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Easton Hall Golf Course, Grantham. 

It was reported in August 1914 that in aid of The War Charity the Easton Hall golf course would be open to the public every day until further notice on payment of two shillings green fees. A limited number of caddies were available at sixpence for nine-holes, contact Mr Ben Cooper. 

 

Easton Hall Golf Course, Grantham. Article from The Nottingham Journal July 1920.

 

Easton Hall Golf Course, Grantham. Article from The Nottingham Journal July 1920.

From The Nottingham Journal July 26th 1920. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

The following report is taken from the Grantham Journal Saturday 6th August 1921:-

“The eight professionals invited to take part in golf events on the nine-hole course of Captain Marshall Roberts at Easton Hall first played a 36-hole stroke competition. The day’s play was remarkable for the brilliance of the young West Lancashire professional, Arthur Havers, who headed the aggregate with the splendid aggregate of 143. In the morning Havers created a new record for the course with his score of 68, a figure which was only approached by five strokes, J H Taylor having the second best card in the morning with 73. Alex Herd, the other former champion competing , upheld the honour of the “Old School” remarkably well when in the afternoon he got within a stroke of Havers best round of the day. Herd had taken 79 in the first round”

Scores; Arthur Havers (West Lancs) , 68+75=143; Alex Herd (Coombe Hill), 79+69=148; Percy Hills (Easton Hall), 75+74=149; James Sherlock (Hunstanton), 75+74=149; J H Taylor (Mid-Surrey), 73+77=150; W L Ritchie (Worplesdon), 80+75=155; Len Holland (Northampton), 78+80=158; Fred Leach (Northwood), 80+80=160.

 

Easton Hall Golf Course, Grantham. Article from The Tatler August 1922.

From The Tatler August 16th 1922. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

We would like to thank Bill Whittington for sharing his personal findings on Easton Hall and for his additional information on golf in general. “I have attached the photograph of Roger H Wethered. You may notice his caddie with clubs also two girl caddies with clubs unfortunately the other players don't seem to be in the picture. I have often wondered if the Oak? tree still exists, my grandfather Benjamin Robert Cooper was green-keeper and acting professional as they mostly were in those days. He is second from the right in the picture with the very flat cap.

There had been many competitions involving top players but I’m not sure if any Americans were present in the early competitions. John H Taylor and Cyril J H Tolley were earlier participants. I know this because Taylor had advised my grandfather to get some "basic slag" for the greens, which he did, it was delivered from Sheffield by train.

One of the holes was a par four with an elevated tee played to a flat bottomed valley with the second shot up the other side to a green protected with long grass or scrub of some kind, Tolley didn't bother with the valley bit and drove the green. The American (Captain Marshall Roberts) who had built the course during the war and ran the hall until his return to America somewhere around 1923 took my grandfather to one side and told him "that's not how that hole had been designed to be played, keep it looking the same but move the tee back 15 yards."

So, after the modification, grandfather, the American, and a few more gathered at this hole to see if anyone would have a go at the green. When Tolley arrived he took out his driver and waited for the green to clear, a smiling American said "looks like you are going for it again then Cyril" Grandfather said the American nearly fell off his shooting stick when Tolley, once again, put it on the green. The tee was moved back once more but Tolley managed to drive the green again in a later competition, maybe the players had moved from hickory to steel about this time, or the ball was improving.

 

Easton Hall Golf Course, Grantham. Roger H Wethered driving at Easton Hall.

Roger H Wethered on the tee at Easton Hall. Image courtesy Bill Whittington.

 

Grandfather had two sons and a daughter my mother, his sons caddied for Abe Mitchell and J H Taylor playing against Walter Hagen and another American whose name I don't know, beating them heavily. Unfortunately, Mitchell on his way to St Andrews, noticed his favourite club, his five iron, to be missing after the game and it was never found. Uncle Harry said "he gave me a right telling off I don't know where it went it just wasn't in the bag"

Some of the Americans joined the British professionals to play cricket against the local team "Stoke Rochford and Easton" the ground was located where the 16th fairway is now at Stoke Rochford. I don't know the number of Americans involved. It was customary at the time to ask the lord of the manor "may I enter the field of play sir" before going out to bat, one of the Americans refused but still played.”

The first American Open was played in 1895 and it wasn’t until 1911 that a home professional won it. The first time an American won the British Open was 1921/2.  Because of this an American golf magazine decided to started fund raising to send professionals over to rectify the situation they raised enough to send 12 players who boarded the HMS Aquitania in New York to Southampton in 1921.

Due to its location, close to the A1, some American professional golfers, exact number unknown, played the Easton Hall course on their way from Southampton to Scotland.”

Golf ceased on the Easton Hall course in the mid 1920s. 

Nearby is Stoke Rochford Golf Club which was founded in 1924.

 

Easton Hall Golf Course, Grantham. The Hall was requisitioned during WW2 and demolished in 1951.

In World War 2 Easton Hall was requisitioned by the army and was badly damaged. It was demolished in 1951.