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Worcestershire Golf Club, Malvern. (1880 - 1925)

The club was founded in 1880 and before moving to Malvern Common played for a short time on a course on Poolbrook Common.

The clubhouse on the Common at Great Malvern was designed by Lewis Shephard and built at a cost of £1,000; it opened on the 2nd of June 1883.

The club moved to its current location at Wood Farm in 1925.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club, Malvern Wells. The clubhouse and course.

Early picture of the Golf House & Links, Malvern Wells. Image from Frank Accleton.

 

The first annual meeting of the club was held at the Star Hotel on Friday 15th April 1881 with Major Clowes in the chair. Also present; General Hawkins, Rev H Foster, T H Belcher, W E Bolland, J Swinton Isaac, J D Onley, R V Berkeley, T H Ashton, G Abell, Herbert Goldingham, R Taylor, Major Hill, Captain Owen, Captain Bearcroft and Captain Dodeswell.

The chairman congratulated the club on the first year. It had been a difficult start but many of the initial problems had now been overcome. It was stated that “a capital green had been formed” with membership of the club also on the increase.

The club had employed P Paxton of Musselburgh as professional. General Hawkins, the hon. treasurer, presented the balance sheet which showed a balance in hand of about £15. The Hon. R C Moncrieff was re-elected as captain; General Hawkins was re-elected treasurer; T H Ashton was appointed as hon. secretary and Captain Domville financial hon. secretary. The following were elected to serve on the committee; Messrs. Abell, Belcher, R V Berkeley, W E Bolland, Major Clowes, Major Decie, Captain Dowdeswell, J Swinto Isaac, H Foster and G E Martin.

Result of the June Handicap 1881; A C McTavish, 114-40-74; H Goldingham, 122-40-82; E A Upcott, 99-99-16-83; J Swinton Isaac, 102-18-84; Rev. the Hon. R C Moncrieff, 86 scratch; Rev T H Belcher, 104-16-88; G E M Taylor, 123-35-88; Rev W E Bolland, 106-16-90; E J Onley, 123-31-92; E H Clarke, 119-25-94; Major Decie, 104-6-98; Rev W W Vevers, 129-30-99; Captain Domville, 134-30-104; E A Davis, 151-40-111. No returns from Capt. Dowdeswell and Capt. Bearcroft. 

The following is an extract from The Golfing Annual 1888/89; "Worcestershire Golf Club, Malvern - Instituted 1880; Entrance fee, £2 and Subs £1/10s, locker 5s extra; Membership of 182; Presidents - Right Hon. Earl Beauchamp and Right Hon, Earl of Coventry; Captain R H Foster, Malvern College; Hon. Secretary - Henry Dyke Acland, Old Bank, Malvern; Green-keeper, Douglas Rolland.

Club Prizes; Club Gold Medal (scratch), played for at the spring meeting, winner to be Captain for the year; Challenge Clock; Malvern Challenge Claret Jug; Silver Challenge Salver; Silver Challenge Inkstand; Whitsun Cup; Senior and Junior medals.

 The club green is situated on Malvern Common, the Clubhouse being about 200 yards from the Malvern Wells station. The course consists of 18-holes, the longest being about 440 yards. The chief hazards are ponds, ditches, roads and old gravel pits. The putting greens are carefully looked after, and run very keen. Malvern is one of the best inland greens in England. The new addition to the course makes it probably the best.   

In September 1889 that when playing with Major Lewes, Douglas Rolland, the Malvern Professional, had an extraordinary round, as follows; first round - 5,5,4,4,4,3,4,4,4 = 37; second round - 4,5,4,4,4,2,4,3,4 = 34 - total = 71. The previous record for eighteen-holes was 77."  

Result of the monthly competition played in February 1890. The course had been considerably lengthened by the tees being set back. It was also rather heavy, which may account for the high scores and many torn up cards. Result; A S Archdale, 109-23-86; Rev H Foster, 90-3-87; E F Chance, 95-3-92; W E Patterson, 106-14-92; J Foord-Kelcey, 107-14-93; F Parker, 116-22-94.

The March monthly competition in 1890 was played in a strong NW wind. There was considerable interest in the outcome as the conditions of the competition stated that three wins entitle permanent possession of the trophy. It had already been won twice by several members. For a long time it looked as though Mr Foord-Kelcey, who had won the competition twice, would keep the cup with his score of 85, but the very last card handed in deprived him of the satisfaction. The winner showed a remarkable instance of the proverbial ups and downs of golf, his round on the lower course of 57 and on the upper 44.

E G Bromley Martin 101 19 82
J Foord-Kelcey 99 14 85
J N Swann 101 15 86
C Toppin 96 9 87
Capt W F Hawkins RE 106 19 87
Rev H Foster 91 3 88
F Parker 110 22 88
Major W L Lewes 98 9 89
C W Horsburgh 97 7 90
A S Archdale 113 23 90
Rev C Black 107 16 91
J B Bubb 118 25 93
W M Binns 108 14 94
R E Lyon 121 25 96
C E Moilliet 117 19 98
A C Cherry 115 16 99
H D Acland 122 16 106

This is the first time I found the reference upper and lower course used and it could explain the courses on the diagram below.

Result of the gent's Whitsuntide Meeting held in May 1890. The Rev H Foster's score of 80 was a course record, and he won Mr A M Chance's prize for the best scratch score. Colonel Prescott Decie's prize for the best half round went to Rev C Black, net 35. Iron Club prize, Mr W Lucy, score 43.

Rev H Foster 80 3 77 H W Buck 108 21 87 F H Ashton 101 8 93
Rev M A Bayfield 98 19 79 S A S Featherstonbaugh 106 19 87 H A S Upton 109 15 94
A H Lachmere 99 20 79 Hon & Rev R C Moncrieff 96 8 88 R R Brown 120 25 95
Rev C Black 97 16 81 Colonel Prescott Decie 91 3 88 H Goldingham 115 20 95
Rev L J Fish 100 18 82 Dr Crowe 114 25 89 W M Binns 110 14 96
J N Swann 94 11 83 W Lucy 107 18 89 E Wight 113 17 96
H C Fitton 99 16 83 R V Berkeley 113 23 90 A E Lord 123 25 98
C W Horsburgh 90 4 86 Rev W E Bolland 103 13 90 Major Lewes 108 9 99
F Hookham 111 25 86 W E Paterson 105 14 91 Hon J E Cross 140 25 115

In August 1890 the monthly competition was for a cup presented by Mr T Hyde. R R Brown won the junior medal and the cup, Mr Binns won the senior medal.

R R Brown 102 25 77
W M Binns 96 14 82
Rev C Black 98 15 83
W E Paterson 96 13 83
Major G G Clowes 96 12 84
R V Berkeley 109 23 86
J W Jeakes 115 25 90
Captain O S Vale 112 22 90
Dr J P Bookless 103 10 93

Below is the result of a match played at Oxford on Saturday 12th November 1892. Included in the Worcestershire team was Harry S Colt who played his early golf at Malvern. 

Oxford University   Worcestershire  
H J Whigham 0 E H Blackwell 1
F H Stewart 0 Rev H Foster 6
R B Pearson 0 H S Colt 6
P Balfour 2 E F Chance 0
L Robertson 10 E G M Carmichael 0
H T Knight 3 L S Milward 0
R H Dunn 7 Rev C Black 0
H Nicholls 0 A S Archdale 1
Viscount Encombe 0 W M Binns 5
R Lodge 0 H D Acland 3
F H Campion 4 H K Foster 0
  26   22

Famous composer Edward Elgar, a resident of Malvern, took up golf in late 1892 and became a member of the Worcestershire club in March 1893. One of his playing companions was probably Henry Dyke Acland, a cello-player he was also club treasurer and manager of the bank in Malvern. Obviously most of his time was taken up writing his music but Elagar enjoyed getting away from his composing and he became a keen golfer. 

Below, result of a match between Worcestershire Golf Club and Worcestershire (Malvern) Working Men’s Golf Club played in April 1899. 

WGC   MWMGC  
W W Lowe 0 G Cawsey 3
R E Foster 0 W Whiting 1
G H Nevile 0 H Cawsey 0
A S Archdale 0 G Whiting 11
G Ashmore 0 T Powell 5
J Burrows 0 T Lewis 3
Rev P Ward 0 G White 4
Rev C Black 0 W H Smith 1
G Rogers 0 H M Mansell 0
P H L'Estrange 5 F Smith 0
H H House 11 W Vernall 0
R R Brown 1 C White 0
J W Jeakes 9 F White 0
Rev F H Fowler 1 W Evans 0
  27   28

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News October 1900.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News October 1900.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News October 1900.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News October 1900.

From The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News October 6th 1900. Above Images © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Article from The Illustrated Sporting Dramatic News January 1908.

From The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News January 4th 1908. Images © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

In 1910 there was a membership of 200. The Rt Hon Earl of Coventry and Sir Henry F Lambert both, presidents; William Everden Paterson, hon sec: P W Blaythwayt, captain; Richard Smith, steward; George Causey, professional.

Worcestershire Ladies Golf Club, secretary Miss Ethel Nevile.

In 1912 membership stood at approximately 250. Presidents: the Rt Hon Earl of Coventry, Sir Henry F Grey bart; G G Fraser, captain; John Rogers, hon treasurer; Richard Smith, steward; George Causey, professional.

Worcestershire Ladies, secretary. Miss Carr.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. The clubhouse and hills.

Above is a pre-WW1 postcard showing “Malvern Golf Club House and Hills.”

 

Worcestershire Golf Club, Malvern. Former course layout.

Layout of the course prior to WW1.

 

Result of the 1914 August monthly competition; Lord Deerhurst, 87-12-75; J Nelson, 97-14-83; A C Allen, 89-5-84; W A Crosbee, 91-7-84; J E Hollington, 92-6-86; Dr W W Horton, 101-11-90.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Scorecard for the Malvern Common course 1920s.

 

Worcestershire Golf Club. Scorecard for the Malvern Common course 1920s.

Scorecard for the Malvern Common course from the 1920s

 

Malvern Working Men's Golf Club, Worcestershire. Gold Medal won by J Whiting in 1922.

 

Malvern Working Men's Golf Club, Worcestershire. Gold Medal won by J Whiting in 1922.

Gold Medal for the MWMGC won by J Whiting in 1922. Images courtesy http://www.oldsportsauction.com/

 

Below is the result of a match played at Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham, on Saturday 29th September 1923.

Cheltenham Golf Club   Worcestershire Golf Club  
Rev W H B Yerburgh (half) 0 W W Lowe (half)  0
J P Winterbotham 0 C F A Friddian Green (1up) 1
W S Whitehouse (half) 0 G G Fraser (half) 0
R B Pettyjohn (1up)  1 F W Olive  0
J G Baker (2up)  1 Major A F Jonsson  0
C J S Clemmons (2&1) H Steynor  0
K F Tarrant (half) 0 H S Preston (half) 0
P Haddock 0 W S Grace (4&3)  1
W M Alford (2&1) 1 H W Spreckley  0
   4   2

 

Worcestershire Golf Club, Malvern. Former course location.

The course on Malvern Common with two clubhouses marked. The current Worcestershire Golf Club course is marked to the south.

Below is a Google Map pinpointing the location of the early West Common course.