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West Bowling Golf Club, Newall Hall, Rooley Lane, Bradford. (1898 - 2006)

It was reported that a new golf course on the outskirts of Bradford was opened on Saturday 7 May 1898. “The course is situated on Ivy House Farm, Bankfoot, and the club is to be known as the West Bowling Golf Club. Nine holes have been laid out, but there is land adjoining on which an extension might be made”  

Undulating tree lined, former championship course, not particularly long, but a good test of golf, the signature hole was “The Coffin”.

Below is the result of a match played against Shipley at West Bowling on Saturday 21 July 1900.

Shipley Golf Club   West Bowling Golf Club  
C H Smith 0 G H Sharp 0
J E Parker 0 I Sharp 5
R Denison 0 A Wood 2
H Maynard 1 B North 0
F S Smith 7 J Wilson 0
T H Cockshott 0 J Scurrah 3
T H Wheelwright 0 J S Cowling 2
G H Boardman 0 T North 1
  8   13

Below is the result of a one sided match played against Baildon on the Baildon Moor course in April 1904.

Baildon Golf Club   West Bowling Golf Club  
J Midgley 2 W E Dracup 0
J Mountain 2 Rev G E German 0
E Helliwell 8 J Wilson 0
H Carter 3 S Dunlop 0
J M Falconer 3 I Sharp 0
J Clough 3 Rev J Leighton 0
R Ellis 6 T North 0
E Bates 6 F Suddards 0
C Robinson 8 A Lister 0
J Hardaker 2 C M Ackernley 0
W Duckworth 0 J Mortimer 4
  43   4

Entry from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Instituted 1898; Membership of 200; Station at Bowling Junction 10 minutes; Hon. secretary - T T Ackernley, 10 Town Hall Street, Bradford; Captain, F Suddards; Entrance fee, £2/2s and subs £2/2s; 18-holes, 5,300 yards, Bogey 79; Professional, R Rutherford; Course records; Professional -  R Rutherford, 71; Amateur - W E Dracup, 76; Terms for visitors - 2 shillings a day, 5s a week

Result of a match played at West Bowling against Lightcliffe in July 1911.

West Bowling Golf Club   Lightcliffe Golf Club  
J W Dracup and W Glossop 1 A B Clay and R W Latto 0
H Dawson and F H Hewitt 1 J H Hill and W Barsdorf 0
A W Beanland and J H Halliday 1 G G Hague and J Sharp 0
F Clayton and A K Ackernley 0 G W Barker and P Barsdorf 1
  3   1

In 1912 G H Sharp was the professional and caretaker at the club.

In 1913 the secretary was Walter Smith, 29 Mayfield View, Wyke, Bradford and the professional G H Sharp. Membership 240, entrance fee £2/2/0, subs £3/3/0. Now listed as an 18 hole course. Visitors' fees 2/- a day and 5/- a week. Refreshments available at the clubhouse. The station at Bowling junction was 10 minutes away.

Result of the monthly stroke competition played in April 1914; First Division - W S Dracup, 79 scratch; D Penman, 80 scratch; W H Easton, 92-8-84; H Cockroft, 97-13-84; Albert Kitchingman, 96-12-84; H Jaques, 93-7-86; J C Walkden, 96-8-88; Second Division – L Collins, 99-20-79; S Whitaker, 98-14-81; R Hill, 106-24-82; H Benn, 109-24-85; W H Sharp, 113-26-87.

Result of the January 1922 monthly competition; W J Weir, 89-20-69; R Weatherhead, 92-13-79; S Barraclough, 92-10-82; J A Jagger, 103-20-83; R H Rawson, 98-14-84; C Clark, 96-10-86; W H Easton, 102-14-88; H Jaques, 92-4-88.

Result of the monthly competition in January 1923; H Bentley, 91-20-71; S Barraclough, 86-11-75; A Price, 102-26-76; E Baxendall, 93-16-77; H Aykroyd, 95-15-80.

The Yorkshire Professional Foursomes Championship was held at West Bowling in 1928. The winners were T B Jolly (Moortown) and G E Shaw (Moor Allerton.)

In December 1930 Mr C Walker holed in one at the 147 yard ninth hole.

Result of a match against Bradford Moor played in April 1931.

West Bowling Golf Club   Bradford Moor Golf Club  
J Nowell 1 N J Gent 0
A T Church 1 W B Dutton 0
H R Geldard 1 S Murgatroyd 0
A T Dyer 1 J Bottomley 0
L J Macdonald 1 K F Wishart 0
A V Drake 0 F Ormondroyd 1
N Smith 0 T Bunney 1
R E Geldard 1 H Bradbury 0
  6   2

About 200 guests attended the annual garden party held on Saturday 20 June 1931. Several golf competitions were played. The prizes were presented by the President, Mr David Hastings.

On Saturday 4 July 1931 E J Nicholl set a new amateur course record with a score of 68.

The West Bowling club achieved a remarkable triple success during the first season of the Bradford & District Union. At Keighley Golf Club on Wednesday 2 September 1931 four of its players won both the individual and team championships. This followed on from victory in the Union Inter-Club foursomes three days earlier when Marwood and Nicholl beat J E Gent and A Greenwood (Bradford Moor) by 2&1in the 36 hole final. The West Bowling players were congratulated by Dr J A Prendergast, President of the Union, on their success in taking the three new trophies. He then presented the trophies to; G Marwood leader of the team and first Bradford amateur champion, with scores of 71 and 78. His partners in the team event with an aggregate of 649 for 36 holes were, E J Nicholl, G H Briggs and H I Collins.

In November 1931 a highly successful year was reported by the ladies’ section at their annual meeting. The following officers were elected; President, Mrs H Gaunt; vice-president, Mrs Root; secretary and treasurer, Miss A Sharp; first team captain, Mrs Laxton; second team captain, Mrs Carter.

Below is the result of a ladies' match played at West Bowling against Cobble Hall in April 1932.

West Bowling Ladies' Golf Club   Leeds (Cobble Hall) Ladies' Golf Club  
Mrs Gaunt 0 Mrs Jeken 1
Mrs Parkinson 0 Mrs Thompson 1
Mrs Root 0 Mrs Boole 1
Miss Evans 1 Mrs Craven 0
Miss Brennan 1 Mrs Wild 0
Miss Carter 1 Mrs Ghent 0
Mrs Laxton 0 Miss Stansfield 1
  3   4

To celebrate his winning of the Yorkshire Amateur Championship in 1933 Mr George Marwood was given a complimentary dinner at the Midland Hotel, Dr J Wright, president, was in the chair. George Marwood had brought many honours to the club during the years he had been a member.

At the annual meeting held on Wednesday 7 March 1934 it was reported by the treasurer that although the club had had a successful year there was still a loss of £6, this was against a loss of £47 for the previous year. Compliments were passed on to George Marwood on his winning of the Yorkshire Amateur Championship at Redcar. The following officers were elected; President, C M Campbell; secretary, H D Halliday; treasurer, A B Fieldhouse; first team captain, H T Collins; second team captain, C Walker.          

In April 1934 West Bowling was the venue for The Yorkshire Professional Championship, won by R E Ballantine (Moortown) with a score of 140 (68+72). In the first round of this competition, W A Beck a 25 year old player from Filey, had a round of 70 which included five 2’s.

In the men’s finals of the West Yorkshire Hospitals Foursome Tournament played at West Bowlling Golf Club on Wednesday 30 May 1934 the brilliant score of 134 net for 36 holes was returned by two members of the Horbury Golf Club (club now defunct). The stage was set for low scoring, there was little wind and the greens were in perfect condition. The two Horbury players were G Armitage and G F Hudson a Batley businessman. Playing from a joint handicap of 15½ they returned scores of 64½ and 69½ this was three strokes lower than the best ever retuned in the ten year history of the competition. This was the first success the pair had ever enjoyed. Armitage played off 14 and Hudson 17 but they were powerfully built young men who hit the ball a long way and everything clicked for them on the day. Armitage was particularly long off the tee, he drove the ball to the edge of the bunkers on the second green, a distance of over 280 yards and almost up to the green on the 315 yard eighteenth. The drives were down wind, but on slightly rising ground. Hudson complemented this with an accurate short game. 

The annual meeting was held on Wednesday 9 March 1938. It was reported that there was an increase of 19 in the membership and the balance sheet showed a profit of £10/16s/5d. The following officers were elected; President, L J Macdonald; senior vice-president, W B Briggs; junior vice-president, F Smith; first team captain, F Marchbank; second team captain, E V Hunt; secretary, J Lumb; treasurer, C Walker; competition secretary, F Smith; auditors, G Sharp and T Smith; committee - B H Busfield, S Carter, H T Collins, E Compton, H Foster, H D Halliday, Dr J Wright, L J Macdonald, W B Briggs, F Smith, F Marchbank, E V Hunt, J Lumb and C Walker. 

Result of the 36-hole Albion Bowl played in August 1938; F Marchbank beat R L Hill by 2&1. Result of the August medal; F N Pollard, 82-12-70; F Ingham, 82-11-71; W Avis, 83-11-72; J A Hainsworth, 84-12-72.

Result of the Captain's Prize (36-holes) played in July 1939; J Lumb (6) 5up; F Marchbank (4) 3up.

Professional Years Secretary Years
T Barker.  1902/3 J Lumb, 95 Mayo Avenue, Bankfoot. 1940/50s
R Rutherford. 1903 - 1906 F Mitchell, 92 Rooney Lane, Bradford. 1960s
G H Sharp. 1906 -1920 K R Terry. 1972
P E Rosser. 1920s - 1950s Gilbert Mills. 1975
J Wade. 1960s/70s D J Cockcroft & J K Rasche. 1980s
A P Swaine. 1980s/90s M E L Lynn. 1990s
Ian A Marshall. 1990s I W Brogden. 2000s
Allan Swaine. 2000s    

The green-keeper during the 1940/50s was L M Sharp, in the 1960s D Roberts. Membership was fairly constant at about 400.

Following WW2 visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day, 5/- at weekend, by the 1960s it was 50p and £3, in the 1980s £4 and £7, 1990s £15 and £25 and by closure £24 and £30.

The West Bowling team were in the lead after the first round of the Yorkshire Second Division team championship at Abbeydale on Wednesday 20th May 1953; D H Cadman (77), F Marchbank (79), J B Bunney (82) and J M Haley (80).   

D H Cadman of West Bowling was chosen to represent the Bradford & District Golf Union against the Harrogate & District Union at West Bradford on Sunday 21 June 1953.

The Bradford & District Union of Golf Clubs held its four-ball bogey competition at Bradford Moor on Wednesday 18 November 1953. The winning pair were from the home club with a score of 11up; R Poole (2) and F Pollard (10) represented West Bowling and finished 3up. 

Below are known course records following WW2. There were many changes to the course over the years, both in length and layout.

Years. Amateur. Score. Professional. Score.
1947 D Duckett & B E G Walker. 68 J Ballantyne. 68
1956 D H Cadman. 66 D J Rees. 68
1961 D H Cadman. 65 W J Branch. 67
1964 B Cawthray. 68 W J Branch. 67
1972 J Scarborough. 64 G A Caygill. 66
1980s T J Wade. 66 G Brand. 66

In 1967 the layout of the course was changed when holes were lost due to the purchase of land for the construction of the M606 (finished in 1973) - this is referred to as the South Radial Motorway on the Scorecard plan below.

Thanks to Colin Barker who provided the scorecard below and the following information – “Back of scorecard from 10/5/1979 showing plan of the West Bowling Course when it was still a Par 69 SSS 68 with a yardage of 5769 - I haven't scanned the actual scores and yardage of each hole as it is in poorer condition but the holes were of slightly different lengths to the card displayed below but none of any significant difference”.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard and course plan dated 10/5/1979.


In 2006 the course measured 5,779 yards with a Par of 69 and a SSS of 68 (see below), membership was 500, green fees’ £24 weekdays, £30 Weekend. 


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard, course plan, local rules courtesy of J M Sydney.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard, course plan, local rules courtesy of J M Sydney.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard, course plan, local rules courtesy of J M Sydney.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard, course plan, local rules courtesy of J M Sydney.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard, course plan, local rules courtesy of J M Sydney.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Scorecard, course plan, local rules courtesy of J M Sydney.

Above scorecard images courtesy of The 2019 Bradford Union President J.M.Sydney.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Ball marker from the Alec Hird collection.

Image from the Alec Hird collection.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Last days of the Clubhouse.

The dilapidated Clubhouse nearing the end of its days.


West Bowling Golf Club, Bradford. Course location at Rooley Lane.

Location of the former West Bowling course. Grid reference SE17075,29920, co-ordinates 417075,429920.


Sadly the course has completely disappeared, there is now a giant distribution depot occupying the site.