England Golf - South Eastern Group
The English Golf Union was formed in 1924.
Unfortunately the early records are no longer available and this brief history of the South
Eastern Group starts in 1960,
The initial formation of the Group included Hertfordshire, Essex, Middlesex, Kent, Sussex,
Hampshire, Surrey and Berks,Bucks & Oxon.
Whilst Norfolk, Cambridgeshire & Suffolk just competed in the SE EGU Qualifying events.
Bedfordshire joined in 1947 transferring from the Midland Group.
Junior Golf was handled by a separate body titled The South East Junior Sub Committee.
Meetings of the County Delegates were held at The Golfers Club in London S.W.1 from 1960
to 1973 before moving to the Eccentric Club also in London S.W.1 where they stayed until it
closed down in 1984. The venue then alternated between the Great Western Hotel,
Paddington, and the East India Club until 1997 when a move to the Army & Navy Club in Pall
Mall was made. This venue remains popular today.
Occasionally meetings were switched to Golf Clubs around the Region namely Hendon,
North Hants, Sunningdale, Porters Park, Cottesmore, Walton Heath and Moor Park but a
central location was always the preferred option.
Chairmen were originally elected for one year until 1998 when the term of office was
increased to four years . The title was changed to President in 2012 to avoid any confusion
with the position of Championship Chairman.
In 1963 the Group became known as the South Eastern Counties Golf Association at which
time the South Eastern Junior Sub Committee was wound up and all Junior golf matters
transferred to the new Association.
Michael Bonallack captained the British & NI Walker Cup team to victory during his year as
South East Group Chairman in 1971
1973 saw Suffolk & Norfolk fully affiliated to the South Eastern Group
G.E.O. Walker (Middlesex) who had been South East Group Chairman in 1961, 1964 & 1973
was appointed President of the EGU in 1974
The South East Group acknowledged their rising star Nick Faldo (Hertfordshire) for winning
the English Amateur Championship, British Youths Championship, The Berkshire Trophy and
representing England in the Home Internationals in 1975
In 1978 saw a change of title to " English Golf Union - South Eastern Group"
Past South East Group Chairmen Dr.N. Bradford (Hampshire) & R.H.Palmer (Sussex) were
appointed EGU Presidents in 1991 & 2007 respectively.
Lengthy discussions on EGU representation changes took place throughout 1994, 1995 & 1996
prior to implementation in 1997.
In 2002, a new position of Championship Chairman was created with Ray Saunders (Kent)
being elected to fulfil this role until 2006 when he went on to become the EGU's
Championship Chairman, and was replaced by Ray Smith (Sussex).
The South East Group web site was first rolled out in 2011, almost un-noticed as all the talk.
that year was about the EGU & EWGA Merger. The merged group became known as
Ray Smith (Sussex) was appointed EG Championship Chairman and replaced as South East
Group Championship Chairman by Mike Rees (Suffolk) in 2013
Prior to 1960 the Group only administered what is now known as the Men's English County
Championship Qualifier (on behalf of the English Golf Union)
The Junior Championship was first played for in 1960 at Sunningdale, followed in 1961 by the
Junior Foursomes Competition held at Burhill
The South Eastern League for the "Daily Telegraph Salver" commenced in 1964 and the Colts
League in 1974.
Up to 1985 only five events were held, then in 1986 the Boy's English County Championship
Qualifier (on behalf of the EGU) was added.
The South Eastern Group Seniors Championship for the Alan Hobson Trophy was first played in
Southern Counties Senior Foursomes Competition commenced in 1998 for the Rose-Brew
The Senior's English County Championship Qualifier (on behalf of the EGU) was first played
for in 2005
At various timings individual winners trophies for the County Championship Qualifiers were
donated and titled "The David Neech Trophy" for the Boy's, "The John Nettell Trophy" for
Senior's and "The Peter Benka Trophy" for the Men's event
2009 was no doubt the highlight in terms of County achievement when all three South East
County Qualifying winners went on to win their respective National titles. Essex (Men's),
Kent (Senior's) and Surrey (Boy's).
Bedfordshire - formed in 1923, joined Midland Group in 1925 and moved to the South East in
Berks, Bucks & Oxon - Oxfordshire joined up in 1924 to form BB & O
Cambridgeshire - formed in 1950 and moved to the Midland Group in 1970
Essex - formed in 1924
Hampshire, IOW & CI - formed in 1893
Hertfordshire - formed in 1924
Kent - formed in 1925
Middlesex - Middlesex Golf Association formed circa 1900 and became Middlesex County
Golf Union in 1924
Norfolk - formed in 1906
Suffolk - formed in 1924
Surrey - formed in 1923
Sussex - formed in 1899