Brief History of Breedon Priory Golf Club.
Back in the 70’s, local resident and keen golfer Maurice Wileman was frequently heard to suggest that part of the Shield’s Farm known, as "The Great Prior Field” would make a good golf course, which, if built, would save him travelling to Mickleover to play golf.
As farming was still profitable, the company took little notice until in1987 when Bob Jelson, Leicester County Footpath Officer and another keen golfer, visiting to help divert a footpath on the land, made similar comments, saying that Leicestershire was short of good golf facilities and Breedon could easily gain planning for an 18 hole course.
The company went ahead with planning for a new course with help from David Snell, the original architect and were granted planning permission in 1988.
The capital outlay was daunting, and the company almost abandoned the project when they were advised to visit Colin Watson, of Milfield Golf Course, near Gainsborough.
Colin, a larger than life man, kindly showed representatives of the company round his large and very popular golf course, which he had built up from 1979 on the principle of ‘don’t spend too much, don’t charge too much, they will love it’.
That afternoon Breedon Priory Golf Centre was born.
Work started in late 1988, nine holes opening to the public in May 1990, with nine more to follow in 1991 and at this time the club became affiliated to the L.& R. G. U.
The original holes, with names like "Platchetts”, "Jelly mould” and "The bomb” are still in use today.
On Platchett’s green the golfer is provided with a view of the northern slope of our most famous landmark – Breedon Hill with its distinctive church on top. The name Platchetts derives from the bindings made from willow, which was available on the land.
The original shape of the flood pond on Jelly Mould gave rise to this facetious name – which has stuck.
The green on the Bomb is sited on a filled in crater left by a bomb in 1942. The first bomb fell on Melbourne killing 5 soldiers; the second just over the course boundary and the third where the green is today. There is also anecdotal evidence of a hole containing an unexploded bomb, still presumably there. Watch out for divots….
The opening of the second nine holes necessitated some reorganisation of the original course some of which is described briefly below:
hole 5 gained a new green.
hole 6 had a new tee and an extended length.
a shortening of hole 7 resulted from the extra length of hole 6.
Hole 11 was the old 9th.
The centre still follows Colin’s principles of being affordable, friendly, and quite challenging and with the benefit of always having an excellent committee.
At Breedon we share our history with past occupiers of the site – prehistoric iron age hill fort, Roman camp, then after the dark ages, control by the Augustinian Monks in the Monastery which has become our Parish Church, and Maurice Wileman, still our first President.
Many changes have taken place over the 2008 / 09 season and have resulted in an overall course length of 5884 yds for the white course, 5529 yds for the Yellow course and 5297 yds for the red course. A re-evaluation undertaken by the Union recently now gives the course an S.S.S. of 68 for the white course, 66 for the yellow course and 70 for the red Course.