Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road Course. (1893 - 1980s)

It was reported in the Northampton Mercury in November 1890 that “there is a strong probability of a golf club being started in Northampton. There are grounds at Kingsthorpe which lend themselves readily to the game”

Founded in 1893.

Old Tom Morris was involved in the design of 9-holes on the Kettering Road side of Spinney Hill in 1895 and Willie Park Jnr in the design of 18-holes in 1914. The club continued at this site until its move to Harlestone in the late 1980s.

The first annual dinner was held at the Grand Hotel. The secretary at the club at this time was Mr Hobbs.

Result of a match played against the Bedford Club in April 1895. It was stated that the match was played on the Billings Road Links, Northampton. I found no further reference to the Billings Road course, if anyone can help please contact me through the website “contact us” facility.

Northampton Golf Club   Bedford Golf Club  
N Dawson 6 F H Dasent 0
W C Henderson 0 Lt Col D Broughton 4
J Haviland 3 S Fuller 0
Rev W H Deane 8 J B Forsyth 0
E Rogers Bull 0 Rev V Macdona 4
A E Anderson 6 S Fielder 0
R G Scriven 0 Rev G Apthorp 4
F Hill 3 N R Slator 0
A E Phipps 2 G Clark 0
A E Tebutt 4 Major Gen C E Sanford 0
  32   12

The following match was played in November and by now the club was playing at Kettering Road, interesting to note that many of the players took part in the earlier Bedford match. The report goes on to say that the club should be congratulated on this, the first match of the season, against one of the strongest sides in the Midlands.

Northampton Golf Club   Kenilworth Golf Club  
N Dawson 3 T Latham 0
B Muscott 10 F A Bainbridge 0
A F Forster 0 R Rotherham 1
W C Henderson 0 A C S Glover 2
A E Henderson 2 H O'Leary 0
A E Tebutt 0 T Day 0
E R Bull 0 T Kinmond 8
F Hill 0 R Grose 0
  15   11

At the AGM held at the Stag’s Head Hotel in October 1895 it was mentioned that “A good many games have been played and the NEW GROUND seems to have given great satisfaction”  which implies that the club had moved location from the earlier Billings Road Links. Following is the election of officers at the meeting; President, Earl Spencer; vice presidents, Mr C C Becke, Alderman Randall, Mr W G Hobbs; captain, Mr W C Henderson; vice captain, Mr Bruce Muscott; treasurer, Mr J E A Wyatt; secretary Mr Frank Hill.

Fire at Northampton Golf Links. Following is a report from the Northampton Mercury Friday 21st July 1899.

“A rather serious fire was discovered on Tuesday at the pavilion on the golf links on Kettering Road, Northampton. Before it could be extinguished the pretty and commodious pavilion was completely demolished. The pavilion was a wooden building 17feet by 12feet, roofed partly with wood and partly with corrugated iron, and it replete with every convenience for golfers. The fire was caused by a defective stove-pipe. The lad in attendance lit the fire as usual this morning and left the place in apparent security. A few minutes afterwards, however, the flames escaped from the stove-pipe and the roof caught fire. The manager, Mr Duncan, was informed and the Northampton Fire Brigade informed. Inspector Busby received the call at 8.33 and the tender was quickly manned and on the scene. Both property and stock were insured, but the total amount of insurance, £550, would not cover the damage” 


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Club button.

The Northampton club button is hall marked Birmingham 1904 by Vaughtons and features the ancient Arms of Northampton. Image courtesy of Dixon Pickup.


The men’s autumn meeting was played over Thursday, Friday and concluded on Saturday 11th November 1904. Spencer Cup (handicap limit 16 – 15 entries); H Alsop, 95-16-79; B Faulkner, 99-16-83; E R Bull, 95-9-86; C Phipps, 96-8-88; A E Phipps, 97-8-89. Competition (handicap over 16 – 11 entries); Dr Harries Jones, 112-24-88; G L Bradley, 114-24-90; Rev A O James, 109-18-91; W Batten, 109-18-91; E H Lankester, 114-22-92. Mixed foursome; C C Marshall & Mrs Lankester, 4down; H Norman & Miss Norman, 6down; E H Lankester & Mrs Phipps, 9down. Men’s foursome; A R Lobbett & E H Lankester, 102-16-86; R Scriven & F Savile, 108-17½-90½. Northampton Challenge Bowl 36 hole medal competition (handicap limit 24 – 12 entries)); Dr C Scroggie, 82 scratch and 85 scratch, total 167; F Tomlinson, 102-18-84 and 104-18-86, total 170; C W Stringer, 104-12-92 and 95-12-83, total 175; C W Phipps, 102-8-94 and 99-8-91 total 185; O Hickson, 102-16-86 and 119-16-103 total 189; J Haviland, 109-10-99 and 102-10-92 total 191; A Morton, 106-12-94 and 110-12-98 total 192. Eighteen Hole Meda (15 entries); C C Marshall, 101-16-85; H Cropley, 104-16-88; A E Phipps, 96-8-88; H A Millington, 101-12-89; G L Charlesworth, 104-14-90.     

The competition for the handsome silver tray presented to the Northampton Ladies’ Club by Mr E H Lankester started on Friday November 18th 1904 and was concluded on Wednesday 14th December. It was a bogey competition played over 36 holes, result as follows; Mrs H Whitmy Smith, 4up; Miss G Phillips, 4down; Mrs C Phipps, 5down; Mrs E Lankester, 6down; Mrs A R Lobbett, 8down; Mrs W H Hope, 11down; Mrs Elliot Steel, 14down. 

From the Nisbet's Golf Yearbook 1905; Number of members 129, 31 Ladies; Hon. secretary - H Norman, 14 Market Square, Northampton; Captain - D P Taylor; Entrance Fee £3/3s and Subs £2/2s; Nine-holes; Professional - D Duncan; Terms for visitors - Introduction by a member - two days free, 2s/6d a day, 5s a week, 10s a month. The course consists of two fields, which were originally known as Little Switzerland, or Hills and Hollows. There are made bunkers. The greens are good and well kept. The longest hole is 357 yards.  

Below is the result of a match played at Belton Park in April 1906. 

Belton Park Golf Club   Northampton Golf Club  
Stuart McRae 1 E Bostock 0
E F Clements 1 N Bostock 0
W E Thompson 1 Mr Ball 0
T Norton 1 Mr Cropley 0
F W Thompson 1 Rev Eddowes 0
T S Pearson-Gregory 0 Mr Steel 1
Rev E M Clements 1 Mr Errington 0
  6   1


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Article from The Bystander in February 1934.

Article from The Bystander February 27th 1934. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Personalities photographed above from top left to right; (1) W R Kew (past captain and Town Clerk), A Fidler; (2) C G G Souter (past captain and chairman green committee) R S Jellyman (competition secretary); (3) E A Black (captain); (4) H J Beers, G B Muscott; (5) G E Dazeley (vice-captain), W A Dunn; (6) F C Wild (past captain and hon. secretary Northampton Golf Union); (7) W A B Vann (past captain), Percy G Jones; (8) Charles Wright (past captain), R E Rushton; (9) W E Warrington (hon. treasurer), A McFarlane (hon. secretary); (10) F C Roe, P Hutton, A S Alibone. 


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies'section 1938.


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies'section 1938.

Scorecard for the Ladies’ Section from 1938.


Below is the result of a match played at Castle Ashby Golf Club (now defunct) in November 1938

Castle Ashby Golf Club   Northampton Golf Club  
W Percival and D C James 0 F C Roe and A Allibone 1
R W Tester and G Ward 1 A Faulkner and E Roberts 0
F Payne and F C Whiting (half) 0 L Perrin and R Markie (half) 0
A Gilkes and W H Chapman 1 G Dazeley and T Markie 0
E F Fuller and K Waite 0 A Anderson and W Arnold 1
W Hollingsworth and A E Sear 0 W A Dunn and S N Hill 1
  2   3

Just after WW2 the address was Kettering Road, Spinney Hill. The secretary was W Turner, St John’s School, Tiffield, Towcester. The professional was D McEwan and the greenkeeper J M Jones. Course records were, amateur R Catt 69, professional J M Jones 67. The 18 holes had a SSS of 73 and there was a membership of 425. Visitors’ fees 3/6 a day (intro 2/6), weekends and Bank Holidays 5/- a day (2/6). Sunday play allowed with caddies.


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies' section 1947.


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Scorecard for the ladies' section 1947.

Ladies’ Scorecard from 1947. Above images courtesy of Christoph Meister.


In the early 1950s the professional was Tom Burrell.


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Professional Tom Burrell.

Tom Burrell.


Just prior to the move from Kettering Road in the late 1980s the secretary was T C A Knight and the professional R Lovelady. Course records were, amateur C Cieslewicz 66 (set in 1972), professional M Gallagher 64 (1983). The 18 holes measured 6,002 yards with a SSS of 69, the membership was 600. Visitors fees were £10.

Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Approach to the first hole.

The approach to the first green.


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. The eighteenth fairway.

The 18th fairway.


Northampton Golf Club. Kettering Road eighteen hole layout.

Above is the layout of the Kettering Road course.


Thanks to Martin Izzard for his permission to use the above images. Taken from his book Northampton Golf Club: The Competitive Golf Scene at Kettering Road and Harlestone 1969-2001. Copies are available price £20 from NGC.

Card of the course in the 1980s.

Hole Yards Hole Yards
1 430 10 164
2 305 11 322
3 161 12 385
4 439 13 331
5 480 14 167
6 497 15 390
7 134 16 333
8 391 17 197
9 421 18 455
Out 3258 Home 2744
    Out 3258
    Total 6002


Northampton Golf Club, Kettering Road. Location of the former golf course.

Location of the former Northampton course.