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Ivanhoe Golf Club, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. (1895 - 1920)

The first Ashby Golf Club was formed at a meeting on the 11th May 1895. The Headmaster of the Boys' Grammar School in Ashby, Rev L W Lloyd, arranged the meeting which was attended by; Rev H B St John, George Bullen (Grocer, Market Street), W A Musson, W H Querrell, C R Ratcliffe and Dr D R Williams. The rules and competitions of the club were adopted at the meeting.

The Rev Lloyd had been in discussion with Mr Wilson regarding land at the bottom of Rifle Range Road. The course would be of nine-holes at a rent of  £1 a year. The chairman and the secretary were to plan the course and decide on the position of the greens. There are no records of the elementary course layout but it was playable within weeks.

The first monthly medal was played in August 1895, result; Rev L W Lloyd, 88 scratch; Rev A S Mammatt, 116-18-98; G Bullen, 115-15-100; Rev St John, 112 scratch; Dr Williams, 124 scratch; W A Musson, 149-24-125.

The Ashby club played matches against Stapenhill Golf Club (now defunct) and Kirby Muxloe Golf Club.


Ashby-de-la-Zouch Golf Club, Leicestershire. W A Musson.

W A Musson.


Ashby-de-la-Zouch Golf Club, Leicestershire. Earl Ferrers a club member.

Earl Ferrers a club member.


Ashby-de-la-Zouch Golf Club, Leicestershire. Earl Ferrers caddie.

Earl Ferrers caddie.


Following  is the result of a match played at Stapenhill  in October 1895, Ashby names first; Rev L W Lloyd, 0 - H G Nadin, 4up; Rev H B St John, 0 - H Everard, 3up; G Bullen, 0 - G Lowe, 4up; L Benn and F Todd, halved.

The club progressed with increased membership and standard of play improving. Besides club matches with Stapenhill and Kirby Muxloe games were also played against Leicester and Atherstone.

At the annual meeting in May 1896 George Bullen was elected captain.

During 1898 something happened to upset the smooth running of the club. There were arguments amongst the committee which led to the resignation of the Rev A S Mammatt. This eventually resulted in another nine-hole course being laid out in the summer of 1899 called Packington Links, on land belonging to A S Mammatt. At the fifth annual meeting of the Ashby Golf Club it was decided that that the Ashby Golf Club pay two guineas a year to play on the Packington Links if they so desired.

To confuse matters further I have found the result of a match played in April 1899 between Desford and Ashby Mill Golf Club. Desford names first; G Hughes, 1 - H B St John, 0; T Hollis, 5 - G Blakesley, 0; A Pickard, 0 - A Potter, 2; T A Goodacre, 3 - R J Carruthers, 0; C Oxley, 0 - T W Davenport, 0; Fr Kelly, 0 - A Chamberlain, 11; Desford Golf Club,  9 - Ashby Mill Hill Golf Club, 11.   

No records have been found as to whether Packington Links was a separate golf club or not. However, in April 1900 there was a request from Mill Hill Golf Club (could this be another name for Packington?) to play a match against Ashby Golf Club on the Packington Links. The arrangements were made by the Rev A S Mammatt no less!! The match was played but the result is not known. One can only deduce from this that the rift between Rev Mammatt and Asbhy Golf Club had mellowed.

In the 1900 Golfer's Handbook the secretary was W H Marrell, it was listed as a 9-hole course.

Apart from the strange falling-out episode it seems both courses proceeded. In the spring of 1900 the Ashby club showed a profit on the year of a very respectable £18/2s/7d.

In May 1901 an extraordinary meeting was called to consider the future of the club. Subscriptions and fees were fixed for the following year. What happened after the summer of 1901 is pure conjecture.    

So, after a confusing six years the clubs seemed to disappear.

However, in April 1902 Mill Hill Golf Club makes another, final appearance. The following are results from the open spring meeting played on the first Wednesday and Thursday of April. On the Wednesday a competition was played for a silver bowl, given by the club. There were over 30 entries , the result was a tie between Mr A Potter and Mr Sulzman with 77 net. The open mixed foursome took place on the Thursday, the prizes being a silver clock and silver flask, given by Mr G B Blakesley J.P. The clock was won by Mrs G B Blakesley and the flask by Mr C J Johnson. Runners-up were Mrs Thornley and the Rev J W Gregory.  

This was the end for the early Ashby/Packington/Mill Hill courses. I have to admit that it throws up some un-answered questions on the first Ashby Golf Club.

The Ashby Ivanhoe Golf Club springs to life in 1904 on a nine-hole course laid out on Prestop Park Farm, Ingles Hill on Burton Road. It was quite a testing course and until quite recently some of the features of the course could still be seen. There was a clubhouse with a bar and changing rooms.

Below is the result of a match played at Ashby Golf Club against Chevin Golf Club in March 1904.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Golf Club   Chevin Golf Club  
Rev J W Gregory 1 C N Wood 0
L B Blakeley 4 J Sayers 0
C R Ross 0 W H Cary 5
R J Carruthers 7 R Smith 0
T Davenport 3 H R Gibbs 0
E Bullen 0 R A Cary 0
A Timmins 0 H M Gray 4
J Ree 0 F E Petty 2
  15   11

Below is the result of a match played at Ashby against the Derbyshire Golf Club (now defunct) on Saturday 7th May 1904.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Golf Club   Derbyshire Golf Club  
Rev J W Gregory 0 L West 8
A Potter 0 G Dusautoy 7
C R Ross 2 J N Nutt 0
R J Carruthers 0 B Aspdin 4
J H Sutton 0 W Davie 5
Rev H B F Van 3 J Sayers 0
T H Davenport 0 C A Severn 2
E Bullen 2 L A Guilmant 0
G Ree 0 T West 5
  7   31

From 1905 to 1908 the professional was J Cook and from 1908 to 1910 E Bull. In 1908 the secretary was J H Sutton, Burton Road, Ashby.

At a meeting in December 1905 T W Davenport was elected captain and A Porter secretary. A couple of familiar names from the former club were present; George Bullen, and W A Musson. It was evident that the Ivanhoe club was flourishing with many more members than the earlier club. The main cause for concern was centred on the lease, which was still unsigned. The club was renting the land from Lord Loudoun who owned Prestop Park Farm as well as Willesley Hall and Park. Following negotiations regarding the mowing of hay, a sticking point, the lease was signed and the club bought a new mowing machine and a horse.

At the annual meeting in May 1906 the death was reported of the captain, Mr T W Davenport.. Mr W A Musson was elected chairman and  Mr Potter captain. There were new rules which included; membership limited to 100; Entrance Fee one guinea for both ladies and gentlemen and annual subs £1/10s  for gents and £1 for ladies; No Sunday play.

At the AGM in June 1907 there was bad news. The accounts showed a loss of £71, and with the recent expenditure on the clubhouse meant a loss in the region of £150.

The following couple of years  was a rebuilding exercise and by June 1909 the club seemed financially sound again.

The picture below shows golfers that played in a club match at Ashby against Branstone Golf Club (now defunct) on May 12th 1909. If anyone can identify any of the players please "Contact Us" through the website Home Page.


Ashby-de-la-Zouch Golf Club, Leicestershire. The players in the Ashby v Branstone match.

Picture of the players who took part in the Ashby v Branstone match played in May 1909. Image courtesy of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Museum.


From 1910 to 12 the club was listed as being founded in 1898. The secretary was W P Musson, The Hill, Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The professional was H Smith.  Membership had reached 100. Sir William Abney was elected president.

In 1913 Lord Loudoun  was made president. He took great interest in the club and presented a gift of 12 silver medals to be competed for monthly. A new 8th green and 9th tee were constructed with Lord Loudoun contributing £5 towards the cost. 

Result of an Eclectic Competition played on Saturday 10th May 1913; W P Musson, 80-4-76; F Wilshee, 82-5-77; J H Sutton, 87-5-82.

On Monday May 12th a stroke competition was played, result; A Faulkner, 92-20-72; F Wilshee, 89-11-78; M Sutton, 101-22-79.  

In 1916 the secretary was still W P Musson but his address was now Market Street.

George Edward Bowser was professional the Ashby Golf Club pre-WW1 until 1920. He then moved to Willesley Park where he helped with the construction of the new course.

It was reported in the Nottingham Journal on Wednesday 7th April 1920 that John Turner, High Sheriff of Leicestershire, yesterday drove the first ball on the new course at Willesley Park. 

The Google Map below shows the location of the former Burton Road course of the Ashby Ivanhoe Golf Club on Ingles Hill.