Shirley Golf Club, Whitedswood Park, Southampton. (1903 - 1908)

Shirley Golf Club was formed in 1903 and leased land at Withedswood Park, owned by the Atherley family.

The opening meeting of the club took place on Saturday 14th November 1903. Over 70 members had recently joined the club. A couple of competitions were arranged, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, mainly for handicapping purposes. Mr C E Wylam, president of the club, won in the morning with a score of , 91-9-82. In the afternnon H B Howard returned the best score, 85-3-82.

It was reported in the Hampshire Advertiser that "Everbody spoke well of the course and its possibilities. It was thought to be quite long enough, and in time (for golf courses cannot be made in a couple of months), it will make a really good nine-hole park course. The greens are large, smooth, and well covered with grass. There is a bunker to each hole, the third, fourth and seventh holes having two bunkers to each, and it will take a long driver to negotiate some of these bunkers. The lies through the green a fairly good, the grass having been cut and well rolled from the bunkers right up to each green, as the park is now entirely sheep fed, the course will soon be in first rate order for golf. The club will supply a much neded want. One thing about it is that it is private. The Shirley clubhouse was built by Henry Cawte. It contains two good rooms, a complete lavatory,  a green-keeper's room and ample accomodation for cycles. In the outer room there are 20 lockers, all of which were eagerly appropriated. Tom Beck, a Jersey man, is the professional green-keeper. He is a good golfer and teacher of the game, and he was recently employed at the Filey course in Yorkshire. Captain Elwyn R.N, Springfield, Lordswood, is the hon. treasurer, and Mr C P Clayton, of Shirley, the hon. secretary."      

The club held its third meeting on Saturday 5th March 1904. Three prizes were presented for competition; a silver cigarette case, by Mrs C P Clayton; a handsome travelling clock in case, by Dr Harman; two golf clubs, by Mr W H Mitchell. Following are the scores (18-holes medal); Dr Sharples, 104-30-74; E S Day, 92-18-74; Dr Purvis, 107-30-77; Capt. Elwyn R.N, 108-30-78; C P Clayton, 96-18-78; C E Wylam, 89-9-80; Mr Gurney Russell, 98-18-80; J G Dickson, 95-15-80; Capt. Jones R.N, 102-18-84; Peter Millar, 85 scratch; Dr Saunders, 103-18-85; Mr Gordon Guild, 95-10-85; Dr Allden, 116-30-86; H B Howard, 90-3-87; Dr Harman, 99-11-88; Dr Dominey, 108-18-90; A T J Lewis, 121-30-91; Dr Young, 111-18-93; W S Green, 114-20-94; Dr Whicher R.N, 124-30-94; W H Day, 115-18-97; Dr Renny, 122-24-98; J Gibbon, 117-16-101; C Watson, 132-30-102; G W Swain, 123-18-105; Mr Hewitt Warr, 133-31-101; H J Hine, 148-30-118. No returns from; H C Payne, J C E D'Esterre, W P Elliott, N U Cunningham, H V Cunningham and G H T Barlow.      

Below is the result of a match against Shawford Golf Club in May 1906.


Shirley Golf Club, Whitedswood Park, Southampton. Result of a match against Shawford Golf Club in May 1906.

Southern Echo Saturday 19th May 1906. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


A competition over three days was played in May 1907. The handicap competition was for a handsome silver cup presented by Mr R A Munn, President of the club, and was played on the 8th, 11th and 15th. Leading scores; C B Thornback (h'cap8), 77-77-77=231; A M Waters (13), 81-81-81=243; Dr R E Lauder (22), 79-81-89=249. It was reported that the links were so popular that the committee were unable to consider any further applications for membership, the maximum number allowed under the club rules having been reached.

The fourth annual general meeting was held in the clubhouse in October 1907. There were about 75 members present. The club at this time was flourishing both finacially and popularity. The following officers were elected; R A Munn, president; Captain Elwyn, treasurer; C P Clayton, secretary; committee - J C E D'Esterre, A Spooner, E S Day, W J Saunders, C B Thornback and Dr A W Renny.  Full report on the annual meeting, sadly the last, below.


Shirley Golf Club, Whitedswood Park, Southampton. Report on the fourth and final annual meeting in November 1907.

Hampshire Advertiser Saturday 2nd November 1907. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


With the opening of Stoneham Golf Club in 1908 many Shirley members joined. Charles Saunders, the professional at Shirley, also moved to Shoreham.

Around this time the Atherley family put Withedswood Park on the market and the land was sold for housing. 


Shirley Golf Club, Southampton. Location of former course.

Course situated in Whited Park in the 1900s, the area has now been built over.

Grid reference SU40475,13705, co-ordinates 440475,113705.