The Warren Golf Club was founded on 23rd June 1892 with a membership of 41 and an annual subscription of one guinea (£1.05 in today's money). At this time in its history, it was only a nine hole course and wasn't extended to eighteen holes until 1904.
The first clubhouse was situated roughly where the present Dawlish Warren amusement arcade is now, as the golf course ran along the "outer" Warren by the beach. However, the encroachment of the sea drove the golfers back to the higher and drier ground on the "inner" Warren, and the club house was moved to a site beside the 1st tee. Refreshments were provided by the Mount Pleasant Inn who delivered to the site.
In 1906 a new clubhouse was built on its present site and the old building, known as "Chitty's Shed" became the domain of the club professional, Joe Chitty. This new clubhouse was brought from London by train, and was made of wooden walls and a tin roof, and was substantially altered with its refurbishment in 1988. The latest refurbishment took place in 2003, and the club house is now a pleasant place to start and end your game.
During the first half of the century, the far end of the Warren contained a "village" of wooden bungalows, but these were washed away by storms in 1946, and the erosion swallowed up the 9th hole on the point of the course. Present day aerial photographs illustrate the vulnerability of the golf course at the seaward side of a strong tidal estuary.
During the second world war, the army took over the club and constructed defenses on the beach and gun emplacements on the course, two of which remain, beside the 2nd and the 18th tees. Land mines were laid from the 17th green to behind the 10th green and across the 2nd fairway. Despite this, golf continued to be played, but retrieval of balls from the mine field was not allowed!
In 1961, the course was bought from the Earl of Devon by Colonel and Mrs Creasy, and in 1962, Colonel Creasy was elected president, breaking the tradition of the Earls of Devon being President since the club's foundation. The Creasy family's generosity and commitment to the club was considerable and the family name is perpetuated in club and county golfing circles by trophies presented in their memory.
In 1976, ownership of the course passed by gift from the Creasy family to the Devon Trust for Nature Conservation (now known as Devon Wildlife Trust) and the course is leased to the club for a peppercorn rent.
The actual layout of the course has not changed much since 1927, although the forces of nature mean that there is continual maintenance on the estuary side of the course. At the request of English Nature, the gorse has been severely cut back and new areas of natural habitat created.
The Club is constantly working to improve and maintain the quality of the course. This work always keeps environmental issues in mind and no major work is carried out during the period March to September, the nesting season.
We have a fine reputation for some of the best greens in Devon and for presenting a natural course in the links style. Golfing and environmental objectives often merge.