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York Railway Institute Golf Club, Hob Moor. (1920 - 1946)

Between 1920 and 1946 Hob Moor was used as a golf course by the York Railway Institute Golf Club.

Initially a six-hole course it was soon extended to nine-holes, then twelve-holes and eventually to 15-holes by the mid 1930s, the first three holes being played twice to make up the full round of 18. Membership was just over 30 when the course opened growing to 400 in the early 1930s. 

The professional from 1920 to 1935 was Tom Russell; from 1935, Tom Wilson.

The forming of a Golf Club would be a new enterprise for the Institute following WW1. The Knavesmire Golf Club did not survive the Great War and it was first suggested that the Y.R.I.G.C could take over their former course. The club eventually entered discussions with York Corporation and permission was granted for the laying out of a golf course on Hob Moor, the annual rent was set at £1 per hole. The course was located on common land and this bought about the age old problem, the general public sharing the common with golfers, never the best of bedfellows. Another of the provisos set out by the council was that the land would be used for grazing, not only for cattle and sheep, but also for horses on racing days.

The Knavesmire club donated some of its assets, including trophies, on condition that a certain number of its members would be allowed to join the new club. This was agreed on condition that the newcomers would have to pay increased fees.

The former pavilion of the Kavesmire club was used as a “clubhouse” and a former railway carriage would be utilised by Tom Russell, the professional and green-keeper.

The course had been in play for two years before the official opening ceremony took place. This was performed by Sir Alexander Kaye Buterworth, General Manager N.E.R, on Thursday July 13th 1922. Following a short speech Sir Alexander, partnered by Ernest Riddle, played the opening round on the course.

In 1923 the L.N.E.R agreed to provide a trophy for competition among the members.

Ernest Riddle was winner of the Directors Cup and Ware Cup in 1924.

In the mid 1920s a new agreement was reached with the Council regarding grazing rights. The club agreed to pay an increase in rent on condition that the number of animals on the course was restricted. As well as being much cleaner underfoot the course improved with regular mowing and rolling.

Images below provided by Eddie Scarlett.


York Railway Institute Golf Club, Hob Moor. Members outside the clubhouse in the mid 1930s.

Members assembled outside the clubhouse at Hob Moor in the mid 1930s.


Below, V Spencer receives the trophy at the first annual L.N.E.R golf championship in 1936 in front of the scoreboard.


York Railway Institute Golf Club, Hob Moor. The presentation at the first L.N.E.R golf championship.

John Miller presenting the trophy to V Spencer in July 1936.


It was reported on the 2nd July 1938 that the third annual championship for the cup presented by Sir William Gray open to all members of the LNER would be played on July 23rd on the Railway Institute course at Hob Moor. The competition would be played over 30 holes, two rounds of the 15 holes on a scratch basis. Entry forms were available from Mr C A Sparrow, Freight Rolling Stock Controller’s Office, York

Below the result of the York Union of Golf Clubs’ competition in February 1939.


York Railway Institute Golf Club, Hob Moor. Result of the York Union of Golf Clubs' Competition 1939.

From the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer Monday 27th February 1939. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


The course was required for the war effort during WW2 this together with the encroaching housing development would spell the end for the Hob Moor course.

The current Pike Hills Golf Club appeared following WW2 and were allowed by the R&A to base their 2004 centenary on Knavesmire Golf Club (see separate entry) and the Railway Institute Golf Club.


Location of the Hob Moor course.

Grid reference for the Hob Moor course SE58345,50450, co-ordinates 458345,450450.