At a meeting held at the Terminus Hotel, Littlehampton on 16th February 1889, around 25 members enrolled themselves and the Club was formed.
In the early days the only direct route from Littlehampton Town to the Club Room and first tee was by ferry across the River Arun. This remained the sole access route until Henry, 15th Duke of Norfolk, opened the Swing Bridge on 7th August 1908.
Two local boatmen, ’Jimmy’ and ’Peachey’ had their very own rowing boat ferry that operated from Pier Road to the Golf Club, charging one penny single and tuppence return- somewhat cheaper than the toll over the Swing Bridge. Fortunately, with the drainpipe golf bags which normally carried no more than four or five clubs, and unencumbered by any bad-weather extra clothing as all played in normal attire, more golfers could cross at one time. It must have been arduous rowing the clinker-built boat across England`s second fastest flowing river with fourteen passengers, six aside and two in the bows.
The original course consisted of 9 holes but in 1893 it was decided to turn it into 18 holes. The original course consisted of an enjoyable, but tricky outward half played amongst the sand hills. The inward half was considerably improved by taking on fresh ground and the existing holes were lengthened and the bunkering tightened up by Messrs Hawtree and JH Taylor Ltd. It was quoted that even though two or three holes near the finish lie in marshland, there is not a weak or commonplace hole in the round.
On the Sussex coast we find many seaside resorts, some large and well known, and some smaller ones like Littlehampton which remain more delightful in their naturalness. Here we find a place of wide-open spaces, woods, river and harbour, and a vast expanse of golden sands. It was from the top of the steps to the previous Clubhouse that an entrancing panorama of shingle, sand and sea could be viewed. Nowadays, the old Clubhouse is no more, but views of such can still be seen from many of the tees along the holes which border the sand dunes.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, we became very much an invasion coast and, along with many other courses, Littlehampton bore the scars of war. To get the links back into playing order after the War, over 400 concrete blocks had to be removed, tank and lorry ruts filled and made smooth, greens re-laid and a military road made into the fairway removed.
The par remains at 70, but if anyone thinks that this course will give you a flattering score, they should consult the honours boards in the Clubhouse. Tragically, these and so much archive material was lost when the previous Clubhouse was destroyed by fire on the fateful day of 18th June 1985.