In the 1910s, Cliff “Doughy” Spring, along with his brother “Grumpy” Spring, was considered one of the top lacrosse players during the golden age of field lacrosse in British Columbia. By the early 1930s, field lacrosse gave way to the popular indoor box lacrosse, but Cliff was still an active player despite the fact that he never wore gloves or pads throughout his career. Cliff was inducted as one of the charter members of the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of fame.

Spring played senior lacrosse a total of thirty-two years (1905-1936) and was considered one of the best players of the day. He played with the New Westminster Salmonbellies from 1905 through the 1920s, including on five Minto Cup wins (1908-10, 1912-13). 1908 marked the first time a western team had won the Minto Cup.

After a brief retirement Spring returned to the sport in the early 1930s, this time as a box player.

In 1932, he co-founded the New Westminster Adanacs, who would become arch rivals of the Salmonbellies for the next two decades.

Spring retired from lacrosse in 1936, after scoring nine goals in one of his last games at the remarkable age of 48.