Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. (1893 - 1980s)

It was reported in the Northampton Mercury in November 1890 that “there is a strong probability of a golf club being started in Northampton. There are grounds at Kingsthorpe which lend themselves readily to the game”

Founded in 1893.

The first short lived course was on Billings Road.

Old Tom Morris was involved in the design of 9-holes on the Kettering Road side of Spinney Hill in 1895 and Willie Park Jnr. in the design of 18-holes in 1914. The club continued at the Kettering Road site until its move to Harlestone in the late 1980s.

The first annual dinner was held at the Grand Hotel in November 1893. The secretary at the club at this time was Mr Hobbs.

Visit of Old Tom Morris in December 1894.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Report on the visit of Tom Morris in December 1894.

"Golf" Friday 21 December 1894. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Result of a match played against the Bedford Club in April 1895. It was stated that the match was played on the Billings Road Links, Northampton. I found no further reference to the Billings Road course, if anyone can help please contact me through the website “contact us” facility.

Northampton Golf Club   Bedford Golf Club  
N Dawson 6 F H Dasent 0
W C Henderson 0 Lt Col D Broughton 4
J Haviland 3 S Fuller 0
Rev W H Deane 8 J B Forsyth 0
E Rogers Bull 0 Rev V Macdona 4
A E Anderson 6 S Fielder 0
R G Scriven 0 Rev G Apthorp 4
Frank Hill 3 N R Slator 0
A E Phipps 2 G Clark 0
A E Tebutt 4 Major Gen C E Sanford 0
  32   12

Report on the annual meeting in October 1895.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Report on the annual meeting in October 1895.

"Golf" Friday 11 October 1895. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

The following match was played in November 1895 and by now the club was playing at Kettering Road, interesting to note that many of the players took part in the earlier Bedford match. The report goes on to say that the club should be congratulated on this, the first match of the season, against one of the strongest sides in the Midlands.

Northampton Golf Club   Kenilworth Golf Club  
N Dawson 3 T Latham 0
B Muscott 10 F A Bainbridge 0
A F Forster 0 R Rotherham 1
W C Henderson 0 A C S Glover 2
A E Henderson 2 H O'Leary 0
A E Tebutt 0 T Day 0
E R Bull 0 T Kinmond 8
F Hill 0 R Grose 0
  15   11

Fire at Northampton Golf Links. Following is a report from the Northampton Mercury Friday 21 July 1899.

“A rather serious fire was discovered on Tuesday at the pavilion on the golf links on Kettering Road, Northampton. Before it could be extinguished the pretty and commodious pavilion was completely demolished. The pavilion was a wooden building 17feet by 12feet, roofed partly with wood and partly with corrugated iron, and it replete with every convenience for golfers. The fire was caused by a defective stove-pipe. The lad in attendance lit the fire as usual this morning and left the place in apparent security. A few minutes afterwards, however, the flames escaped from the stove-pipe and the roof caught fire. The manager, Mr Duncan, was informed and the Northampton Fire Brigade informed. Inspector Busby received the call at 8.33 and the tender was quickly manned and on the scene. Both property and stock were insured, but the total amount of insurance, £550, would not cover the damage” 

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Club button.

The Northampton club button is hall marked Birmingham 1904 by Vaughtons and features the ancient Arms of Northampton. Image courtesy of Dixon Pickup.

 

The men’s autumn meeting was played over Thursday, Friday and concluded on Saturday 11 November 1904. Spencer Cup (handicap limit 16 – 15 entries); H Alsop, 95-16-79; B Faulkner, 99-16-83; E R Bull, 95-9-86; C Phipps, 96-8-88; A E Phipps, 97-8-89. Competition (handicap over 16 – 11 entries); Dr Harries Jones, 112-24-88; G L Bradley, 114-24-90; Rev A O James, 109-18-91; W Batten, 109-18-91; E H Lankester, 114-22-92. Mixed foursome; C C Marshall & Mrs Lankester, 4down; H Norman & Miss Norman, 6down; E H Lankester & Mrs Phipps, 9down. Men’s foursome; A R Lobbett & E H Lankester, 102-16-86; R Scriven & F Savile, 108-17½-90½. Northampton Challenge Bowl 36 hole medal competition (handicap limit 24 – 12 entries)); Dr C Scroggie, 82 scratch and 85 scratch, total 167; F Tomlinson, 102-18-84 and 104-18-86, total 170; C W Stringer, 104-12-92 and 95-12-83, total 175; C W Phipps, 102-8-94 and 99-8-91 total 185; O Hickson, 102-16-86 and 119-16-103 total 189; J Haviland, 109-10-99 and 102-10-92 total 191; A Morton, 106-12-94 and 110-12-98 total 192. Eighteen Hole Meda (15 entries); C C Marshall, 101-16-85; H Cropley, 104-16-88; A E Phipps, 96-8-88; H A Millington, 101-12-89; G L Charlesworth, 104-14-90.     

The competition for the handsome silver tray presented to the Northampton Ladies’ Club by Mr E H Lankester started on Friday 18 November 1904 and was concluded on Wednesday 14th December. It was a bogey competition played over 36 holes, result as follows; Mrs H Whitmy Smith, 4up; Miss G Phillips, 4down; Mrs C Phipps, 5down; Mrs E Lankester, 6down; Mrs A R Lobbett, 8down; Mrs W H Hope, 11down; Mrs Elliot Steel, 14down. 

From the Nisbet's Golf Yearbook 1905; Number of members 129, 31 Ladies; Hon. secretary - H Norman, 14 Market Square, Northampton; Captain - D P Taylor; Entrance Fee £3/3s and Subs £2/2s; Nine-holes; Professional - D Duncan; Terms for visitors - Introduction by a member - two days free, 2s/6d a day, 5s a week, 10s a month. The course consists of two fields, which were originally known as Little Switzerland, or Hills and Hollows. There are made bunkers. The greens are good and well kept. The longest hole is 357 yards.  

Below is the result of a match played at Belton Park in April 1906. 

Belton Park Golf Club   Northampton Golf Club  
Stuart McRae 1 E Bostock 0
E F Clements 1 N Bostock 0
W E Thompson 1 Mr Ball 0
T Norton 1 Mr Cropley 0
F W Thompson 1 Rev Eddowes 0
T S Pearson-Gregory 0 Mr Steel 1
Rev E M Clements 1 Mr Errington 0
  6   1

Report from the Northampton Mercury Friday 3 April 1914; "OPENING OF THE EXTENDED KETTERING ROAD COURSE - The extended course of the old Northampton Golf Club, the Kettering Road links, was used for the first time this (Thursday) afternoon, when a foursome competition was begun at half-past two, W J Hull the gent's captain, and Mrs T C Woods, the ladies' captain, driving off.

Hitherto the course has been one of nine-holes; now it has been extended to one of 18-holes. The club last year acquired the Kingsthorpe Lodge Farm of 107 acres, 53 acres of which were taken from the extended course. The new part of the course is not quite finished yet, and play for the present is on temporary greens. A more formal opening will take place later in the year.

The new part of the course has been laid out according to the plans of Willie Park of Musselburgh, and the work carried out under the supervision of the green committee consisting of; A Fidler, W P Cross and Mr Knight, the green-keeper." 

Result of the mixed competition - the first to be played on the extended course; W P Cross and Mrs Dawes, 105-25-80; F A Husbands and Miss Baker, 112-30-82; Mr and Mrs H Crockett, 102-19-83; J H C Dawes and Mrs Jelleyman, 100-16-84; C Wright and Mrs F Crockett, 108-24-84; Mr and Mrs Segil, 108-24-84; A M Troup and Mrs Jennings, 108-23-85; A Fidler and Mrs Wright, 110-24-86.

From the Northampton Mercury Friday 7 May 1915; "FORMAL OPENING OF THE NEW GREENS - The new eighteen-hole course of the Northampton Golf Club at the Kettering Road links is now complete. For some time past play has been on temporary greens, but on Saturday the new permanent greens were formally opened. The new holes are the fourth to the twelfth inclusive, and the total length of the course is now over 6,000 yards. 

On Saturday afternoon a mixed foursome competition was held. Mr and Mrs J Jelleyman were the winners and Mr H Alsop and Mrs Sigel runners-up. Refreshments were provided by the captain, Mr W P Cross and the lady captain, Miss N M Manning. 

The new professional is Cecil Holland, a younger brother of  L Holland, of the Brampton links. He comes from Yarmouth and Caistor links with a good reputation."

It was reported in February 1918 that 33-acres of the new nine-hole course were required to be ploughed up for the cultivation of corn. 

Result of a ladies' match played in October 1922.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Result of a ladies' match played in October 1922.

Northampton Chronicle and Echo Wednesday 1 November 1922. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Competition results from the spring meeting played in May 1924.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Competition results from the spring meeting May 1924.

Northampton Chronicle and Echo Thursday 29 May 1924. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Results from the autumn meeting in September 1925.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Competition results from the autumn meeting in September 1925.

Northampton Chronicle and Echo Monday 21 September 1925. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

The annual meeting was held in the clubhouse in September 1927 with the following officers elected; captain, A F Gill; vice-captain, W R Kew; secretary, R F Weiss; treasurer, F F Ironside.

Competition results from September 1932.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Competition results from September 1932.

Northampton Mercury Friday 30 September 1932. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Article from The Bystander in February 1934.

Article from The Bystander 27 February 1934. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Personalities photographed above from top left to right; (1) W R Kew (past captain and Town Clerk), A Fidler; (2) C G G Souter (past captain and chairman green committee) R S Jellyman (competition secretary); (3) E A Black (captain); (4) H J Beers, G B Muscott; (5) G E Dazeley (vice-captain), W A Dunn; (6) F C Wild (past captain and hon. secretary Northampton Golf Union); (7) W A B Vann (past captain), Percy G Jones; (8) Charles Wright (past captain), R E Rushton; (9) W E Warrington (hon. treasurer), A McFarlane (hon. secretary); (10) F C Roe, P Hutton, A S Alibone. 

In July 1935 the 36-hole final of the Northampton Golf Club Ladies' Cup took place on the Kettering Road course. Mrs Dazeley secured a return of 75, which is the bogey of the course, and was the lowest return made by a lady, leading scores; Mrs Giffen, 105-36-69 and 106-36-70 = 139; Mrs Wann, 97-19-78 and 86-19-67 = 145; Mrs Dazeley, 80-4-76 and 75-4-71 = 147; Mrs Dunn, 92-17-75 and 90-17-73 = 148.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies'section 1938.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies'section 1938.

Scorecard for the Ladies’ Section from 1938.

 

Below is the result of a match played at Castle Ashby Golf Club (now defunct) in November 1938

Castle Ashby Golf Club   Northampton Golf Club  
W Percival and D C James 0 F C Roe and A Allibone 1
R W Tester and G Ward 1 A Faulkner and E Roberts 0
F Payne and F C Whiting (half) 0 L Perrin and R Markie (half) 0
A Gilkes and W H Chapman 1 G Dazeley and T Markie 0
E F Fuller and K Waite 0 A Anderson and W Arnold 1
W Hollingsworth and A E Sear 0 W A Dunn and S N Hill 1
  2   3

From the Northampton Mercury Friday 4 November 1938 - "The annual general meeting of the Northampton Golf Club at the clubhouse was presided over by the captain, F C Roe, and there was a record attendance. Mr Roe referred to the additions which had been made to the equipment for the maintenance of the course, and especially to the arrangements for the watering of the greens. This had already resulted in a marked improvement in the condition of the course. Mr Roe also congratulated the women's section of the club on their successful year, and thanked the officers of the club, members of the committee and the permanent staff, both outdoor and indoor, for the assistance they had rendered. The following officers were elected; captain, E R Rushton; vice-captain, P Hutton; the retiring officers J H Mills, hon secretary; D R G Davies, hon treasurer and F C Wild, hon. competition secretary, were unanimously re=elected. The following members were elected to the committee; W R Kew, G Markie, L M Allison, W Eyton-Jones."   

Picture from the men's captain's party held in December 1938.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Picture of the men's captain's party in December 1938.

Northampton Mercury Friday 9 December 1938. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Report on a fund raising event in aid of the Red Cross played in June 1940

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Fund raising match for the Red Cross in June 1940.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. Fund raising match for the Red Cross in June 1940.

Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail Friday 21 June 1940. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Just after WW2 the address was Kettering Road, Spinney Hill. The secretary was W Turner, St John’s School, Tiffield, Towcester. The professional was D McEwan and the greenkeeper J M Jones. Course records were, amateur R Catt 69, professional J M Jones 67. The 18 holes had a SSS of 73 and there was a membership of 425. Visitors’ fees 3/6 a day (intro 2/6), weekends and Bank Holidays 5/- a day (2/6). Sunday play allowed with caddies.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies' section 1947.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies' section 1947.

Ladies’ Scorecard from 1947. Above images courtesy of Christoph Meister.

 

In the early 1950s the professional was Tom Burrell.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Professional Tom Burrell.

Tom Burrell.

 

Just prior to the move from Kettering Road in the late 1980s the secretary was T C A Knight and the professional R Lovelady. Course records were, amateur C Cieslewicz 66 (set in 1972), professional M Gallagher 64 (1983). The 18 holes measured 6,002 yards with a SSS of 69, the membership was 600. Visitors fees were £10.

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Approach to the first hole.

The approach to the first green.

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. The eighteenth fairway.

The 18th fairway.

 

Northampton Golf Club. Kettering Road eighteen hole layout.

Above is the layout of the Kettering Road course.

 

Thanks to Martin Izzard for his permission to use the above images. Taken from his book Northampton Golf Club: The Competitive Golf Scene at Kettering Road and Harlestone 1969-2001. Copies are available price £20 from NGC.

Card of the course in the 1980s.

Hole Yards Hole Yards
1 430 10 164
2 305 11 322
3 161 12 385
4 439 13 331
5 480 14 167
6 497 15 390
7 134 16 333
8 391 17 197
9 421 18 455
Out 3258 Home 2744
    Out 3258
    Total 6002

 

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Location of the former golf course.

Location of the former Northampton course.