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Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. (1895 - WW2)

The first six-hole course of the Whitby Golf Club, established 1891, was laid out on Goathland Common. The Rev. E B Hare was prominent in the setting up of the Whitby club, and he would later be involved in establishing the Goathland Golf Club.

In 1895 the Whitby Golf Club moved to its current location at Upgang.

Part of the original nine-hole Goathland Golf Club course ran along the High Street. A later "safer" course was laid out on the Moor.

The following report appeared in The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer on Friday 3rd May 1895:

Formation Of A Club At Goathland – The Whitby Club having recently given up their links at Goathland, owing to the laying out of new links nearer Whitby, a committee has been appointed at Goathland for the purpose of carrying on a golf club there, to be entitled “The Goathland Golf Club.” The links are being improved, and some new holes and greens made on the edge of the moor, and in future there will be no play across the public road, as has been the case hitherto, so that what has been an annoyance to some will be avoided. The Rev E B Hare has been appointed president, Mr W McLaren treasurer, and Mr W Harrison, secretary. The improved links will doubtless prove an additional attraction to this already charming and popular moorland resort.

Below a report on the annual meeting in August 1901.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on the annual meeting in August 1901.

Whitby Gazette Friday 16th August 1901.Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. View of the course in the early 1920s.

View of the Goathland course in the early 1920s.

 

Report from the Whitby Gazette Friday 30th August 1901. "The second competition for gentlemen members was played on Saturday for a prize given by the president, E Knowles Corrie. It was a bogey competition won by T Gordon Priestley, four holes down, with a handicap of 14; T G Atkinson was second, six holes down with the same handicap; J Allan Walker finished third, being seven holes down. There were about a dozen competitors. The links were visited during the week by A W Robertson, professional of the Tees-side Golf Club. He played in an 18-hole match with H J Preistley and J Allan Walker, and won by one hole. There was a large attendance of ladies and gentlemen on the links who thoroughly enjoyed the sporting character of the course." 

Also in August 1901 a ladies' competition was played for a prize given by Mrs Knowles Corrie, of Dunred. Miss Irene Makepeace was the winner; Mrs Priestley, second; Miss Rowland, third.

Annual meeting, and course improvements supervised by the Tees-side professional A W Robertson in May 1902.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on the annual meeting in May 1902.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on the annual meeting in May 1902.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on the annual meeting in May 1902.

Whitby Gazette Friday 30th May 1902. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Presentation to the Tees-side professional A W Robertson in June 1904.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Presentation to the Tees-side professional A W Robertson in June 1904.

Buchan Observer and East Aberdeenshire Advertiser Tuesday 14th June 1904. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Leading scores in a competition played in August 1904; Colonel J B Gaskell, 98-24-74; Donald Corrie, 96-20-76; J H B Sullivan, 105-28-77; Walter Waddington, 105-28-77; E M Jackson, 84-6-78; Rev. A G Blythe, 88-8-80; C J Melrose, 99-18-81; Rev. A M Sullivan, 98-12-86; G MacSwinney, 104-18-86; E Knowles-Corrie, 108-20-88; Rev. Temple Brown, 114-26-88; Roger Gaskell, 113-22-91; Arthur Smith, 122-30-92.

Mr E Knowles Corrie presided at the annual meeting held in June 1905. Mr Ridley Makepeace read the annual report which stated that membership for last season was 59, compared with 45 for the previous year, and adding the number of players represented by family tickets and visitors who paid green fees, there were 199 players playing on the links in 1904, as compared with 130 the previous year. This increase in the number of players upon a narrow course intersected by public roads had caused the committee considerable anxiety, and as the result of a joint meeting between the club and parish council, it was decided that in future the privilege of playing golf at Goathland would be limited to members who were permanent or temporary residents, and their friends. In order to compensate the club for the loss of income from daily visitors, whose careless play during last season was the subject of newspaper criticism the committee recommended a scale of increased fees. It was hoped that members would be considerate to members of the public when playing the course. The following officers were elected; E Knowles Corrie, President; Rev E B Hare, secretary; Ridley Makepeace, treasurer; committee – J Hill, Mr Watson, Mr Harrison, Mr Lewis, G Rowland and C F C Padel; C G Padel,auditor.

The restrictions on visitors mentioned above had been lifted by 1908.  

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. The hole across the ravine.

Across the Ravine on the Goathland Golf Course.

 

In 1906 the secretary was the Reverend E B Hare, The Vicarage, Goathland, RSO, Yorks. A 9 hole course on moorland with some holes crossing village roads. The professional course record was held by A W Robertson with a score of 37. Visitors’ fees were 5/- a week and 15/- a month. Ladies’ fees were 2/6 a week and 7/6 a month. The station at Goathland was ¼ mile away. Local hotel was the Mallyan Spout, Goathland.

Result of foursome medal played on Saturday 24th August 1907; N M Maclehoss & H Weighill, 99-20½-78½; T Wheatley & R Sykes, 110-20-90; T R Bloxam & Miss Irene Makepeace, 111-20-91; Dr W G Dreaper & S Padel, 111-19½-91½.

The following brilliant description of the course was taken from a report in the Evening Telegraph in August 1913:-

Goathland is a picturesque village in a cleft of the Yorkshire moors. One descends it by a hill nearly as steep as a wall, which is a terror to timid motorists.

The village straggles along the main street. So does the nine-hole golf course. One of the tees is outside the vicarage gates, and a green is on the other side opposite the bedroom windows. With your drive you have to carry over the road towards the village shop. Experts put a slice on the ball to get it near the green. When the slice fails it is a bad look-out for the windows. “I charge 1s/6d for a broken window in the parish room – when I can find the culprit” says the vicar.

You go twice round the church, carrying the road on the way. Local rules prevent one from playing out of the churchyard. One short hole of 137 yards calls for the crossing of two roads between a farm and a ravine. The stranger in the village , startled by cries of “Fore” as he strolls down the main street, takes refuge under a hedge, and feels that poetic justice has been done when he sees the ball splash in the village pond.

To return a good card at Goathland it is necessary to be a practised window-dodger. It is a condition of membership that players drive at their own risk, the club taking no responsibility for mishaps. Hitherto there have been none to speak of. The children of Goathland regard flying golf balls as a natural phenomena, like rain or birds, and escape them by instinct.

The quaint course was laid out by the Whitby Club about twenty years ago. It is now conducted by the Goathland Club, of which Mr Currie, a London barrister, is president, and the Rev J Hare, the vicar, secretary.  “My parish,” says Mr Hare, “has two distinctions – the oldest chalice in England and the most original golf course in the world.” As the village belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster, the King is the owner of the course.   

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Article from The Tatler November 1913

Article from The Sketch November 26th 1913. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

In 1914 the season was Easter to October. There was no entry fee. Subs for gents were 10/- and ladies 5/-. Visitors’ fees were 7/6 a week and 21/- a month. Sunday Play was not allowed.

There was a large attendance at the thirteenth annual meeting held in May 1914, Mr J G Farquaharson of Stockton and Goathland, was in the chair. The secretary, Rev E B Hare, submitted the satisfactory annual report and the treasurer, Mr Ridley Makepeace, produced the statement of accounts which was audited by Mr C G Padel. The members unanimously elected Mr Mitchell Thompson M.P as president in place of Mr E K Corrie who was leaving his residence in the district. Mr J G Farquaharson was elected treasurer and the Rev E B Hare accepted the post of secretary. Captain Richard Smailes was elected auditor and Mr E H Weighill was chosen as club captain. The vacancies on the committee were filled by the election of Edgar Sykes and Miss Weighill. It was unanimously agreed to confer honorary life membership upon Mr E Knowles Corrie and Mr Ridley Makepeace in recognition of their valuable services to the club during the last thirteen years. These gentlemen were to continue their association with the club in their responsible position of joint trustees of the funds of the club vested in the purchase of the land in the village which has enabled the tennis courts to be laid, and a portion of the land provided a site for the parish hall.  

Below is an overall plan of the earlier Goathland Golf Course. Unfortunately the yardages are not very clear and a couple are missing; One - 368 yards; Two - ???; Three - 244; Four - 220; Five - ???; Six - 178; Seven - 137; Eight - 105; Nine - 292.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Overall plan of the earlier Goathland golf course.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Plan showing St. Mary's Church and the first four holes.

The plan above shows St Mary’s Church and the first four holes.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Plan showing holes five to nine.

Holes five to nine. The green for the ninth hole was close to Rose Cottage.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Hole descriptions one to three.

Hole descriptions one to three.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Hole descriptions five to nine.

Hole descriptions four to nine.

 

The course is marked on the Ordnance Survey Map below. The course ran from St. Mary’s Church to the south, directly north to Mellyan Lodge, passing Poplar Cottage and Rose Cottage.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. The golf course marked on the 1915 Ordnance Survey Map.

Ordnance Survey Map © Crown Copyright {1915}

 

The annual meeting was held in the Parish Hall in May 1918, Rev. E B Hare. hon. secretary presided. He presented his report as follows "We cannot fail to remember the adverse conditions with all such clubs owing to the European War. In spite of these trying circumstances we believe the members will consider the report to be a satisfactory one. The membership for the last year was 39 including four family tickets and nine life members. In concluding I have to strike a personal note, and to express very deep regret that I am resigning the post of hon. secretary, which I have held since the formation of the club. The time has come for me to leave Goathland for a new sphere of work, but the welfare of the club, which I have endeavoured to promote for so many years, will be left in the competent hands of your hon. treasurer and committee." The following officers were elected; President, W Mitchell-Thomson; captain, Capt. E H Weighill; hon. treasurer, J G Farquharson. hon. secretary, Miss Buckle. 

At the annual meeting in May 1922 it was reported that receipts of £145 had broken all records and there were increases in subscriptions and green fees. The Ganton professional had reported adversely on a proposal to extend the course by including the Gate Field, efforts were to be made to launch out an extension to the course in the direction of Moss Rigg.

In 1923 the secretary was the Reverend H A Flond, The Vicarage, Goathland RSO. The professional and green-keeper was C Thornton. Professional course record still held by A W Robertson with is score of 37.

From the mid 1920s to the mid 1930s the secretary was J G Faruharson, The Moorlands, Goathland, and the green-keeper J Suggitt. Membership throughout this time was about 60. Visitors’ fees in 1925 2/- a day, 7/6 a week and 25/- a month, rising in 1928 to 2/6, 10/-, 30/- respectively. From 1927 Sunday play was permitted after 1pm. Local hotels were the Station and the Mellyan.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on Rev. E B Hare leading light of the Goathland Golf Club.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on Rev. E B Hare leading light of the Goathland Golf Club.

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. Report on Rev. E B Hare leading light of the Goathland Golf Club.

Above from the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer Thursday 3rd January 1935. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

From 1936 to 1939 the secretary was J Saunders, Goathland. Club membership of 50.

In 1940 and the final year of 1948 the secretary was V N Pulman, Goathland. The green-keeper was still J Suggitt. The 9-hole course had a SSS and Par score of 66. There was a membership of 50. Visitors’ fees were 2/6d a day, 10/- a week and 30/- a month.

 

Goathland Golf Club. Picture from the golf course.

An early postcard showing Goathland from the golf links. Note the two golfers at the bottom of the card making their way to the tee. Postcard published by I Salmon Ltd, Sevenoaks. (Authors Collection).

 

Goathland Golf Club. Goathland from the golf course 2004.

Photograph taken from the former course in November 2004. The houses the golfers were making their way from on the earlier postcard can still be seen. Authors Collection.

 

 

Goathland Golf Club, North Yorkshire. View from the golf course.

Another view from the Goathland course from a similar position.

 

Goathland Golf Club. Location of the golf course.

Location of the Goathland course. Grid reference NZ83110,01240, co-ordinates 483110,501240.