Ridgeway Golf Club, Woolston, Southampton, Hants. (1920/30s)

Appeared during the mid 1920s and 1930s.

Little information was found in reference books of the time so I would specially like to thank George Hodges for the following in depth information regarding Ridgeway Golf Club, provided in 2004:

“ I knew the Golf Club very well and can remember a good deal of every hole. It was a nine hole course of ups and downs with a nice clubhouse and bar etc. the centre of the clubhouse had a large billiard table. The course went down to the River Itchen and was divided by the river by the railway line to Portsmouth. Alas, it was developed in the mid 1930s and a housing site was built on the land. The Vickers works nearby made the Spitfire and was a very busy factory, many of the workers played at Ridgeway. The Golf Club was first developed in the mid 1920s by a few local business people and was situated off Peartree Avenue, with the entrance off  Peartree Green. The course of nine well selected and designed holes, was bounded by the houses in Peartree Avenue, down to the Southern Railway line from Southampton to Portsmouth. The woods to the north and a pathway to a shipyard to the south. The clubhouse and professionals shop were near the entrance and contained the usual services, plus a good size committee room, full size billiard table on which a table tennis table could be placed. A good area of car park for those days and adequate practice area.

The first hole, par 4 of 370 yards. Level fairway to the north in front of the clubhouse. The gardens to the right attracted many a new golf ball.

Hole Two. Par 3. 190 yards. From top level to an attractive grass walled green at lower level.

Hole Three. Par 3. 160 yards. Downhill from raised tee reached by steps to the tee adjacent to the other gardens. The woods to the right of this hole drew many a wayward shot, the boundary being very close to the narrow fairway. The large green, with a sloping bank on the approach and a bank on the far side toward the railway, a very good tight hole, needing a good accurate tee shot.

Hole Four. Par 5. 520 yards (approx). The raised tee down by the railway reached by attractive paths to the corner of the course. A good drive to the fairway reached over a large ditch and rough ground. The second shot over a stream to a quarry area with a narrow fairway on the left beside a grass hill. The chip shot to the raised green tucked well into the corner of the course, was very difficult.

Hole Five. Par 4. 400 yards. The drive taken from a tee near the footpath needs a Spoon or Brassie over a large hill clearing the ditch on to a broad fairway. The next shot to the green, needed to be kept well to the right of the green, owing to a very large, well formed, attractive oak tree. This hole was very difficult, due to the large tree and the green being placed at the top of a slope.

Hole Six. Par 3. 185 yards (approx). Into a tree lined corner, a level fairway needing a well placed tee shot to avoid the tree to the left and the sloping ground to the right. A steep road up to the seventh tee area with a brick wall to the right, being on the boundary of the old estate house now in a state of complete disrepair.

Hole Seven. Par 4. 220 yards (approx). Downhill between fruit trees which were part of the old orchard. The green was quite flat and level, with the surroundings making the approach delicate to keep the ball on the green. The Eighth tee was well behind the seventh green on a raised area.

Hole Eight. Par 3. 180 yards. Uphill tee shot to the green which was beside the main exterior footpath, making it easy to go out of  bounds. The green was well raised and had the boundary fence at the rear. This hole needed great skill.

Hole Nine. Par 4. Some 200 yards. Was taken from a tee placed to the left of the eighth fairway. The hole was again uphill to the green backed by the clubhouse. A very well laid out green surrounded by grass banks on three sides.

I can remember several of the members, mostly from Bitterne and Bitterne Park. The Captain was Mr A E Marsh-Hunn from Peartree Avenue, who owned a white bungalow, a white Vauxhall car and his wife a white Morris Eight Tourer. His name is appended in the Spitfire Book in the Library. The Professional, David Lloyd, came from a local bank, having to leave on medical advice, due to eye strain. His shop was at the rear of the main clubhouse. In those days his duties included cleaning the club heads with emery paper and finishing off with fine paper, including “cutting in” the toe and heel of the face in a cross direction and then oiling. The shaft was rubbed with a linseed oil cloth and left to dry in a bay wall of the workshop. The grip and head bindings were checked for wear and renewed where necessary and coated with varnish on completion. The club honorary secretary was my father, A W Hodges from Bitterne Park who was Commercial Manager of  Dixon & Cardus at Northam, making linseed cake and other animal foods, plus the oil by-products. The treasurer was Freddie Stott from a bank in Woolston and very well known latterly at Stoneham. Other members included Reg Mitchell, famed for his design of the Spitfire. “Crink” Payne, better known to many as Director/Manager of the Isle of Wight Steam Packet Company and went forward to many other distinguished posts. Mr Jenkins and his son Bowen, builders from West End, Southampton. A Mr Simpson who possibly had an army background. Amongst the ladies were the Potter sisters from Athelstan Road”


Ridgeway Golf Club, Woolston, Southampton. Course location.

The course can be seen in the centre of the 1933 O.S map above, the clubhouse is to the south.