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West Riding Golf Club, Leathley, Otley. (1890s)

 The 18-hole course was on Leatley Lane, Otley.

Report on the proposed club/course in August 1895.


West Riding Golf Club, Leathley Lane Otley. Proposed layout of the 18-hole course.


West Riding Golf Club, Leathley Lane Otley. Report on the proposed club and course from  August 1895.

Wharfedale & Airedale Observer Friday 30 August 1895. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Thanks to Michael Morrison for the articles below.

“WEST RIDING GOLF CLUB, WHARFEDALE. A new Golf Club for the Bradford district is being started under the above name. It is proposed to incorporate the club under a section of the Companies Acts that applies to institutions not managed for profit, in order to eliminate any question of personal responsibility. The suggested course, of eighteen holes, runs from Pool Bridge, along the side of the River Wharfe, to its junction with the River Washburn, being bounded on the north side by Leathley Lane, and comprises 126 acres of old pasture land, almost level, with hard, fine turf and a gravelly subsoil; also a further seventeen acres over the Washburn, forming part of Farnley Park, which makes a very sporting addition. The club have the offer of the land on a seven or fourteen years’ lease. The course is centrally and conveniently situated, being within ten miles of Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate, Ilkley, Otley, Guiseley, Rawdon, Yeadon, &c., and served by North-Eastern trains, that will be stopped (for golfers) at Pool, running between Leeds and Ilkley, Bradford and Harrogate, the first tee, close to Pool Bridge, being seven minutes’ walk from the station. The land being of ample extent, there will be room for several holes, from 450 yards, upwards, in length, requiring three strokes to reach the green (an experience not to be realised on existing local links), and unusual scope for brassy play will be afforded. An experimental laying out shows that a course of over 6,500 yards, measured from tee to green, can easily be obtained, without crossing, thus equalling St. Andrews and Sandwich in length, and exceeding existing courses hereabouts by nearly a mile. The links will be private, and the grazing over the 126 acres will be under the full control of the club, who lease this portion, the seventeen acres of park land being retained by the lessor, the club having the right to make greens, bunkers, and cut the line to the hole. The land being of a gravelly nature, snow or rain very quickly pass off, thus making it an excellent winter course, and on many days available when other greens would be closed. The putting-greens and tees will be natural, and can be made by simply rolling the present surface, sanding, and I manuring same in ordinary course. The site has been inspected by golfers, representing most of the clubs in the West Riding, and it is said that it has met with unanimous and unqualified approval.”

Above from “Golf” 30 August 1895.


We find that in our reference to the proposed West Riding Golf Club, Wharfedale, we were led into a slight error. This is not a new Golf Club “for the Bradford district,” we are informed, but is intended to partake more of a county affair, as its name is intended to indicate. Bradford is fairly well supplied with Golf Clubs and courses already. The Bradford Club, proper, has an eighteen-hole course on Baildon Moor, and within about the same distance of the centre of the borough, there are two other nine-hole courses—Birkenshaw and Ravenscliffe. The new links would, in fact, be much more of a convenience and advantage for Leeds than Bradford, as the former place, so far, can only boast of one course—a nine-hole one—and Pool would practically be as easy of access as Headingley, while in the nature of the links there could be no comparison. The new club and course, however, are not being promoted in any sort of rivalry with existing links, but as a sort of “ master ” course for the county, or, at the very least, of the West Riding. Most of the greens already laid out are on the “ short side,” but the Pool links would, as the promoters claim, challenge comparison with the longest courses in existence.

Above from “Golf” 6 September 1895.


West Riding Golf Club, Leathley Lane Otley. Entry from the Golfing Annual 1897-98.

Entry from the Golfing Annual Vol. XI, 1897-98.