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Holmes Chapel Golf Club, Cheshire. (1890s)

Founded 1893 when the professional was S Davis.

On Saturday 19th August 1893 Holmes Chapel played a club match against Marple, it resulted in a runaway victory for the Holmes Chapel club. The following players represented Holmes Chapel, L Armistread, F Lawrence, H Latham, T Latham and F Sladen.

Below is the result of a match played at Macclesfield  against Holmes Chapel on Saturday March 31st 1894. 

Macclesfield Golf Club   Holmes Chapel Golf Club  
G C Cromwell 10 W Rowland 0
A Sheldon 0 T P Williamson jun 3
F Tylecote 5 F Lawrence 0
M H Hall 7 H Rowland 0
A G Gray 9 R A Tatton 0
A Ramm 4 T Latham 0
J M Leake 11 H Latham 0
F Edmonson 14 G B Barker 0
  60   3

Result of the August 1894 monthly medal; J H Foster, 102-20-82; F Lawrence, 92-10-82.

Following is an in depth report on the club and course from the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser Tuesday 14th August 1894.

“A green which Manchester golfers have within easy reach of them, and which can boast of perhaps the finest turf of any inland course for many miles around, thereby insuring, with a little outlay, beautiful natural greens and splendid tees, is that over which the Homes Chapel members have the pleasure of playing, and we are surprised that since those links were opened at the beginning of last summer a much larger number of golfers have not already been enrolled as members.

Through the kindness of Mr F Lawrence, the hon. secretary, to whom the club and links mainly owe their existence, we enjoyed a game last week over the nine-holes, which are found quite sufficient for the requirements of the club as constituted at present, and we were agreeably surprised to find that notwithstanding the heavy rains, the grass throughout the greens was as short as any golfer almost could desire, and given straight driving in the majority of cases such lies could be had as would insure brassey play whenever needful. Considering the fact that very little expense has so far been laid out upon the course, what little there has been having been rightly devoted to the rolling and cutting of the greens and tees, and more especially when the length of the grass in many of our better known links is borne in mind, putting good golf at present out of the question, it is pleasant to light upon a course such as Holmes Chapel, where no legitimate complaint on this score can be made. The turf is very firm, and recovers very quickly from any hacking about it may get from constant iron play.

At present some of the holes are so placed that a little crossing is hardly preventable, and with the links crowded, those playing off one or two of the tees would be in the line of fire, but immediately any augmentation of members occurs, the committee have in contemplation an extension of the course which will not only prevent any crossing, but will result into bringing into play some splendid new holes, which will be greatly appreciated by the members. The course is very sporting, and every opportunity is offered for both short and long play, the majority of the holes requiring for a medium player two full drives and an iron approach to arrive anywhere in the vicinity of the green, and as most of the greens are well and specially situated in order that every advantage may be taken of the natural bunkers, the man who is adept with approach shots of his lofter, commands a great advantage over the golfer who prefers running his ball up to the hole whenever circumstances permit. Two of the holes only are within reach of a drive from the tee, and are so placed that a bold, straight shot will reap its due reward by lying beautifully on the green whilst a duff stroke is deservedly punished by being caught in a bunker in the shape of a pond, where the ball is almost certain to be irrecoverably lost.

In the meantime the bunkers are all natural, and the links have one great advantage over others in the scarcity of thick hedges, ponds and ditches being the principal hazards to be surmounted, one ditch having to be negotiated both on the outward and inward journey. With the addition of one or two artificial bunkers, which might take the form of those cops which the Bowdon club have erected over their well laid out course, the Holmes Chapel club would have a green which might be called as perfect as any inland links could hope to be; and doubtless these improvements will be made immediately upon their membership being enlarged, as the farmer to whom they are tenants has shown himself a good sportsman, and is ready to allow the club to make any improvements that may be in furtherance of their interests.

We have perhaps devoted more space than is usual to a club in which many might not be interested, but an apology is hardly necessary, as we are of the opinion that these links are worth developing; and, apart from the proximity to the railway station and the perfect golfing turf, the atmospheric elements have to be considered, and the inhalation of the beautiful air from the health-giving breezes which blow clear over the links, free from all the noxious vapours with which clubs nearer to Manchester have to contend, and the stimulating effects to be derived from the rural scenery of the surrounding country, should all conduce towards making the old village someday famous as a golfing centre. As Mr H G Hutchinson truly writes “Scenery is not, of course, golf, but golf is a pleasanter recreation when played in the midst of pleasant scenery.”

What is one club’s misfortune is another’s gain; and the final dissolution of the Hanforth club, which we regret exceedingly, will doubtless induce many of the members of the defunct club to join Holmes Chapel. Should this become an established fact the latter club might do worse than to immediately enter into negotiations for the Handforth pavilion, which is at present up for sale. We understand a letter has already been sent to several of the old Handforth members inviting them to play over Holmes Chapel in event of them being non-members of any other neighbouring clubs, and no doubt many will be eager to get their names put up for membership, if they have not already succumbed to the seductions of either Wilmslow or Cheadle.”   

The club couldn’t have had a more encouraging start with such a glowing report.

Unfortunately its optimism was short lived as the Holmes Chapel club quickly disappeared. Just a couple more reports have been found, as follows.

A sign of the times; towards the end of August in 1894 a match was arranged to be played at Heaton Park. The home side had the links in splendid condition for the proposed visit, a lot of extra work had been put in to get the course in tip top condition. This was the second proposed visit, the first one having been cancelled by the Holmes Chapel club who couldn’t raise a team. Unfortunately they could only find six players for the later visit instead of the proposed eight a side. Again the match was cancelled, much to the displeasure of the Heaton Moor captain.

Following is the result of the October 1894 monthly medal; T Latham , 98-15-83; G B Baker, 120-30-90; C K D Sidgwick105-10-95.

The Google Map below pinpoints the station which was in “close proximity” to the golf course.