Western Park Golf Club, Leicester.
The club was founded in 1910.
Alderman J Loseby was the leading character in the formation of the club. The Western Park Municipal Golf Course was opened on May 1st 1910 by the Mayor, Alderman Geo Chitham.
George Smith, the Leicestershire professional, laid out the initial nine-hole course over 45 acres. The course was proving very popular with the locals and it was not long before a further 37 acres were acquired and the course was extended to eighteen-holes. The new course was opened on April 29th 1911, Alderman W W Vincent hitting the opening shot.
Result of the July 1911 monthly medal competition; E H Wand, 103-24-79; W Borman, 106-22-84; A H Foxon, 95-5-85; E W Windross, 100-15-85; A T Booth, 104-16-88; R R Thacker, 110-20-90.
Following is the result of the September 1911 medal; A W B Grinwade, 87-18-69; F C Bayliss, 99-24-75; B J Liddiard, 99-22-77; H A Welch, 105-24-81; C A Bevan, 109-25-84; W Gunnell, 110-24-86; T Byrne, 114-24-90.
Result of the October 1911 medal; J D Preston, 94-22-72; R R Thacker, 96-20-76; W O'Neill, 102-34-78; W H Swingler, 95-16-79; A H Foxon, 87-5-82; W Borman, 106-22-84.
Result of the Thursday May medal in 1912; W A Henry, 95-14-79; A H Foxon, 86-7-79; W Gunnell, 100-20-80; H A Welch, 100-20-80; E J Liddiard, 102-20-82; C A Bevan, 102-20-82; C Hoggett, 105-20-85.
Result of a mens foursomes competition played on May Whit-Monday 1913; C K Miles and R R Thacker, 100-17-83; A W B Grinwade and T Jarvis, 99-16-83; A Jarvis and R Wright, 101-17-84; H A Welch and H Kirby, 110-21-89.
The 1914 April Saturday medal finished in a tie between S A Allen and T Jarvis.
Result of the 1914 July Saturday medal; J Wooley, 93-22-71; W P Crossman, 91-16-75; P K Branson, 100-24-76; P G Hollis, 93-15-78; Guy C Cooke, 91-12-79; T Jarvis, 90-11-79; HE Jackson, 103-22-81; B Wells, 105-24-81.
The club was in a prosperous situation prior to WW1. The first secretary was E J Liddiard who was followed by A W B Grinwade and then F Float, the latter continuing until the Great War called a halt to golf at Western Park in 1917. Most of the course was then ploughed up to aid the war effort.
After a couple of years the Parks Committee were persuaded by a group led by keen golfer W Devereaux to resume and a temporary nine-hole course was established. An extension of the course to 18-holes soon followed and was opened in October 1921.
In 1927 the new clubhouse was opened.
In 1939 Councilor John Minton was president, a post he had held for many years, Albert Shenton had been secretary for 14 years. Mr J Ainger was treasurer, and J A Hill was captain for the year. The ladies' section secretary was Mrs H C Bone and the captain Mrs J Taylor. The course measured 5,395 yards with a bogey score of 70 (34 out and 36 home.) Frank Weston was the professional in the 1920s. George Edward Bowser took over from Frank Weston at Western Park in circa 1927. Bowser was formally at the old Ashby Golf Club pre WW1, and then Willesley Park in 1920 where he helped with the construction of the new course.
A sign of the times when it was reported in December 1939 that the Western Park Golf Club, like other sporting organisations, had to forego their annual dinner. Nevertheless, it was found possible to hold a dance for the purpose of presenting the trophies won during the season. About 250 people spent an enjoyable evening at the Bell Hotel. Councillor J Minto presented the following trophies; President and vice-president's trophy, N J Wignall; Noble Cup (gents), N J Wignall; Curtis and Horspool Cup, J Hargreaves; Tarratt Cups, Eric Taylor and E King; Hartopp Cup, J Hargreaves; Loseby Scratch Cup, A V Roberts; Noble Cup (ladies), Mrs H C Bone; Ladies' Foursomes Trophy, Mrs J P Taylor and Mrs A V Howard.
At the time of WW2 the secretary was A G Griffin, 9 Dixon Drive, Leicester, and the professional, J Loach. It was listed as a 14-hole course, with a membership of 300. Visitors' fees were, 1s/6d a round, 2/6 a day. Sunday play was not allowed.
The following officers were elected at the annual general meeting in November 1951; President, J A Hill; captain, J L White; vice-captain and hon. secretary, K N Hill; treasurer, H C Bone; match and competition secretary, J M Baines; ladies' captain, Mrs W R Preston; vice-captain, Mrs B C Jennings; secretary, Mrs W G Whitmore.
In the mid 1950s it was an 18-hole course with a SSS of 72. The secretary was K N Hill, 3 Stafford Leys, Kirby Muxloe, the professional was J Loach, and the green-keeper, R Corrie. Membership of 240. Visitors' fees, 2s/6d a round, 3/6 a day (Sunday, 3/6 a round, 5/- a day.)
During the 1960s the secretary was still K N Hill. The professional/green-keeper was S C Long, who also held the course record of 71. The 18-holes measured 6,727 yards with a SSS of 73. Visitors' fees, 3/6 a round, 5/- a day (Sunday, 5/- a round and 7/6 a day.)
By 1975 membership had risen to 500. The secretary was A E Warren, and the professional S C Long. The professional course record was held by Hugh Boyle, 68. Green fees were, 33p (44p).
In the 1980s the secretary and professional were as 1975. Membership was 470. Amateur course record, P J Allen 68. Fees, £2.05 (£2.80).
In the early 1990s the professional was B N Whipham. The 18-hole course measured 6,532 yards with a SSS of 71. Amateur course record, D E Gibson 68. Green fees, £4.50 (£5.50). In 1998 the professional was David Butler. The 18-hole course of 6,518 yards SSS 70 was designed by F W Hawtree. Greeen fees, £7.50 (£9).
The club was due to close at the end of October 2015. "Come and play it before it’s too late." was the plea.
After considering many options, Leicester City Council decided that Western Park Golf Course would be closed with investment being used to improve and continue running the larger golf facility at Humberstone Heights. "On balance, having considered all the available evidence, it has been decided that this approach offers the best basis for Leicester City Council to provide and maintain sustainable high quality golfing facilities in the City."
Despite a determined campaign to save the club the final round of golf was played on the course on October 31st 2015.