew Graham Murray, a Scot, was a member of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

Michaelmas term 1869

Cambridge University GC formed with 17 original members paying 2s/6d subscription. Gosset is first Captain (1869-71), Hon Sec, Claude Cathcart Carnegie.


All the original members had gone down by 1871. CUGC in abeyance until 1876.


W T Linskill arrives from St Andrews with his parents to live in Cambridge. Linskill creates a 7-hole course on Coe Fen and also some holes on Sheep’s Green.


Linskill creates a 9-hole course on Coldham Common with the first matches played in February 1876. Linskill (Jesus) re-establishes CUGC in October 1876.


In March 1887, the Linskill Challenge Cup for best scratch score is first played for. The Linskill Cup is the oldest extant CUGC trophy.


6 March 1878, the first Varsity golf match (instigated by Linskill) on Wimbledon Common (home of London Scottish GC). Oxford led by Horace Hutchinson win 24 holes up from the four singles matches played.


Match played at Coldham Common on8 March 1884 between the CUGC professional Bob Martin and Willie Fernie, professional of Felixstowe GC. Martin won the Open Championship in 1876 (and 1885) and Fernie was the existing Open Champion at the time of the match having won in 1883.


Coldham Common course extended to 18 holes, measuring about 5,000 yards.


Cambridge (University) Ladies GC formed with 14 members playing on a short 9-hole course on Coldham Common. Short-lived.


H S Colt becomes Captain of CUGC.


J L Low, Captain of CUGC for two years. New ‘commodious’ clubhouse opened on Coldham’s Road in April 1892. CUGC reported to have 500 members, making it one of the largest golf clubs in England.


W T Linskill resigns as Hon Sec and moves with his family to St Andrews where he would remain until his death in 1929. Bernard Darwin becomes Captain of CUGC.


The Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society is formed with John Low as the first Captain.


Agreement reached for CUGC to play and hold fixtures at Royal Worlington and Newmarket GC. Coldham Common golf course abandoned after 25 years of use. New CUGC 9-hole course (subsequently extended to 18) created at Whitwell Hill, Coton, to west of Cambridge.


Gordon Barry, the Amateur Champion, becomes an undergraduate at the University and a member of CUGC


J F Ireland becomes Captain of CUGC and is also Captain at cricket and hockey.


The First World War. CUGC in abeyance. The course at Whitwell Hill is dug up and converted to agricultural land (and remained so ever since).

Brief biographies

George Gosset (King’s)

Son of Rev Isaac H Gosset, the founder of Royal North Devon GC (1864)

First Captain of CUGC (1869-71)

After Cambridge, pursued a career in medicine

Emigrated to New Zealand in 1883

Amateur champion golfer of New Zealand in 1895 (age 47)

Andrew Graham Murray (Trinity)

A founder member of CUGC in 1869

After Cambridge, pursued a career in law and politics

Captain of the R&A in 1892

Captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in 1894 and 1895

Captain of Sunningdale GC on four occasions in the 1920s

Secretary of State for Scotland in 1903

Raised to the peerage as Lord Dunedin of Stenton in 1905

Donated the Dunedin Cup to CUGC in 1928 to commemorate its formation in 1869

W T Linskill (Jesus)

Moved from St Andrews to Cambridge in 1873 and re-establish CUGC in 1876

Laid out the original golf course at Coldham Common in 1876

His father donated the Linskill Cup to CUGC in 1877

Initiator of the Varsity Golf Match in 1878

Captain of CUGC from 1876-83; Hon Sec of CUGC from 1887-96

Retired to St Andrews in 1896 where he became Dean of Guild

Wrote book, ‘St Andrews Ghost Stories’, remained in print for 60 years.

H S Colt (Clare)

Captain of CUGC 1889-90

After Cambridge became a solicitor in Hastings

First Captain of Rye GC in 1893, Hon Sec from 1895-1898 (?)

Founder member of the R&A Rules of Golf Committee in 1897

First Secretary of Sunningdale GC in 1901

Developed a career as a golf course architect of over 100 courses worldwide

Designs/ re-designs include: Sunningdale New, Swinley Forest, St George’s Hill, the Eden course at St Andrews, Wentworth, Muirfield, Hoylake, Portrush and Pine Valley

J L Low (Clare)

Captain of CUGC in 1891-92 and 1892-93.

After Cambridge, attended the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester

Became influential member of the R&A

First Captain of The Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society

Lost in the final of the Amateur Championship to Harold Hilton in 1901

In his book, ‘Concerning Golf’, (1903) he set out the principles of strategic golf course design

Made influential changes to the course at Woking

Bernard Darwin (Trinity)

Grandson of Charles Darwin

Captain of CUGC 1896-97

After Cambridge, initially pursued a career in law

From 1907 became a golf correspondent for the Evening Standard, The Times (1907-1953) and Country Life (1907-1961)

Played in the first Walker Cup in the USA in 1922 (when one of the players fell ill)

Captain of the R&A in 1934

He was also an authority on Charles Dickens

A G Barry (Pembroke)

Won the Amateur Championship in 1905, age 19 while at St Andrews University

Represented Cambridge in the Varsity match in 1906 and 1907

Represented Oxford in the Varsity match in 1914 (first player to play for both)

J F Ireland (Trinity)

Captain of CUGC 1910-11

Played in three Varsity golf matches

Represented Cambridge against Oxford at hockey (three times) and cricket (four times)

Was elected Captain in all three sports

Michael Morrison 2023