Wearside Golf Club is situated between Sunderland and Washington, in easy reach of Newcastle and Durham. Nestling in the shadow of Penshaw monument on the southern side of the River Wear, this fine parkland course is one of the oldest and most picturesque in the North East of England.
Wearside Golf Club is proud of its long and colourful history. Founded in 1892 by a group of local businessmen, permission was granted to build a 9 hole golf course on the banks of the River Wear. Harry Vardon, 6-time open winner and all England champion, played an exhibition match at Wearside in 1899. Following the event Mr Vardon was approached to support the design of a further 9 holes. The reconstructed 18 hole golf course was opened in 1901.
The golf club, course and facilities have been developed steadily over the years. In most instances the developments have been borne from a desire to keep the course and facilities current, but sometimes development has been a necessity. The club has had three clubhouses on site since 1892. The first clubhouse was damaged by fire in 1909, it's replacement was remarkably also damaged by fire in 1956 before the clubhouse as we know it today was opened in 1956.
A remarkable piece of Club and Durham County golfing history was made in 1990 by four Wearside Juniors.
It was the first time that all four individual Durham County Championships were won by players representing the same Club in the same year. Billy Edgar won the Junior Stroke Play, whilst David Vest was the Junior Match Play Champion; and Howard Walton later that year won the County Match Play. Richard Walker followed up his win in the North of England Youth Championship when winning the Nelson Jubilee Medal and County Stroke Play, returning the lowest ever winning score of 274. Richard – also a member of Brancepeth – Captained Durham County Junior Society, which included Walton, Goss, Vest and Edgar. Later he represented England at youth level also winning the North of England Youth Championship.
A course Development Working Party in 1998 examined the possible development of the course, which resulted in course architect Howard Swan being engaged. He submitted various proposals for altering the layout of the course, which included a realigned 9th, holes 13 and 14 played as one with new 13th, 16th and 17th holes. To obtain a clear view of the 14th green from the tee in 1999 numerous trees were removed, similarly for the 15th tee shots. The 7th tee was enlarged, a new 18th tee was built and the ladies tee enlarged. The 7th green and surrounds were remodelled during the winter. The rear portion of the original “postage stamp” flat green remained unchanged but the total area of putting surface was doubled by extending it forwards and incorporating split level contouring. The project was completed by extending and levelling the 8th tee to incorporate the Ladies tee. Afterwards the Ladies 15th tee was enlarged and heightened.