Without the intervention of Dr Duncan McCuaig it's quite possible that Seaton Carew Golf Club might never have existed.

Golf has been played at Seaton Carew for more than 140 years, with the club's first written records dating back to 1874, and the club's existence is due mainly to one man, Dr. Duncan McCuaig (pictured), a surgeon from Edinburgh who moved down to Teesside shortly after qualifying at Edinburgh University. The young doctor was no mean golfer, winning the Gold Medal at St Andrews on two occasions in 1867 and 1869. However, he was dismayed to find there was nowhere throughout County Durham or North Yorkshire to exercise his talent, so he set about finding a suitable place to play. As luck would have it he came across a strip of pasture land, known locally as The Snooks, where local people grazed their livestock. It was close to the mouth of the River Tees, running between the north shore and Seaton Carew village, and was owned by Lord Eldon. With his permission, and after some resistance from the stint holders whose sheep and cattle roamed the area, Dr. McCuaig and a few like-minded colleagues were able to rent a piece of land on which they established the Durham & Yorkshire Golf Club.

For about 20 years that original 14-hole layout fulfilled its purpose. Then - following a remark made by Bernard Darwin in his book “Golf Courses of Great Britain” that Seaton was “grand golfing country but there was not quite enough of it” - the Club's members decided to extend the layout to the more usual 18 holes and that attracted some of the best golfers of the day, including the great triumvirate of Harry Vardon, J H Taylor and James Braid. In the mid-1920s circumstances forced the Club to call upon the services of Dr. Alister MacKenzie, who went on to create such masterpieces as Augusta National and Cypress Point. He advised them to abandon some of the inland holes and replace them with new holes on sandier soil towards the coast, and it's that 1925 layout which forms the basis of today's Old Course. As more clubs came into being around that time, in North Yorkshire and County Durham, it was decided the old title was no longer apt and the name of Seaton Carew Golf Club was adopted.
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05.01.2021 08:51
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