Cleckheaton Golf Club.
The club was founded in 1900.
The first course was at Hunsworth.
The second nine-hole course was situated at Round Hill. It was laid out on both sides of Cliffe Lane, Gomersal (see map below).
The following report appeared in the Shefffield Daily Telegraph on Monday 1st August 1904. “The new nine-hole course recently acquired by the Cleckheaton Golf Union was formally opened on Saturday before a good attendance. The course is situated about half a mile from the centre of town and covers a fine stretch of undulating ground. Mr C J Anderson, after a short appropriate speech, drove the first ball, and declared the course open.”
Following is an extract from a report taken from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer on Saturday 11th September 1909. Alex Herd and Walter Toogood were to play an exhibition match on the Saturday afternoon on the Cleckheaton course. The report provides an interesting description of the course layout and the work involved in the running of a club and course at the time. It also mentions the earlier course at Hunsworth.
“There is not only golf at Cleckheaton, but good golf. It is only a nine-hole course, on which you thread your way down narrow fairways bounded by hedges, but it is perhaps the most cunningly laid out course in the West Riding, and, by the same token, probably the best kept. When a start was made nine years ago at Hunsworth, the available land was only 26 acres. If the course was poor the men were willing, and four years later a move was made to the present links at Round Hill. Mr Newman Crabtree, who has been one of the honorary secretaries from the beginning, can a tale unfold about the difficulty of arranging leases with three separate landowners, and of getting possession of the land so that all nine holes might be laid out. Only those who have undergone such an experience can appreciate all that it means, for landowners are people who want time to look round corners, especially when a 15 years’ lease is in prospect. Still, there the club is, safely installed for another 10 years, during which they have absolute control of the 50 acres of land.
The turf is excellent. It is an expensive business keeping the grass down in summer, two mowers being kept employed, but Mr Crabtree, who is nothing if not philosophical, says the recuperative properties of the soil have to be put on the other end of the scale, and there is at least one golfer who can affirm that this week he had at Cleckheaton the finest lies that ever drew brassey from bag. Unfortunately, the course is not balanced as regards short and long holes. The three longest ones are the sixth, seventh and ninth with a hole of 130 yards – a tricky shot over a tree to a green that does not give much margin for mistakes – at the eighth. On the other hand, the two opening holes are of the drive and pitch order, with the third a spared iron shot over a spinney to a green in the triangle of a field, and it would be better to have a long hole here in order to break up the field on a busy day. Herd, who laid out the course, made the best use of his material, however, besides which we must not too often expect the perfect in this imperfect world. Herd is mightily pleased with this third hole, and if the wooded dell which catches pulled balls had not swallowed the present deponent’s ball at the first time of asking he would have been pleased with it, too. It is unorthodox in that the player is not given a clear view or of the circumscribed space about it, but, like the other short hole, it is thoroughly sporting. The course would be vastly improved if some of the hedges could be taken down. It is true they have some value as hazards, but if the terms of the leases permitted, and there were money available one suspects that a more open aspect and different hazards would soon be created by the Cleckheaton committee. We shall have to keep an eye on Mr John Greig, who is the holder of the course record of 36.”
In September 1910, at the annual garden party of the golf club, an exhibition golf match was played between professionals Percy Hills of Harrogate and Herbert Risebrough of Halifax.
Result of a bogey competition played in July 1912; J Fenton, 1up; W E Sugden, 3down; H Simpkin, 4down; F D Richmond, 4down; A T Birkby, 5down
Result of the monthly medal played in October 1912; R Hirst, 90-15-75; F C Winter, 95-16-79; F D Richmond, 103-24-79; B S Sugden, 105-24-81; W B B Yates, 95-13-82; F W Gadsby, 106-24-82; W H Howarth, 103-20-83L Skyrm. 105-22-83; Dr Hulsall, 87-3-84; H Smith, 98-14-84; A Gibson, 104-20-84.
The annual meeting was held in May 1916 and as with many clubs WW1 was having a devastating effect. The report stated that a number of resignations had been received. A list was produced showing that many members were away on active service, who, of course, did not figure in the resignations. Unfortunately some of these men would never return. It was also recorded that many lady members were actively engaged in work of various kinds in connection with the war. The subscription income was showing a reduction from £273 to £240, and competition fees, visitors’ fees and profits on refreshments were considerably down. On the other hand, it had not been possible to reduce expenditure to any appreciable extent, and the club would have been in a bad way had members not come to the rescue and subscribed an extra £100. The club would commence another year of wartime trouble with a little “nest egg” of £42/16s/8d.
It was reported in September 1919 that land totalling 125 acres, which included the Cleckheaton golf course, had been sold.
The club moved to its present location at Chain Bar in 1922.
The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the course at Round Hill.