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Bolton Golf Clubs, Smithills Course, Lancs. (1891 -1912)

Founded in 1891 the original 9-hole course was situated at Green Lane, Great Lever, Bolton, land now occupied by Bolton Cricket Club.

The club subsequently moved to Manchester Road, Bolton and, in 1896, to Lightbounds Farm, Smithills, at which time the club became known as Bolton Golf Club, Smithills.

Professionals; F Wingate, 1892/3; W Nightingale, 1893/4; J Vicars, 1896/7; G E Vicars, 1897 - 1914.

It was reported in October 1891 that after Saturday 10th all who apply for membership would be subject to an entrance fee of one guinea. All applications to be forwarded to the secretary; H A Barnes, Sumerfield, Great Lever.

Course Ready for play.


Bolton Golf Club, Smithills Course. Report on the first course in 1891.

Bolton Evening News Thursday 29th October 1891. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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

"Bolton Golf Club, Instituted September 1891; Entrance Fee, £1/1 shilling; Subscriptions, £1/1s; Number of Members, 130; President, Benjamin A Dobson; Treasurer, H Broadbent; Secretary - H A Barnes, Summerfield, Great Lever; Committee - Geo. Crook, A Entwisle, W Fallows, F Topp and W Walker; Green-keper, F Wingate; Green - Great Lever.

The course is one of nine-holes, equally near Bolton and Moses Gate Stations. Bolton Cricket Club pavilion is used by members. The ground was only taken for the winter months, but the committee are endeavouring to secure a permanent course near Deane Mills, which will allow for an eighteen-hole course to be laid out.    

From the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Bolton Golf Club; Instituted 1891; Number of members, 138; 57 Lady Subscribers; Hon. secretary - L M Johnson, The Savings Bank, Bolton; Captain, W T Taylor; Entrance Fee, £1/one shilling; Ladies, 10 shillings and sixpence; Subscription, £2/2s; Ladies, 10s/6d; Nine-holes; Green-keeper, G E Vicars; Amateur record; B Broadbent, 74; Terms for visitors (introduced); Three days free, afterwards 1s a day. The course is laid out on the moorside in Smithills, with hedge and ditch hazards. Great care has been used in making the greens. A farmhouse has been converted into a very comfortable clubhouse and is approached through Moss Bank Park.  

Below the course on the Ordnance Survey Map in the 1900s.


Bolton Golf Club, Smithills Course. The course on the 1909 Ordnance Survey Map.

© Crown Copyright {1909}


In 1912 -13, the club split, with half of the members moving to a new 18-hole course at Lostock Park, and forming Bolton Golf Club (Lostock Park). The original club remained at Smithills and was renamed Old Links, Smithills (later Old Links (Bolton) Ltd and, in 1994, Bolton Old Links. In 1924 the Smithills course was extended to 18 holes.