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Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows, Durham. (1879 - 1903)

The club was founded in 1879.

For over twenty years the club played over a Mungo Park designed course at Ryton Willows. Willie Park Junior was appointed professional in 1880.

The club moved to Western Falls of Ryton in 1903.  

In May 1880 Mr R Thomson of South Shields, vice-president of the club, presented a valuable gold challenge medal to be competed for by club members. 

The following article is from The Referee Sunday 9th May 1880. “A competition among the members of the Ryton Golf Club was brought off this afternoon in beautiful weather. This new club has its green on Ryton Willows, which lie only five or six miles west of Newcastle. The railway station being so convenient, the club is mainly composed of Newcastle gentlemen, amongst whom the fine sport is becoming very popular. The contest this afternoon (May 8th) was for prizes presented by certain members of the club, and nine or ten couples played, the winner turning up in Mr Robert Thompson, who made the two rounds of nine-holes each with seventy-eight strokes in his second round. His score was the capital one of thirty-seven (sic,) and, but for several bits of ill-luck, he would have beaten this. Thompson played from scratch, and Mr J Mitchell, jun., took second prize with the score of seventy-nine, his handicap allowance of 15 being deducted from his gross total. Mr J B Radcliffe, the secretary, won third prize with a score of eighty, his handicap allowance being 15. The putting-greens which are cared for by Willie Park, the club professional, were in excellent order.”


Tyneside Golf Club, Durham. Competition results from October 1882.

From the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News 7th October 1882. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Result of a match played at Hawick in June 1883.

Hawick Golf Club   Tyneside Golf Club  
Mr Rutherford 2 R Thomson 0
C Taylor 5 J B Saxon 0
W Bennett (halved) 0 J Murray (halved) 0
W Bennycock 0 N Temperley 1
J A Turnbull 5 A A Thomson 0
Dr. Barrie  0 O M Green 7
Rev. A H Dinwiddie (halved) 0 A W Scott (halved) 0
J Henderson 0 A Kinross 4
R Purdom 0 James Hedley 2
  12   14

It was reported in December 1883 that Willie Park jun., the professional at the Tyneside club, had been presented in the clubhouse with a silver watch and chain by the members, on the occasion of him giving up his role as professional.  

The following is from the Golfing Annual 1888/89; "Ryton-on-Tyne; Tyneside Golf Club; Instituted 1879; Entrance Fee, 21s; Annual Subs 15s/6d; Membership of 130; Captain - James Tennant, Esq., J.P; Committee - Dr W T Wilson, Dr G W Ridley, Dr W G Black, F B Dunford, H C Smith, F W Wyndham and Edward Kersey; Secretary - George F Charlton, 56 Grey Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne; Green-keeper - W Thomson; Club Prizes - White Jubilee Cross (scratch), Reid Belt (scratch), Thomson Medal (handicap), Temperley Cleek (handicap); Prize winners in 1888 - Jubilee Cross, R T Thomson 84; Reid Belt, J B Radcliffe 85; Thomson Medal, Dr C L Lightfoot 100-22-78; Temperley Cleek, G F Charlton 88-3-85. The lowest scratch score in a club competition is 81, made by R T Thomson in 1884. "Ryton is 6 miles from Newcastle, and the clubhouse adjoins the railway station. Visitors, on introduction by a member, are allowed to play the course free. The charge for a caddy is three-pence a round, and for a professional one shilling.

The course is laid out on a fine stretch of common land by the name of Ryton Willows, and is beautifully situated in the valley of the river Tyne, being bounded on the north side by the river and on the south by finely wooded banks of considerable height. On the crest of the hill we get a peep of the pretty village of Ryton, with the church spire just visible in the summer. The Newcastle and Carlisle section of the NER runs round the base of the hill. The soil being of a slightly sandy nature the turf is naturally fine and short and not what is usually met with an inland green. The hazards consist of a series of small gullies which intersect the green at different points, whins, river banks and marshes etc. At the drive to the first, or "Marsh," hole the player is confronted by a group of stately trees of considerable height, in front of which extends to the full width of the green one of the gullies already referred to, and which is about six feet in depth and thirty feet in width, a good line is obtained by driving out to the left, a topped ball disappears into the gully, while the career of a heeled ball is brought to an abrupt termination amongst the branches of the trees. This hole is the longest on the green, 392 yards, any player being satisfied with a 5 for it. The second, or "Stile," hole is 301 yards, the approach to which is made alongside the Marsh, and to which a ball off the line is pretty sure to go; the iron shot on to the green must be carefully made, as it is bordered on the far side by a deep ditch with running water; it is a good hole in 4. The third, or "North" hole, 288 yards, is devoid of hazard except the approach to the green, which is very near the river bank, it is generally done in 5. The fourth, or "Mid" hole, 251 yards; care must be taken with the drive to avoid lying behind a tree or thorn bush, which effectually prevents a good iron shot to the green, for a good score we put this hole down as a 4. The fifth, or "Tree" hole, 328 yards; the same remarks apply as to the fourth hole; 5 may be counted on if played properly. The sixth, or "Table" hole, 199 yards, is a good one, the river bank on the right of the tee and a large tree to the left, necessitating a good straight drive. The putting green, as the name of the hole indicates, is on a small piece of table-land formed by the gullies already referred to, and is surrounded with hazards. The iron shot has to be made across the gully. we put this hole down to a 4. The seventh, or "Tyne" hole, 205 yards, is pretty much of the same nature as the sixth, and embraces plenty of hazards both for the drive and the iron shot, the green borders the river bank. 4 or often a 5 may be put down for this hole. The eighth, or "Boathouse" hole, 248 yards; here the course, as we approach the putting green becomes very circumscribed, the river bank on the right and the railway on the left being the receptacle of many a drive or approach shot. The ground at this point is very much broken up with small hillocks, and there is a plentiful supply of whin bushes, this hole sometimes done in 4, is often done in 5. The ninth, or "Station" hole, 267 yards, goes over pretty much the same ground, the direction being reversed; here we have a fine approach on to a putting green of considerable extent, a good 4. Ryton has been pronounced by players of some eminence and experience in the golfing world as perhaps the best inland green in the country."

Competition result from June 1891.


Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows Course. Competition result from June 1891.



Results from the autumn meeting played in October 1891.


Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows Course. Results from the autumn meeting in October 1891.

"Golf" Friday Friday 9 October 1891. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Report on the club from November 1891.


Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows Course. Report on the club from November 1891.


Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows Course. Report on the club from November 1891.

"Golf" Friday Friday 13 November 1891. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Competition result from June 1894.


Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows Course. Competition result from June 1894.



Competition result from October 1894.


Tyneside Golf Club, Ryton Willows Course. Competition results from October 1894.

"Golf" Friday 19 October 1894. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


The Tyneside Golf Club abandoned the Willows course in 1903 and moved to the present location.

An Artisan club was founded in 1901 and continued to play on the Ryton Willows course (see separate entry on this website for Ryton Workmen's Club).

 The Google Map below shows Ryton Willows, location of the earlier golf course.