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Serpentine (Cunswick) Golf Club, Kendal. (1896 - 1907)

Founded in 1896.

A 9-hole course the professional was T Cleasby. In 1897/8 the professional was J Everard and from 1902 to 1906 Harry Milligan. The Cunswick area was rather remote, after about a year a lease was obtained on nearly 90 acres close to the town and the club moved and became the Serpentine Club.

Report from the Lancashire Evening Post Thursday 27 August 1896 - "A special meeting of the members of the Kendal (Cunswick) Golf Club was held last night to consider the advisability of taking a lease of the Heights for a new golf course. The chairman reported that only five members of the club had dissented and the others were favourable. He spoke of the many advantages which the proposed links possessed, the principal of these being their close proximity to the town. A number of subscriptions had been promised, and there was a balance in hand besides other assets. Five gentlemen had also had undertaken to become guarantors for a lease on the Heights. The meeting ultimately unanimously to take a lease of the Heights."

The AGM was held in the clubhouse on the evening of Monday 14 February 1898 with a good attendance of members present. Mr Moser, the club captain, was in the chair. In his speech he said that he hoped that the members had enjoyed the first year on the ever improving new course. He went on to say that the first two or three years would entail an extraordinary amount of expenditure. The committee had recently spent money on a rich coating of sand on the greens, and new tees had also been constructed. By arrangement with the new tenant the course would be considerably extended to Helsfell Nab, allowing two holes of about 400 yards to be constructed. The captain said there was a desire to increase the popularity of the club and “all classes” would be welcome. A rule had been passed to allow artisans, and those who could not afford a full subscription, to play the course (without the use of the clubhouse) at a subscription of 7/6 a year. Mr Griffin read the statement of accounts. The main expenditures were rent, taxes etc which amounted to £62/19s/4p, mowing and making of greens £16/19/6 and the greenkeeper £14/3/6. The expenditure exceeded the revenue by 17/4, but this was considered satisfactory as during the past year there had been much extraordinary expense. The following officers were elected; captain, Mr Moser (re-elected); secretary, Mr Chorley; joint treasurers, Mr S Turner and Mr Griffin. The committee elected were; R O Pennington, E Hoggarth, F B Pollitt, T Leighton, H W Baron and J H Cookson. A rummage sale was to be arranged and overseen by Mr T Gordon Thompson (a sum of 42/- was raised at this event in March).


Serpentine Golf Club, Kendal. Monthly Medal 1899.

Silver gilt and enamel (Hallmark Birmingham 1898) monthly medal. Image courtesy of Dixon Pickup.


On the 28 April 1898 the first match of the season between the great rivals of Kendal Golf Club and Serpentine, played on the Serpentine course. Unfortunately the weather was unkind with rain falling all day. It was intended to be a twelve a side game but two of the Kendal players failed to turn up. There were two surprises in the match. First was the game between R O Pennington and J B Lawlor, who at the time was one of the top local players. After a poor star Pennington ran out the winner by 2up. The other unexpected result was that of T Haslam who beat the much more fancied Dr Parker 8up.

Serpentine Golf Club   Kendal Golf Club  
R O Pennington 2 B J Lawlor 0
T Haslam 8 W R Parker 0
E Hoggarth 0 J A Gibson 0
F Hoggarth 0 P F Sturridge 6
F B Pollitt 3 S J Livesey 0
G Garnett 5 T H Green 0
H Hoggarth 0 R W Leeming 1
S Turner 0 T Heelis 5
F R Watson 4 A N Other 0
T B Jackson 0 A Milne 2
  22   14

Result of a club match between Serpentine and Furness played on the Barrow links at Walney Island on Thursday 12 May 1898.

Furness Golf Club   Serpentine Golf Club  
Mr Brimer 4 Mr R O Pennington 0
Mr Pearson 4 Mr T Haslam 0
Mr Hutchinson 10 Mr W G Bathgate 0
Mr McIlwain 0 Mr E Hoggarth 5
Mr Huthwayte 13 Mr G E Moser 0
Mr Foll 0 Mr F R Watson 0
Mr R Bell 1 Mr H Hoggarth 0
Rev Farrell 0 Mr T B Jackson 4
Dr Booth 1 Mr T H Green 0
Mr Fisher 0 Mr R F Chorley 7
Mr G K Townson 0 Mr H W Baron 4
Mr Main 4 Mr T Leighton 0
  37   20

From the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Serpentine Golf Club; Instituted in 1893 as Cunswick Golf Club, and transferred to present site in 1897; Number of members 160; Hon. secretary - T Haslam, 3 Airethwaite, Kendal; Captain, H Hoggarth; Entrance fee nil and subs 15 shillings; 18-holes; Green-keeper, H Milligan; Amateur course record- R S Lees, 70; Terms for visitors - 1s/6d a day, 5s a week, 7s/6d a month; The links are on an eminence overlooking the town, the turf is of fine natural quality and affords good lies. The holes although rather short are of a sporting character and provide a good test of golf. There is a good clubhouse where refreshments are obtainable at reasonable charges. Exceptionally fine views are obtainable from the links, Bogey score 79. 

The club was eventually renamed Kendal Golf Club in 1907.