Bagden Hall Golf Club, Huddersfield.
The course was attached to the Bagden Hall Hotel, Scissett. A nine-hole picturesque course in a delightful setting with trees and water hazards on many holes, designed in 1993 by F O’Donnell and R Braithwaite. It was a par 3/4 course of 1,407 yards with holes ranging from 79 yards (3rd hole) to 266 yards (8th hole) it was a good challenge for the short game. Par for men was 28, ladies 29; SSS 55 and 57 respectively.
The professional was N Hirst.
I would like to thank Adrian Ashworth for the following contribution.
“Bagden Hall Golf Club was established in 1994 to play on the hotel course and very quickly became a vibrant and very friendly club. As the course was attached to the hotel, it was of course a proprietary club, run by its members in liaison with the hotel course management. The members drove the club forward and much of the credit for the vibrancy of the club, the good condition and improvement of the course should go to the members committee.
Despite the success of the club, the hotel business remained focused on providing a premium wedding venue and in 2002 the hotel management decided more guest rooms were needed and the golf club clubhouse should be converted for this use. The members fought hard to keep the club alive and even offered to administer the club off site, but the hotel owners at that time decided the club should close. Bagden Hall Golf Club closed in March 2003.
The members, now left without a club, formed the Bagden Hall Castaways Golf Society upon the closure of the club, to play for the various club trophies and they still compete to this day once a month during the golfing season and meet regularly for various social events. This is, I think, a clear demonstration on the friendly nature of the club and the strong friendships made between its members. As the course at Bagden Hall was short, it was commonplace for men and women to play together off the same tees and the Castaways remains a mixed gender society, though these days on longer courses, the ladies insist on playing off red tees!
The course remained open as a play and pay facility, continuing after the hotel was sold to new owners, until it seems the course was closed in 2013.”
Following is the history of Bagden Hall from the 1820s to 2002.
“Bagden Hall is steeped in history since it was built in 1853. The textile industry played a major roll in this part of Yorksire along with the local mines. In 1830 the textile industry and the local mills were going from strenght to strength, and one local family stood out from the rest. One Benjamin Norton, a small time clothier in Scissett had grand plans and slowly grew his business. He supplied the raw material and marketed the finished goods out of which he paid the weaver. Benjamin's 4 sons were brought up in the true textile tradition and knew every aspect of it and were all at one time or another, to make their mark in the local trade.
In 1825 one of them, Joseph, purchased the Highbridge Corn Mill and most of the land on which the village of Scissett was later to stand. Using the water power to drive scribbling and fulling machines he continued with the same method of business as his father, supplying the yarn to out weavers and collecting the finished goods.
During the next 30 years or so, the village thrived and grew. A number of ancillary trades grew up and the village had a wide variety of shops and three public houses and of course the fortunes of the Norton brothers, who had been the moving force behind this expansion, also grew.
Joseph Norton was not the only member of his family to make a success in the textile trade. His brother George was also a mill owner - brought up in the same practical way as his brother - both of them able to turn their hands to any task they would expect one of their operatives to do.
It was the common practice with textile men that, when they had elevated themselves from manufacturer to gentlemen, they left their Mill House and moved to a site at some distance from the mill but from which they could still see some part of it. In this tradition, Joseph built himself Nortonthorpe Hall and his brother George built Bagden Hall.
The two Norton brothers now employed between them about 1,000 operatives and the trade in which they were employed, along with many others in the immediate locality (mainly south-east of Huddersfield), was known as the 'Fancy Trade' and was fairly specialised.
One of the latest novelties amongst the aristocracy at this time was the fashion of wearing fancy waistcoats, a fashion which engendered a tremendous boom period which reached such proportions that many manufacturers described themselves as 'Fancy Waistcoat Manufacturers'
The introduction by President McKinley of a tariff on wool and silk imports into the USA and the improvement in the printing of patterns caused the Fancy Trade to collapse almost overnight in 1895. Some local firms with decades of experience never recovered, others, like the Norton’s, after a period of partial closure, recovered to start in another branch of the trade using the knowledge they had gained in following the Fancy trade. Thus was pile fabric weaving germinated and nourished in the district and Scissett and Skelmanthorpe became recognised as a centre for this branch of the industry.
Bagden Hall stayed in the Norton family until it was too much to upkeep, the old lady living in the house along with her horse, sold it to Robert Braithwaite, a local construction plant owner, in 1992.
Robert Braithwaite’s plan was to turn the main house into a hotel with 20 rooms with a golf course within the grounds. Robert along with Frank O’Donnell designed a 9-hole golf course using the local contours of the grounds of the Hall with holes varying from short par 3’s up to one long par 4 measuring 266 yards. They brought on board the Professional from Dewsbury Golf Club, Nigel Hirst as a consultant and to help with R&A rules and regulations. An old outbuilding was converted into a maintenance shed for the Green keeper and a small office for an Assistant Professional employed by Nigel.
Thus the golf club was born, Pay & Play was encouraged and a golf club was formed with members, competitions and trophies which were all housed in the Hotel. The golf club was affiliated to the Leeds golf union and friendly competitions were held with a number of local golf clubs.
The club run by Robert Braithwaite survived until around 1999 when the Assistant pro was sacked. This meant there was no one to run the club, no interface with the public, no one to oversee the Green keeper and so on. It was then that the members went to Mr Braithwaite with a plan for the members to run the golf club, interface with Nigel Hirst, the general public and the hotel staff. Mr Braithwaite allocated a large storage room near the Green keeper’s facility to the members; toilets were already in existence so it just meant creating a clubhouse.
An ambitious project was undertaken by the members who converted the storage room into a clubhouse with bar and kitchen, dining facilities and a trophy cabinet. A committee was set up not only to run the golf club but to interface with Mr Braithwaite. Regular meetings were held with Mr Braithwaite and Nigel Hirst to discuss issue, create policy and take the club forward.
Over the next few years the club thrived, a steady stream of new members joined, a number being families who joined wholesale. More matches were played with other local clubs, trips were organised as far flung as Orlando, evening events were organised throughout the year and so on, all these with the emphasis on fun and family. A website was created with links to the Leeds Golf union and other local sites.
Then in late 2002 the members were informed by Mr Braithwaite that the golf club was to be wound up. His intention was to add a conservatory restaurant to the main hotel complex, along with 20 new bedrooms on the land where the golf course and its car park were sited.”
Below, club competition results.
|Frank O'Donnel Gents Matchplay||Gents Captains Prize||Geoff Rhodes Gents Pairs|
|1995||D Holling||D Holling|
|1996||B Crawshaw||W Crawford||C Rook & K Burdett|
|1997||R Hickling||M Wood||V Parsley & P Leach|
|1998||M Storey||W Crawford||P Burton & A Burton|
|1999||M Turner||K Hand||G Weed & D Storey|
|2000||A Bale||G Bate||J Gill & B Lansdale|
|2001||V Rowe||T Williams||V Rowe & J Eagles|
|2002||J Wigglesworth||C Slater||R Wood & A Ashworth|
|Presidents Prize||Lady Captains Prize||B.I.A.D Ladies Matchplay||Pro Foursomes|
|1995||V Rowe||Mrs F Scott||Mrs F Scott|
|1996||R Cox||Mrs C Hickling||Mrs M Senior|
|1997||P Senior||Mrs M Hirstwood||Mrs M Senior|
|1998||T Pickles||Mrs J Gill||Mrs M Gill|
|1999||J Eagles||Mrs G Hampton||Mrs S Turner|
|2000||A Lansdale||Mrs J Cran||Mrs N Robinson||A Bate & J Cooper|
|2001||B Biggs||Mrs S Wood||Mrs A Bowers||Mrs L Parsley & P Bowers|
|2002||S Cave||Mrs C Storey||Mrs S Turner||P Leach & J Wigglesworth|
|Millenium Trophy||Winners Winners Trophy||Club Championship|
|2000||M Neill||Mr V Parsley and Mrs C Broadbent|
|2001||B Lansdale||M Turner (Gents) Mrs B Biggs (Ladies)|
|2002||B Lansdale||P Bowers (Gents) Mrs C Ward (Ladies)|
The course closed in 2013.