Club History

Sene Valley Golf Club, Hythe


Sene Valley Golf Club

In 1965 The Radnor Estate purchased the site of the former Hythe Golf Course and engaged Henry Cotton to design a new course using the bones of the old course as a starter. They also constructed a new clubhouse. The new course was then leased back to the members in 1966. Some of the original course in the area of what was the 1st and 18th holes was sold off for residential development to help pay for the construction of the new course and that area is now occupied by Sene Park. To compensate for the loss of those 10 acres, a further 18 acres were acquired at Whitenbrook on the eastern boundary. Henry Cotton retained one or two of the old holes and turned a number through 180 degrees but it was also necessary to create new holes.

So the present Sene Valley Course occupies most of the original area of the old Hythe Course but the configuration of the holes are different
Dress Code in the 1890s – Men to appear on the course attired in gaiters. heavy woollen socks, knee breeches, red coat with brass buttons and deer stalker hat. The ladies attire is a red hip length coat with white lapels, long black dress and straw boater with a band in club colours. 

Designer of the Course

Henry Cotton (1907-87) was much more than the winner of a three British Opens. He also championed the cause of British golf professionals seeking a higher ground in their country’s society and became a patriarch of the European Golf Tour. Described as witty, handsome, intelligent, urbane and a non-conformist, Cotton authored 10 books, designed golf courses and was the most respected and prolific British instructor of his era.  His philosophy was simple: “To be a champion, you must act like one.”

Cotton’s devotion to practice was almost maniacal, for he believed the only secrets to becoming a champion golfer were hard work and strong hands.  For hours upon hours, Cotton was known to hit balls from thick rough until his hands blistered and bled.  It was an obsession that paid off, as he won the British Open in 1934, 1937, and 1948.
In addition to those popular victories, Cotton also won 30 tournaments in Europe. He played for his country in three Ryder Cup matches and twice captained the British team, but most of his time after his last British Open victory was dedicated to instruction, designing golf courses and giving back to the game that had given so much to him.
He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980.

Dress Code in the 1890s – Men to appear on the course attired in gaiters. heavy woollen socks, knee breeches, red coat with brass buttons and deerstalker hat. The ladies attire is a red hip length coat with white lapels, long black dress and straw boater with a band in club colours.

The Professionals

Charles Whiting (1909-2011) – 100 years old on 17th October 2009. The photo was taken at Charles Whiting’s party held at the Club. Charles was the professional for 35 years the first 10 years were at the Folkestone Course and the rest at  Sene Valley. The Chairman was in attendance and offered any assistance together with bottles of wine, which Charles appreciated. As Charles entered the Lounge the members gave him a standing ovation, which got the party of to a good start. He also appreciated the many cards including one from the Veterans Section. With Charles in the picture, is his Granddaughter. A former prisoner of war Charles hails from a well-known golfing dynasty and was born in 1909, the year J. H. Taylor won the Open at Royal Cinque Ports. He served in the Royal Navy during the 2nd world war on the destroyer Havoc, which was later captured by enemy forces after the ship foundered on the sandbank off Tunisia. He then spent part of the year in a prison camp in the Atlas mountains on being released he served on HMS London.

Mr Whiting began his golfing career aged 14 as an apprentice to his uncle Andy, at Tolladine Golf Club and later Boughton Park Golf Club in Worcester where he remained until 1931. The Whiting family was steeped in the game’s traditions. His grandfather Walter had eight sons, seven of whom went on to become golf professionals including Charles’s father John William Whiting.  Charles’s career included a stint alongside another uncle, Albert, at Folkestone Golf Club where he was an assistant. He returned to Malvern St. Andrew as a professional and Greenkeeper in 1935 but two years later joined the P.G.A. in 1937 and became assistant to Bill Dean at a new course at Ham Manor in West Sussex.  His career highlights included playing in the 1932 Open at Prince’s, won that year by Gene Sarazen. Mr Whiting saw out the remainder at Folkestone Golf Club and later Sene Valley where he played with Henry Cotton. He stayed at Sene Valley until his retirement in 1980.  P.G.A. captain Jim Farmer visited Charles at his Hythe home, where he was presented with a special leather-bound copy of the P.G.A. centenary book and a bottle of whiskey to mark the associations own 100 years in 2001.

Our most prolific golfers

Our most prolific golfer in the 60s and 70s was  – A. R. Sidders (Ray)
His Major Victories are listed below.:
  • Winner of the Trevor Cup four times, the Channel Cup and The Scratch Prize three times and the Gold Medal twice, as well as numerous other trophies
  • In 1969 he won the Channel Cup the Trevor Cup the Scratch Prize and the Gold Medal all in the same year
  • Channel Cup – 36hole Open Medal for Handicaps 12 and below. Winner 1964,1968 and1969
  • Silver Cleek – 36 holes strokeplay eclectic singles played off 5/8 handicaps allowance. Played over two consecutive weekends.    Winner 1963
  • Trevor Cup – Points are awarded to the top ten finishers in the monthly medals, at the end of the year the competitor with the most points is the winner.  Winner 1965,1966,1967 and 1969
  • Filmer/Bennett –. Matchplay Knock Out competition  Winner 1967
  • Club Foursomes – Foursome Medal competition played over 36holes. Winner 1967 (with C. de Grange) 1971 (with W. J. Downs)
  • Gold Medal – Medal competition played over 36holes. Played over two consecutive weekends.  Winner 1969 and 1970
  • Scratch Prize – Medal competition over 36holes played in conjunction with the Gold Medal.  Winner 1969,1970 and 1972
  • Captain’s Prize – Medal Competition played over 18 Holes.  Winner 1970

More Recently

Our most prolific golfer since the early 1980s until today, has been Jack Hamilton, Jack has had his name added to the honours boards no less than 45 times, as well as holding the course record for 21 years and 3 months, an all round achievement that will surely never be equaled  Jack as also been Club Champion 6 times since  the competition began 1989.

Currently challenging Jack is Martin Farbrace who has won the club championship three times as well as many other trophies. Notably, The Frank Dowling Scratch prize which he has won on eight occasions.He has also won the Watson Trophy seven times.

Sene Valley Golf Club Logo

Sene Valley Golf Club

A fantastic undulating Henry Cotton designed course with amazing views and established greens, providing a true test of golf that can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities.

Contact Details

40 Blackhouse Hill
Hythe
Kent
CT18 8BL

Phone: 01303 268513
Email: manager@senevalleygolfclub.co.uk

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday
Pro-shop 8.00am - 4.30pm
Clubhouse 8.00am – Dusk
Office 9.00am - 4.00pm

Saturday – Sunday
Pro-shop 8.00am – 5.00pm
Clubhouse 8.00am – Dusk
Office 10.00am - 4.00pm

Christmas Eve & Boxing Day
Pro-shop 8.00am - 3.00pm
Clubhouse 7.45am - 4.00pm
Christmas Day - Closed

House & Admin Manager

Tony Marsh 01303 268513
manager@senevalleygolfclub.co.uk

Admin
Donna Brandon 01303 268513
office@senevalleygolfclub.co.uk

Bar & Restaurant

John Prest 01303 268513
bar@senevalleygolfclub.co.uk

Bar & Deputy Manager
Steve Hunt 01303 268513
deputymanager@senevalleygolfclub.co.uk

PGA Professionals

Aaron Galbraith 01303 262550
aaron.galbraith1978@btinternet.com

Greg Holman 01303 262550
svgcassistant@gmail.com

Head Green Keeper

Jay Motta 01303 268513