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Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham.

Founded in 1890, Bowdon Golf Club had a very unusual motto; “Golf is not agriculture!”

 

Bowdon GC button.

Bowdon Golf Club button showing the club crest and motto.

 

The course was situated on the outskirts of Dunham Park with a subsoil of sand ensuring good lies on the fairways. A good testing 9 holes, with a SSS of 75 (73 in the 1940s) and a total length of 6,230yds for 18 holes. The best holes were the 1st, 6th and the last. The 6th or “nest” hole required a long and accurate drive, which gave players a chance of reaching the green, which lay in a cup and was guarded on the left by a tree. The principal course hazards were artificial sand bunkers a pond and various trees. Club membership averaged about 160 throughout. Stations at Bowdon and Altrincham were 2miles away and Dunham Massey 1 mile. It cost 2/- for a cab from any of the stations pre WW1. Sunday play was not allowed until after WW2.

Result of the October 1890 monthly competition. Mr H Ransome, who came in first with 84 net, was unfortunately disqualified owing to "an error in play" consequently Mr Cyril Ransome secured the win with 88 net, Rev H W Crozier was second.

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 5th September 1891; T W Killick, 121-36-85; F Ransome, 97-7-90.

In the monthly medal played on Saturday June 3rd 1893 Mr F C Morgan returned the best gross score ever returned in competition over the Dunham course, result as follows; F C Morgan, 82-2-80; T D Cummins, 88-6-82; F Platt-Diggins, 99-16-83.

Below is the result of a club match played at Cheadle on Saturday 17th June 1893.

Cheadle   Bowden  
J Merry 1 H Holden 0
R H Prestwick 0 F C Morgan 1
D H Greenwood 0 W G Clegg 3
C D Milne 1 Rev T Pym Williamson 0
F Bindloss 0 S W Gillett 4
J M Easton 8 C N Wolff 0
J H Milne 0 E Withington 6
Rev F A Macdona 0 S Smelt 2
O G Mosley 0 T C Oliver 0
H Wilson 0 W Mowat 6
  10   22

Result of the monthly medal held on Saturday 12th August 1893; N Carlisle, 94-10-84; R S Boddington, 101-16-85; E Withington, 94-7-87. F K Morgan, 83 scratch; G H Wolff, 94-6-88; P J Worsley, 106-18-88; H F Ransome, 99-10-89; S W Gillett, 94-4-91; Rev T Pym Williamson, 96-4-92; N McIver, 105-12-93; W Mowat, 104-10-94; R M MacLaren, 109-14-95; J H Myrtle, 115-20-95; R Sykes, 128-30-98. 

Competition result from August 1893, leading scores; S Smelt, 95 - 10 - 85; W Withington, 95 - 7 - 88; S W Gillett, 94 - 4 - 90; T P Williamson, 94 - 4 - 90; G Worthington, 100 - 10 - 90; R D Maclaren,104 - 14 - 90; R Craig, 107 - 14 - 93; R M Meath113 - 20 - 93; W S Boddington, 109 - 14 - 95; T C Oliver, 108 - 10 - 98.

Result of the monthly medal held over the lengthened course at Dunham Village for the first time on Saturday 2nd September 1893; S Smelt, 95-10-85; E Withington, 95-7-88; E W Gillett, 94-4-90; T Pym Williamson, 95-5-90; G Worthington, 100-10-90; R D McClaren,104-14-90.

Result of the Captain’s Cup played in January 1894, due to the frost the ground was “as hard as iron” There were 26 competitors, following are the leading scores; S W Gillett, 95 – 4 – 91; E Withington, 100 – 6 – 94; T Muirhead, 102 – 8 - 94; T D Cummins, 96 – 1 – 95;W K Craig, 110 – 13 – 97; Rev T P Williamson, 103 – 4 – 99; R D MacLaren, 133 – 14 – 99; F C Morgan, 100- scratch.

The monthly medal was played on Saturday August 4th 1894, leading scores; M Withington, 87-3-84; G Worthington, 95-10-85; T Pym Williamson, 93-6-87; G W Moultrie, 99-12-87; E Withington, 95-6-89; W M Neild, 107-18-89; S W Gillett, 94-2-92; F Heywood, 100-8-92; R Sykes, 110-18-92; W S Mainprice, 107-14-93; J Boyd, 114-20-94; R D V MacLaren, 109-14-95; F W Ryecroft, 112-16-96; G Shorland Ball, 105-8-97; W Mowat, 108-10-98. There were 26 competitors.  

The Staffurth trophy.

At the Spring Meeting in 1895 the above trophy, presented by H Staffurth, was won by S W Gillett.

 

Samuel W Gillett.

Portrait of Samuel W Gillett, secretary of the club in the early 1900s. This picture would have been one of many of the prominent officers and members displayed in the clubhouse. Thanks to J A C W (Tony) Gillett, grandson of Samuel W Gillett, for supplying and allowing us to use the above images.

Below are the results of a match played on Saturday 23rd March 1895 between the Bowdon and Wilmslow Golf Clubs, the first teams playing at Bowdon and the second at Wilmslow.

First team.

Bowdon   Wilmslow  
F C Morgan 0 C S Hoare 3
H Holden 8 A N Cumming 0
S W Gillett 2 W W Barlow 0
C H Occleston 9 Sir F Forbes Adam 0
E Withington 0 J A Tweedale 0
A G Hogg 3 T A Bradley 0
Rev T Pym Williamson 3 R A Bradley 0
T Muirhead 0 H G Langley 1
  25   4

Second team.

Wilmslow   Bowdon  
G Bickham 1 C H Wolff 0
R R Schofield 4 Rev Wilson Cowie 0
J H Milne 5 G Shorland Ball 0
J A Hutton 0 F Heywood 7
J K Ford 0 S Smelt 1
P Swanwick 0 C W Dudley 4
F Godlee 0 E C H Wolff 8
J J Brickhill 12 James Boyd 0
  22   20

Result of a one-sided club match in favour of Bowdon played at Wilmslow on Saturday 18th May 1895. M Withington had a splendid gross score of 74 (35+39), S W Gillett and E Withington recorded scores of 80 and W G Clegg 81.Mr Gillett went out in 36 but came back in 44.

Wilmslow   Bowdon  
C S Hoare 0 W Holden 3
A N Cumming 0 M Withington 5
J A Tweedale 0 W G Clegg 4
G Bickham 0 S W Gillett 7
H G Langley 0 E Withington 4
R R Schofield 0 C H Occleston 10
J Kent Ford 3 G S Hall 0
P Swanwick 0 T P Williamson jnr 6
  3   39

In April 1896 in the final of the Lindsell Worthington Challenge Cup T W Cummins beat H Holden 5 and 3.

Below is the result of the December 1896 monthly medal.

H Holden 84 +3 87 J H Brancker 113 19 94
Dr Duggan 102 14 88 Mr Wilson Cowie 104 9 95
F C Morgan 87 +2 89 R Sykes 109 14 95
F Platt-Higgins M.P 107 18 89 W R Craig 102 5 97
T Muirhead 97 8 89 S Smelt 103 6 97
E Withington 94 2 92        

Result of the April 1897 medal; N Rycroft, 103-16-87; Rev W Cowie, 97-9-88; C M Dudley, 100-9-91; T Muirhead, 99-8-91; G Worthington, 101-10-91; C H Occleston, 93-2-91.

In 1900 the secretary was S W Gillett. Course records were; amateur H B Waite 40, professional F K Weir 36. For two rounds (18 holes) H H Hilton 78.

Below is the result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 3rd November 1900.

Dr Cooper 93 14 79 W Cowie 99 12 87
S Bridgford 87 6 81 C Scheu 109 22 87
J Brooke 99 18 81 J Boyd 109 22 87
W G Clegg 84 scr 84 E Withington 95 6 89
W Ryecroft 96 12 84 S Smelt 99 10 89
J B Duncan 100 15 85 C Atkinson 105 16 89
C Hopkinson 100 15 85 F Roylance 103 13 90
W B Edmonson 95 9 86        

Below is the result of a ladies’ match played at Bowdon against Worsley on Monday 28th October 1901.

Bowdon   Worsley  
Mrs Dallmeyer (Half) 0 Mrs MacLaren (Half) 0
Miss Bradbury 12 Mrs Albresht 0
Mrs Cobbett 1 Mrs Prestwich 0
Mrs Duggan 0 Miss Miniati 8
Mrs Wood 0 Mrs Schack Sommer 7
Mrs Ashe 1 Miss Arrowsmith 0
  14   15

In 1902 the secretary was still S W Gillett.

In 1903 the professional was Frank Kerr Weir, Dunham Massey; Secretary John H Brancker, jnr. 

A match play competition for the captain’s prize, presented by Mr W G Clegg, was played on Saturday 19th May 1906. In the semi-finals; A G Hogg beat the Rev R M Gray by 5&4 and J Vincent Bock beat C F Worrall by 4&3. In the final Hogg (scratch) had to give Bock six strokes, a fine contest resulted. Unfortunately the final was played in torrential rain, making play difficult. The match was all square at the tenth, Hogg won the next three holes, but Bock, was playing well and won the following three, squaring the match at the sixteenth, the seventeenth was halved. On the eighteenth Hogg hit a good second shot, giving him a chance of a three. Bock played a poor approach shot but stymied Hogg with his fourth. Hogg played round the stymie and made four, winning the match and the cup.  

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 3rd August 1907; C H Occleston, 82-1-81; H F Ransome, 90-6-84; A S Hogg, 89-4-85; H J Miller, 87-2-85; N P F Sandiford, 107-22-85; John Brooke, 103-16-87; W B Edmondson, 96-7-89.

In 1908 Miss Dallmeyer of Bowdon won the Manchester and District Ladies’ Golf Association Cup.

In 1909 the secretary was Charles F Worrall.

Result of the monthly stroke competition for January 1910; J W Botsford, 95-11-84; H N Nuttall, 93-8-85; W G Clegg, 85+1-86; B Atkinson, 101-14-87; J R Hepburn, 100-12-88; E M Lodge, 108-20-88; F W Roylance, 107-14-93; N P Sandiford, 111-16-95; P D Lodge, 118-18-100. 

Result of the February 1910 monthly competition; W M Neild, 96-15-81; A D Robertson, 91-7-84; S Bonnalie, 88-3-85; P D Lodge, 103-18-85; R D Maclaren, 99-11-88; B Atkinson, 104-14-90. 

Below is the result of a ladies’ match played at Didsbury in September 1911. 

Didsbury   Bowdon  
Miss Adamson 1 Miss Roylance 0
Mrs Walsh 0 Mrs Ellis Briggs 1
Mrs Glassford 0 Mrs Spence 1
Miss Ashby 0 Miss Needham 1
Mrs A Norbury (half) 0 Miss Stafforth (half) 0
Miss Cunningham 0 Miss Duggan 1
  1   4

Following is the result of the December 1912 monthly bogey; C Paterson (14), 4down; D Drummond-Fraser (16), 4down; T Coventry (5), 5down; H F Ransome (8), 5down; C W Dudley (14), 5down; Geo Rhodes (20), 6down.

In January 1913 the silver medal of the L.G.U was won by Miss Needham (19) with an aggregate of 83, the bronze medal won by Miss S Allen.

The bogey competition, played in March 1913, for the lady captain’s (Mrs Percy Cooper) prize was won by Miss Edith Needham with a score of 2up.

The match play prize presented by the captain, Mr T Coventry, was played during the week ending Saturday 31st May 1913. In a keenly fought final Bertram Thomas defeated Claude Paterson at the 19th hole. Prizes were presented to the winner, runner-up and the losing semi-finalists, results as follows; Mr Thomas beat Mr Miller, 3&1; Mr Paterson beat Mr Haslam, 5&3.

Result of the monthly bogey played on Saturday 2nd August 1913; A D Robertson (6) all square; A A Atherton (8) 2down; W M Nield (14) 3down; S Bridgford (1) 4down; P G D Howarth (3) 4down; H N Nuttall (5) 4down; C S Lewis (14) 4down.     

Result of the 1914 gents January medal; T Coventry, 88-5-83; H H Reed, 99-15-84; H F Ransome, 93-8-85; A A Atherton, 95-8-87; A G Hogg, 87+1-88; P G D Haworth, 91-3-88; H J Miller89-scr-89; J Warburton, 103-14-89.

The March 1914 monthly qualifying competition for the prize presented by Mr Bertram Thomas, results as follows; A D Robertson, 84-5-79; H N Nuttall, 86-5-81; T Coventry, 87-4-83; L Holden, 83+1-84; J F D Spence, 96-12-84; J R Hepburn, 97-12-85; H J Miller, 86-scr-86; D D Fraser, 100-14-86; Geo Rhodes, 104-18-86; W Atkinson, 91-4-87; W M Shipman, 93-6-87; C F Worrall, 98-10-88; C W Dudley, 101-13-88; H F Ransome, 96-7-89; C E R Abbott, 107-18-89.  Bogey score was 80.

 

Captain's Cup 1914.

Thanks to John and Lizzie Wicks for providing the above image.

 

The inscription on the above cup states “Bowdon Golf Club – Captain’s Cup 1914 - Presented by H J Miller – Won by P G D Haworth.

A mixed foursomes competition was played at Bowdon in October 1921. If anyone has any information regarding the result and the names of the people who took part please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the Ladies Golf Championship at Burnham in May 1923 Mrs Allan Macbeth of Bowdon was beaten in the final by Miss Doris Chambers (Wirral) who won 2up.

 

  Secretary Professional/greenkeeper
1894-1919   F K Weir (p)
1919-40   J Holt (p)
A Warburton (g)
1911 C F Worrall, Long Croft, Altrincham.  
1914 G W Bickham.  
1920s-30s G Percy Haworth, Bayfield House, Stamford Rd, Bowdon.  
1930s (late) J G Leaf, Church Bank, Bowdon.  
1940 W H Tuke, Park End, Dunham Massey.  
1947 G Buckley, Heather Lea, Green Walk, Bowdon. B Holt (p) C Norcross (g)
1950s H Botham, 46 Wellington Road, Altrincham.  

 

  Course records
1911 H Holden (am) 36 F K Weir (pro) 35
1920s-40s H Holden (am) 73 professional (no name) 68

 

Bowdon golf course map

Location of the former Bowdon Massey golf course.

Grid reference SJ73650,87840, co-ordinates 373650,387840.

In 1911  entry fees were £5/5/0 and Subs £2/2/0. Visitors were allowed one free day then 2/- a day (excluding Saturday), 5/- a week (excluding Saturday). 5/- for Saturday if no competition .

In 1914 entry fees had risen to £8/8/0 and subs £3/3/0.

In 1940 visitors’ fees on introduction were 2/6 a day, 3/6 Saturday, 5/- a week, 15/- a month, exclusive of  Saturdays.

Result of a ladies’ eclectic competition played in June 1940 for prizes given by Mrs Smalley in aid of the Salford Royal Hospital; Mrs J Barclay, 42-4-38; Mrs Smalley, 41-2¾-38¼; Mrs Wilson, 44-3¼-38¼; Mrs Harrison, 44-3-41; Miss Shipman, 44-2½-41½.  

From 1947 to closure visitors’ fees had risen to 3/6 a day, Saturdays 7/6 (5/- with member).

Bowdon Golf Club disappeared in the mid 1950s.

Thanks to Margaret Sykes of Gawsworth for her contribution regarding Bowden Golf Club “My husband ( a golfer of course) was a boy early in the war and used to cycle to Bowdon GC, play a few holes when it was quiet, so had some knowledge of its demise. The course was ploughed up for agriculture around 1942. The land was owned by Lord Stanford. It’s also possible that POWs were billeted on the land”