Bowers Gifford Golf Course

Did it re-open after the Second World War?

“The Bowers Gifford Golf Course lies on the Bowers Gifford Marshes just to the west of the South Benfleet boundary, the approach being along Jotman’s Lane from Cemetery Corner.  The Club house stands at the end of Jotman’s Lane just across the railway line, and looks over the course westwards up the Thames valley.  This like the Boyce Hill course, was requisitioned and is not yet re-opened.  It was a beautifully laid out 18 hole course.”

From Urban District of Benfleet Handbook No119 page 35 1947 0r 1948

Apparently during the Second World War hay carts were positioned all over the fairways for fear that German planes or gliders might land there as part of an invasion.  By the 1950’s the golf House was derelict and children used to play there, stripping out floorboards to use as diving boards in Benfleet Creek.

It is thought that it never re-opened after the war, an old clapperboard building close to the site has been replaced by a brick built bungalow and the land is now used as stables and possibly part of the new RSPB reserve due to open in June 2012.

If you take the footpath from the back of the stables at the end of Jotman’s Lane by the railway bridge, once through the new metal gate, look to the right hand side of the footpath.  Here the land is rather lumpy and bumpy and this is what remains of the golf course bunkers.

The map at the bottom of the page shows the location of the stables at the end of Jotman’s Lane, right beside the railway bridge.  However this image was taken before the major work that the RSPB have undertaken on the Pitsea Marshes was started, they have put in lots of paths and dug many lakes for the bird life.  So once again people will have access to what was once Bowers Gifford Golf Course.

Bowers Gifford Golf House before the II World War. It is unknown who the two people are in the picture.
Mavis Thurley (Nee Turner)
An elderly lady lived in this cottage that was right beside the railway line by the rail bridge at the bottom of Jotman's Lane.
Dave Cowan
The view from the footpath at the rear of the stables looking across the RSPB site which was the Bowers Gifford Golf Course.
Margaret March
Map showing golf course at Bowers Gifford.
Taken from Barnett's Benfleet official street plan. Posible date late 1930's?

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  • Hi,
    I believe that the golf course was about 500 yards north of the arrow on the map. Some of the bunkers are still discernible from one of the paths through the nature reserve.

    By William West (12/01/2018)
  • Before the war my dad was the green keeper at this golf course, he met my mum there she was a waitress. I still have my dad’s woods, signed by Medley the pro. I also have a picture of the club house.

    By Mavis Ann Thurley nee Turner (28/07/2013)
  • I remember the club house in the mid 50s then a derelict building subsequently demolished. The fairways and greens were still discernable at that time. I used to play there with my mates Geoffrey Ferguson and Chris Cockburn, we all lived on the Southdowns estate also known as the Wiggins estate.

    By Alan Baptist (01/03/2012)

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