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Birkdale Golf Club, Lancs. (1889 - 1897)

Founded 1889 Birkdale first played on a nine-hole course at Shaw’s Hills, now Bedford Park. The greenkeeper at the early course was a Mr Barrett, he also cleaned and repaired clubs. 

In 1897 the club moved to its current location to the west of Birkdale.

From The Golfing Annual Vol. V 1891-92:-

"Birkdale Golf Club, Instituted July 30th 1889; Entrance Fee - 10 shillings and sixpence; Annual Subscription one pound one shilling; Number of Members 90 (including ladies); President, C Weld-Blundell; Vice-Presidents, R G Hayward and Digby Johnson; Captain, W W P Shatwell; Hon. Treasurer, R Simpson; Hon. Secretaries - W W P Shatwell, Westbourne Road, Birkdale, and R L Worsley, Oxford Road, Birkdale; Committee - J C Barrett, J Coney, G Crowther, R V Glover, W E Buckley, H J Drewett and H Dorning; Green-keeper, James Barrett.

Prize winners in 1891 - All Net Scores; Captain's Cup; D S Crowther, 77; Mackenzie Cup; J C Barrett, jun., 92; Monthly Medal; D S Crowther, 97; Buckley Cup; H Dorning, 81; Open Competition; J H F Hulton, 87; Hayward Prize; W E Buckley, 95; Crowther Cup; H H Hilton, 85.

The lowest scratch score in a competition is 77 by H H Hilton on May 30th 1891, which is the green record.

Birkdale is situated on the Lancashire coast, about 20 miles from Liverpool, and adjoins Southport. The Birkdale Links are within a quarter of an hours walk from the station. The tramway from Southport also runs close to them. The club-room is at the Portland Hotel, on the links, and is an exceedingly comfortable and commodious one. The course consists of nine-holes of a thoroughly sporting character, and has recently been considerably improved and two new greens laid. The putting greens are still far from perfect, but are rapidly improving. There is a separate course of six-holes for the ladies." 

Result of a competition played in April 1891. The winner would receive a silver cup which was donated by the club. The handicap competition was open to members of West Lancashire, Southport, Formby and St Anne’s clubs. There was a second prize of gold cuff-links and studs, given by Mr R G Hayward, for the member of the Birkdale club (who was not the winner of the cup) with the best net score. There was a good entry but the course was not overcrowded as play was over the whole day. Several of the visitors spoke very highly of the course which they characterised as “quite unlike anything they had ever seen”

Below are a selection of club results played on the earlier course.

Mr J H F Hulton won the silver cup and W E Buckley the second prize. Scoring proved difficult in the windy conditions.

J H F Hulton 103 16 87 E P Stephenson 124 23 101
R H Prestwich 94 6 88 J E Prestwich 121 20 101
F E M Dixon 92 3 89 P Swanwick 117 14 103
J Sheperd 95 4 91 H Rowland 118 14 104
J C Barrett jun 116 25 91 J F Sheperd 130 25 105
J W Fowler 92 scr 92 W J Drewett 134 25 109
W Rowland 105 12 93 R A Nicholson 118 8 110
W E Buckley 190 16 93 W T Rowley 128 18 110
H H Hilton 85 11 94 C A Colman 130 20 110
C Howarth 101 6 95 S B Leggatt 135 25 110
G Crowther 103 6 97 T C P Gibbons 138 24 114
J Betham 113 16 97 T Ogilvy 130 15 115
D C Anderson 124 25 99 G D S Crowther 131 10 121
R G Hayward 114 14 100 R Latchford jun 146 25 121
W Bowker 121 20 101 R Simpson 147 25 122
L D Stoddart 102 1 101 T O Clinning 147 24 123

J S Beanford, H Dorning, R E Haslam, Dr Hewer, Dr Irvin, W W P Shatwell, and R L Worsley were amongst the no returns.

The first competition for the Pearson Prize took place in October 1892 in unfavourable weather conditions, result; Mr F Baker, 111-21-90; Mr W W P Shatwell, the club secretary, tied for second place with Mr W Bowker and Mr C A Colman with net 92.

The winner of the January medal in 1893 was Mr M Bowker, 102-19-83.

In February 1893 the medal was won by the club’s hon secretary Mr W W P Shatwell with a score of  92-12-80, Mr H Dorning was second, 99-18-81 and the Rev H J Bryan third, 110-28-82.

Later in February 1893 the Captain’s prize was won by Mr F Baker, 96-18-78, Mr T Turnbull was second, 88-9-79.

In March 1893 it states that this was the fifth monthly medal of the Birkdale club, it was won by Mr W Thompson, 110-30-80. Also in the same month the Crowther prize went to Mr W J Drewett, 103-27-76.

In the May medal 1893 the winner was Mr G D S Crowther, 83-3-80, Mr George Crowther was second, 96-8-88 and he won a box of golf balls.

In November 1893 the two prizes presented by G Kilvert Esq, open to Southport and Birkdale members, took place in a “hurricane” on the Birkdale course. Mr H Liebert and Mr G F Pearson tied for first place and a play off was to be arranged.  Mr F Baker and Mr W Shatwell tied for third, and divided the sweepstakes. Only eight cards were below 100 net.


Birkdale Golf Club, Lancashire. Location of the course on the 1894 O.S Map.

Location of the earlier Birkdale course. © Crown Copyright {1894}.


Birkdale Golf Club, Lancashire. Report from January 1894.

From The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News January 27th 1894. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


It was reported in November 1896 that “The members of the Birkdale Club have acquired over 200 acres of land for new links, contiguous to the Southport Railway. The layout of the course is progressing rapidly, and will be available for play early in the spring” 

Birkdale Golf Club, Lancashire. Location of the former golf course.

Location of the Birkdale course in 1894.

Grid reference SD33475,14570, co-ordinates 333475,414570.