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Blackpool Golf Club, Squire's Gate, South Shore.

The club was founded in 1894.

The following report is from the Sheffield Daily Telegraph dated Friday 23rd February 1894. “To its many other attractions Blackpool is adding a golf club, and a numerously attended meeting has been held in the Town Hall when all preliminary arrangements were made. Dr Kingsbury occupied the chair, also present, Mr A H Doleman (a resident gentleman widely known as a first class amateur golfer), Councillor Hampson, and others. A resolution was unanimously passed that a golf club should be formed and a provisional committee elected to select the ground for the links and draw up rules; A H Doleman, Rev W Evans, Mr Hampson, Dr Kingsbury and W J Read. Mr H Haworth was appointed secretary and Mr W C Thompson. The names of about one hundred members were announced. It was stated that ground, admirably suited for links, could be obtained in the immediate vicinity of the town.

The 18-hole course was redesigned just prior to WW1 by Alex Herd.

There were railway stations at South Shore 1 ½ miles and St Annes 2 miles away. Electric trams passed the course every few minutes.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, South Shore, Club Button.

Blackpool Golf Club button.

 

On Saturday 14th April 1894 the preliminary opening of the course took place with a match between a team selected by the club captain, W H Hampson, and by Mr A H Doleman, the captain’s team being the runaway winners. The course was in excellent condition.

Captain's Team   Mr Doleman's Team  
W H Hampson 3 A H Doleman 0
C Fisher 1 S Fisher 0
J Bradbury 7 F T Bradshaw 0
Captain A A Hinde 6 H Haworth 0
  17   0

On Saturday 21st July 1894 the first club prize competition for a cup presented by the captain, W H Hampson, was played on the South Shore course, on the “land side of the railway” result; G M Parkes, 118-27-91; A A Hinde, 112-18-94; W H Hampson, 95 scratch; A H Doleman, 90+6-96; F E Rothwell, 113-13-100; H Haworth, 127-27-100; F H Gorst, 127-27-100; S Fisher, 107-6-101; T A Harcroft, 138-36-102.  

On Saturday 15th September 1894 the third competition for the Captain’s Cup took place at South Shore and was won by F E Rothwell, 103-13-90.

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 17th August 1895; F Rothwell, 95-9-86; A A Hinde, 102-6-96; J W Hunt, 108-7-101; G W Parkes, 118-15-103; W Cross, 119-12-107; J Baron, 137-25-112; G B Smith, 127-14-113; W Wright, 128-15-113; Ben Lucas, 135-15-120.

Below is the result of a “private” club match played on the South Shore links against Lytham and St Annes Golf Club on Saturday 11th January 1896.

Singles. 

Blackpool South Shore   Lytham & St Annes  
A H Doleman 2 T S Turnbull 0
A B Scholfield 4 F H Stewart 0
C W Fisher 1 T H Rushton 0
Mr Rothwell 0 James Mellor 6
A Hinde 0 J H Hulton 4
Mr Sidebottom 0 S F Butcher 7
  7   17

Foursomes.

A H Dolemann & A B Scholfield  3 T S Turnbull & F H Stewart 0
C W Fisher & Mr Rothwell 0 T H Rushton & James Mellor 6
A Hinde & Mr Sidebottom 1 J H Hulton & S F Butcher 0
  4   6

An interesting driving competition took place on the links on Saturday 5th December 1896. The prize, a handsome pair of silver salts, was given by Mr J M Grant, the hon. treasurer. In spite of the miserable weather on the day there was a decent turnout of members. The competition resulted in a tie between R P Woodhouse and F Harrison, Mr Woodhouse won the “drive off” hitting the ball 181 yards.

The competition for the captain’s cup and momento was played on Saturday 15th July 1899 in glorious weather, the greens having benefited with the recent rain. Twenty six cards were taken out with 18 returns. F Todd won the momento and qualified for the captain’s cup, result below.  

F Todd 91 18 73 G A Blakey 93 8 85
J W Leach 92 15 77 T O Ramsbottom 101 16 85
P Edleston 102 25 77 W H Smith 108 23 85
Dr A B Winder 96 16 80 S Fernyhough 95 8 87
C Smith 94 13 81 S Wrigley 98 9 89
H Whittaker 96 15 81 J M Hindle 107 17 90
F E Rothwell 93 11 82 J E H Gorst 106 23 93
W J Hunt 97 15 82 T Higson jnr 122 27 95
L Whittle 92 8 84        

In 1900 the course was listed as being of nine holes, this must have been a temporary arrangement. The secretary was Dr Harrison.

Below is the result of the 1902 New Year’s Day competition, played in spring-like weather. There were over 50 entrants with 35 returning cards. The captain, Mr J D Harker, presented the prizes at the end of play. 

J R Smith 100 18 82 C W Fisher 95 6 89
J Almond 104 22 82 J N Withers 104 14 90
F H Brown 96 13 83 J D Harker 101 10 91
H Whittaker 90 6 84 R Crummack 104 13 91
R Dewhurst 91 7 84 H Mitchell 111 20 91
W H Smith 96 12 84 W J Crummack 111 18 93
L Whittle 85  scr 85 J W P Loftos 113 20 93
A H Doleman 90 5 85 G Harrop 109 14 95
F Todd 96 11 85 H Carver 120 25 95
G W Parkes 95 8 87 J R Dixon 113 15 98
W H Fleming 107 20 87 J W Leach 104 5 99
S Wrigley 91 2 89 Rev W Woodall 110 11 99
F E Bothwell 94 5 89 R Rowland 112 13 99

In 1906/7 the secretary was N Payne, Squires Gate, South Shore, Blackpool who held the post until the early 1920s. The professional was Frank Eaves, who had joined the club in 1902. T Yeoman took over in March 1906. Now listed as an 18 hole course. Course records were, amateur Norman Macbeth junior 75 (1906) and H H Barker 73 (1907) professional Frank Eaves 73. Visitors’ fees on introduction either by a member or by the secretary of the players home club were 2/6 a day, 7/6 a week, 12/6 for 2 consecutive weeks and 21/- for 4 consecutive weeks. This was except on special occasions such as Bank Holidays, when charges were increased.

In March 1907 Tom Yeoman, formerly of Seaford and Aldeburgh, was appointed professional. Yeoman succeeded F Eaves, who had to retire due to ill-health. Tom Yeoman was a member of the Scottish team in the international at St Andrews in 1905 and at Muirfield in 1906. He served his early years at Musselburgh. For some unknown reason his stay at Blackpool was short, Jack Steer took over and he continued at South Shore until its closure.

On August 22nd 1907, through the generosity of Mr J H Maden, a professional tournament was held at Squire’s Gate, the prize money was £160, this amount was second only to the then famous £250 tournament. The following professionals took part; Braid, T & H Vardon, Taylor, Massy, Herd, Pulford, Collins, Toogood and Simpson. James Braid scored a sensational 65, a course record. (see scorecard below). 

The scorecard details are not very clear on the image below, they are as follows (Braid’s score in brackets):-

Hole One – 214 yards, par/bogey 4 (3); Two – 244, 4 (3); Three – 285, 4 (3); Four – 354, 5 (4); Five – 310, 4 (4); Six – 425, 5 (4); Seven – 180, 3 (3); Eight – 360, 5 (4); 180, 3 (3); Out = 31.

Hole Ten – 240, 4 (3); Eleven - 357, 5 (3); Twelve – 368, 5 (4); Thirteen – 360, 5 (4); Fourteen – 371, 5 (4); Fifteen – 270, 4 (4); Sixteen – 310, 4 (3); Seventeen – 460, 5 (5); 300, 4 (4); In = 34.  

 

Blackpool Golf Club, Squires Gate, South Shore - James Braid scorecard.

The scorecard for James Braid from the professional tournament played in August 1907. The card was also signed by the other professionals who competed on the day. (Image courtesy of David Coleman)

 

It was hoped that the professional competition would be held again in September 1908. Mr Stonier Crowther, who had recently joined the club from Huddersfield, was to make an additional contribution to the prize fund for the 1908 competition.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, South Shore. Postcard showing the course in the 1930s.

The Blackpool Golf Club golf course at Squires Gate in the 1930s. Authors Collection.

 

The final for the cup presented by Mr T Hynes was played in February 1908. The course was closed in the morning due to snow, when play did start a strong wind made play difficult. There were ten cards taken out, three players retired before completing the 36 holes; James Eaves, 189-20-169; E E G Perry, 171 scratch; H Bentley, 217-36-181; N Bourn, 209-24-185; J R Smith, 228-40-188; J Seed, 235-44-191; H Ramsbottom, 244-32-212.

The annual meeting was held on Saturday 21st March 1908, Mr J H Hall, the captain, presiding. In his report the secretary stated that membership had increased to 255, an increase of about 20 over the year, with 85 lady and five day members. Close to 2,000 visitors had played during the season. The financial statement, given by Mr J Smith, reported a loss £139/7s/3d over the year. Much work had been done on the course to attract visitors, very nearly £500 being spent to keep the course in good shape; wages had amounted to £369. Income for the year was £1,284/9s/10d, entrance fees and subscriptions amounted to £557 and visitors’ fees over £290. There was much criticism raised on the accounts, especially with regard to expenditure on the links, and a plea for economy was made. On the other hand, it was contended that putting the course in first-class order had bought about increased numbers of visitors. It was decided to increase the members’ subs from £1/11s/6d to £2/2s/0d, and the life membership from £10/10s/0d to £15/15s/0d. Mr F T Pennington, South Shore, was elected the new captain.

The third qualifying round for the captain’s cup was played in miserable weather in July 1908, over twenty cards were taken out but only seven were returned. Mr A H Doleman, “the father of Fylde golf” qualified and won the memento and sweepstake with a score of net 72, the score matching his age, returns; first division – A H Doleman, 83-11-72; Leo Whittle, 80-1-79; J A Eckersley, 91-12-79; F T Pennington, 88-8-80; A O Harling, 87-6-81; T D Ramsbottom, 91-10-81; second division – S A Simpson, 92-13-79.  

Result of the fifth qualifying round of the Captain’s Cup played in August 1909. First Division; A R Harling, 82-6-76; G H Harrop, 84-7-77; H Horsfall, 85-8-77; J P Stableford, 79-sc-79; W A Scholes, 81-2-79; A H Duckworth, 91-12-79; Dr A B Winder, 91-11-80; J Eaves, 84-3-81; T Hynes, 88-7-81; L Stansfield, 86-4-82; N Bourn, 90-7-83; G H Boddington, 89-5-84; J Dickinson, 89-4-85; T O Ramsbottom, 92-6-86; J Bracewell, 97-9-88; W Crain, 100-12-88. Second Division; J Taylor, 100-21-79; G Teed, 94-13-81; W Haynes, 99-18-81; F W Brindle, 101-18-83; W A Stretchill, 111-26-85; G Heys, 108-22-86; A Wright, 111-23-88; J Affleck, 106-17-89; H Bleackley, 108-19-89.

There were over 50 entries for the annual New Year’s Day competition played in January 1910, leading scores; J P Stableford, 76 scratch; J H Hall, 89-9-80; F N Chapman, 91-11-80; J Humber, 81+1-82; F Hilton, 85-3-82; C E Hartley, 97-15-82; H Bentley, 94-11-83; T Hopewell, 94-11-83; N B Lilly, 106-23-83; H N Milnes, 91-7-84; F T Pennington, 90-6-84; J Dickinson, 89-4-85; W A Scholes, 87-1-86; C Cooper, 92-6-86; C Timmis, 94-8-86; E C Dickinson, 104-18-86; C B Dewhirst, 97-10-87; F Coop, 112-25-87; A O Harling, 90-3-87.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, Squires Gate. Golf Competition Spoon.

Blackpool Golf Club Competition Spoon.

 

Strong winds made good scoring virtually impossible for the fifth qualifying round for the Rostron Cup played on Saturday 19th February 1910. Mr J W Mitchell qualified and won the momento for the first division, Mr J Clarkson qualified in the second division. Leading scores, first division – J W Mitchell, 89-5-84; C B Dewhurst, 96-10-86; C Cooper, 94-6-88; H Mitchell, 96-8-88; S S Nash, 100-9-91; J R Smith, 103-11-91; J Chapman, 103-10-93; J P Stableford, 94+1-95; F Hilton, 99-3-96; F N Chapman, 108-11-97; second division – J Clarkson, 112-19-93; T Thornley, 110-16-94; A Wright, 115-21-94; N Raffael, 113-16-97.

The first qualifying round for a prize presented by Mr J Dickinson was played in October 1912, leading scores; First Division – J A Chapman, 81-2-79; M Raffael, 91-11-80; L Whittle, 83 scratch; C Wood, 86-2-84; T Southworth, 94-10-84; J Chapman, 100-12-88; G Inglis, 90 scratch; J E H Gorst, 101-9-92; Second Division – Jas Taylor, 93-16-77; A Wright, 97-20-77; P Holden, 94-16-78; H Carver, 97-16-81; A B Stocks, 108-25-83; A H Towle, 103-18-85; T Tiller, 111-23-88; F Waller, 114-25-89. Thirty Eight cards were taken out.

Result of the fourth qualifying round for Mr J Dickinson’s prize held in January 1913, 43 cards were taken out; first division – A Openshaw, 90-11-79; H Nuttall, 84-4-80; J A Chapman, 85-1-84; L Whittle, 86 scratch; R B Estcourt, 96-9-87; C E Hartley, 100-12-88; A E Stanley, 101-11-90; F H Jepson, 102-12-90; second division – P Grime, 100-20-80; F A C Youens, 98-16-82; R Broadbent, 101-17-84; A B Stocks, 106-22-84; R D Hughes, 102-15-87; A H Towle, 103-18-87; A Wright, 109-18-91.

The annual meeting was held on Saturday 29th March 1913 with Mr F Brindle, the captain, in the chair. The membership numbered 274, with 100 lady and eight junior members. The total income for the last year was £1,542/15s. The assets of the club exceeded liabilities by £1,171/18/5. The report was adopted, and Mr Talbot Clifton of Lytham Hall was elected captain.  

Result of the fourth qualifying round for the captain’s cup played in August 1913; first division – J R Charnock, 88-10-78; J Grundy, 89-10-79; E S Bailey, 91-11-80; F E Wedge, 92-12-80; second division – J S Jones, 86-15-71; W Bateson, 96-21-75; M Doniger, 97-20-77; T Harrop, 94-16-78; J F Hurst, 98-20-78.  

In 1914 the Blackpool Golf Club telephone number was 626. Telegrams could be sent to "Golf Blackpool". The secretary was N Payne of 211 Central Drive, Blackpool. The professional from 1907 to its closure in 1940 was James A (Jack) Steer. There was a membership of 280 gents and 100 ladies. Entry fee was £4/4/0 and Subs £2/2/0.  Ladies were allowed on Sundays, and could also play on Saturday and holidays after 3.30pm in summer and after 2pm in winter. Sunday play was allowed without caddies. Refreshments were available at the club.

The 20th annual meeting was held at the Squire’s Gate clubhouse on Saturday 21st March 1914, Mr F W Brindle presided. The secretary, Mr J Chapman, presented the report, which was showing a small loss, but the club was still in a healthy position and there was no reason to anticipate anything but a successful year in 1914. The course continued to be an attraction for visitors, and the receipts from green-fees were in excess of last year. Mr J Smith, the treasurer, presented the balance sheet. Mr J Talbot Clifton was elected president; Sam Hill was elected captain; secretary, J Chapman; treasurer, J Smith; Messrs. George Elliott, Albert Mills, Miles Platting, Manchester, J Robertson, South Shore and C T Whyte, St Annes, were elected by ballot to the three vacancies on the council. Mr A Fynney, chartered accountant, was re-elected auditor.

In 1922 and the membership was now 300 gents and  100 ladies. Visitors’ fees on introduction were, gents 5/-a day, 12/6 for three consecutive days, 20/- a week, 30/- for two consecutive weeks, 40/- for four consecutive weeks, ladies 3/6, 8/6, 13/6, 20/-, 30/- respectively. Bank holidays gents 7/6 a day, ladies 5/-.

In 1925/6 the secretary was J S Spence and the greenkeeper G Cartmell.

Result of the competition for a cup presented by Mr J P Stableford (36 hole medal play) played in July 1926; J Foster, 182-36-146; W Winterbottom, 184-34-150; H Worden, 160-6-154; E Riley, 174-20-154; G B Fletcher, 182-28-154; F Woods, 166-10-156; R L Ratcliff, 174-18-156; J Fenton, 174-18-156; W Hayes, 179-22-157; J R Airey, 175-16-159; J Hayes, 168-8-160; H B Hall, 188-28-160; L C Taylor, 183-20-163; R D Hughes, 191-26-165.

From 1927 to the early 1930s the secretary was J Reilly-Foster. Membership peaked at 600 during this period. Course records were, amateur H Worden 71, professional H A Gaudin 66. The SSS was 76.

Below is the result of a Lancashire handicap shield match played at South Shore against Preston on Friday 26th May 1933.  

Blackpool South Shore    Preston   
Mrs Wood 0 Mrs Charnley  1
Mrs Morris  Mrs Aitchison 0
Miss Cook  Mrs Pateson  0
Mrs Ashworth Mrs Nelson 
Miss Duckworth 1 Mrs Attwater 
Mrs Nickson Mrs Whalley  0
Mrs Whitehead Miss Monks 
  6  

In July 1933 the Veterans’ Cup, presented by Mr H Worden, was won by Fred Walmsley, the well-known Blackpool comedian with a score of 90-18-72. Following are the results of the fifth qualifying round for the captain’s prize; Division one – A Whitehead, 81-9-72; T Southworth, 86-11-75; H Fletcher, 79-3-76; A H Green, 83-7-76. Division two – Fred Walmsley, 90-18-72; R V Estcourt, 88-15-73; J Seed, 88-15-73; J A Brooks, 95-22-73.

Following are the results from the Autumn Meeting held in October 1933. The club Gold Medal and replica was presented by H W Sames. The prize for the first division handicap was presented by P W Emery, and the second division by F J Salisbury.

First division - G P Kirwan (Gold Medal winner and tie for handicap prize), 75-3-72; K S Estcourt, 82-10-72; J R Airey, 80-7-73; A H Green, 80-7-73; L V Enthorne, 81-7-74; R L Ratcliffe, 85-11-74; A Fisher, 81-4-77; J W Manning, 83-6-77; F Nickson, 88-11-77; W Hurst, 88-11-77; A R Walton, 78 scratch; A Worden, 84-6-78; R A F Eltoft, 85-7-78; J Beaumont, 86-8-78; C W Kirkham, 89-11-78.

Second Division – J W Lee, 89-18-71; G W Dickinson, 87-14-73; J A Moore, 89-15-74; G B Fletcher, 89-13-76; M H Duxbury, 95-19-76; W H Norman, 91-13-78; H H Rhodes, 94-16-78. 

Competition winners for the 1933 season; Galloway Scratch Medal, J S Wilson; Clemsha(?) Cup, J G Crombleholm; Foster Challenge Cup, G L Hickmott; Galloway Bowl, winner, J Clarke, runner-up, K J Clynch; Club Foursomes, winners, T L & J G Crombleholme, runners-up, Dr J S Cook & R G Doig; Mixed Foursomes, winners, G H Swarbrick & Miss Crombleholme, runners-up, A G & Mrs Platt; Captain’s Prize, G L Hickmott; Marchant Trophy, winner, J H Yates, runner-up, E Milner (after a tie with J Marshall); Invitation Four Ball, J H Yates & H Nicholson.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, Squires Gate, South Shore. From The Tatler October 1934.

Above image is from The Tatler October 10th 1934. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

The names above from top left to right - J Reilly Foster, Ex Hon. Sec; M H Duxbury, Chairman Entertainments Committee; J P Stableford, a member for over 80 years, handicap 5, formerly +2; Vernon Seddon, The Secretary; middle row - N H Fletcher (Norrie), Chairman Handicap Committee and member of Lancashire Golf Union; Harold Worden J.P, taller than Blackpool Tower, Captain 1921/22, Chairman Green Committee; T A Manning, The Captain; A G Shorrock, Vice-Captain, Chairman House Committee; bottom row - R Parkinson (Bob), Steward; J A Steer, Professional for past 24 years; F L Nickson, Hon. Treasurer; Harry Hall, having played two holes wondering whether to play the third or give up for six months.

The open amateur meeting eighteen-hole stroke competition was played on Thursday 9th September 1937, result; F Taylor (Blackpool), 88-18-70; C S Hays (Blackpool), 90-18-72; R F Pagnam (Blackpool), 80-8-72; R B Estcourt (Blackpool), 92-15-77; E Rimmer (Southport Old), 95-18-77; A Foley (Lytham Green Drive), 87-9-78; H R Bevan (Blackpool), 92-14-78; H H Rhodes (Blackpool), 90-12-78; A Wilson (Blackpool  North Shore), 92-14-78).    

In the club last year in 1940 the secretary was J A Moore, 1 Burgate, Blackpool, telephone 42737. The professional was J A Steer and the greenkeeper was G Cartmell. The 18 hole course had a SSS of 74. There was a membership of 300 gents and 150 ladies. Course records were, amateur C Stowe 67 and  professional T R Fernie 68. Visitors’ fees were now 3/6 a day, 5/- a day at weekends and Bank Holidays, 15/- a week, 40/- a month.

The club and course closed at the onset of WW2. The land once occupied by the course was eventually used for runway extensions for Blackpool Airport. 

 

Blackpool Golf Club, South Shore. View over the former links (2015).

Blackpool South Shore, taken from 13th tee St Anne's old links. There appears to be a raised tee ground between the gorse.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, South Shore. View taken from St Anne's Old Links.

The two pictures above (taken in 2015) shows the area once occupied by Blackpool Golf Club. Images and text courtesy of M C O'Brien.

 

James Steer continued at Blackpool Golf Club until the course closed. He moved to Lytham Green Drive Golf Club in the 1940s. Whilst there the renowned architect re-designed the Green Drive course and, except for a few minor alterations, it remains unchanged today.

 

Blackpool Golf Club,South Shore. Golf advert for J A Steer.

Early advert for J A Steer the Blackpool Golf Club professional, club maker and course designer. Authors Collection.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, South Shore. J A Steer the Blackpool Golf Club professional.

Post WW2 advert for J A Steer.

 

Blackpool Golf Club, Squires Gate. Location of the course at South Shore.

Location of the South Shore course.

Grid reference SD31220,31150, co-ordinates 331220,431150.