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Knock Golf Club, County Down. (1895 - 1920)

Founded in 1895.

The club moved to its current location at Summerfield in 1920.

The following is from the Belfast News-Letter Tuesday 2 April 1895. The golf club lately formed at Knock, in which there is already a large membership, have just had their links put in order. In addition to the course immediately adjoining the railway station, they have some excellent hazards, and cannot fail to prove a great attraction to city golfers. Arrangements for the opening of the course are being made by the president, the Hon Somerset Ward.

On Saturday 4 May 1895 the weather was magnificent for the opening of the Knock course, laid out on sixty acres of ground close to the railway station. Over 50 players representing leading Northern Ireland clubs assembled to play for the valuable prizes on offer.  The following Belfast News-letter report gives an interesting insight into golf and reporting of the time. Seldom has there in Ireland been seen such a turn-out of red coats, and seldom, too, was there such a bevy of ladies present on the links to witness the fortunes of the players. Add to this the red-capped heads of half a hundred caddies, quite a novelty. The Knock club, of which the Hon Somerset Ward DL, is president, has begun its career under extremely auspicious circumstances. Dr King-Kerr, the courteous and energetic secretary, will find himself pretty busy with people wishing to become members. The opening ceremony was performed by the president who was handed a club, and, making an excellent attempt, drove the ball a considerable distance. Immediately following the inaugural ceremony Mr Ward was presented with a beautiful silver-mounted cleek, which bore the following inscription “Presented to the Honourable Somerset Ward, president of the Knock Golf Club, on the occasion of the opening, 4th May 1895” Mr T R Webb, captain of the club, made the presentation. Dr King-Kerr stated that Sir William Quartus Ewart, Bart, and Mr Thomas Andrews, one of their vice-presidents, had written expressing their regret at being unable to be present. He also mentioned Mr Presho, another of their vice-presidents, who had subscribed £10 for the funds of the club. In conclusion, he proposed a vote of thanks to the visitors, coupling with it the names of Mr Mulholland and Mr Hubert Webb, the Irish golf champion. After the opening ceremony, play commenced, with particular interest in the pairing of Mr H Webb and Mr James Woodside. The former, who holds the Irish Championship, provided the lowest score of the day. The competition however, being a handicap one, Mr Webb did not come in for a prize. His score was as follows; 7,4,5,6,4,5,3,5,4 – 43 and 4,4,6,5,3,4,4,5,4 – 39.

Following are the net scores under 100; T Stevenson (handicap 21) 74net; Rev M W McKean (24) 76; J McIlveen (18) 76; J Bell (13) 77; W H Phillips (18) 78; W Topping (25) 78; O B Webb (11) 78; G Combe (4) 79; H J Johnston (10) 79; R Patton (17) 79; H E Reade (6) 80; N Charley (7) 80; A W Agnew (30) 81; Harry Smith (30) 81; W H Webb (0) 82; R Cromie (24) 82; H Gregg (4) 83; R Woodside (7) 83; T Rutherford (22) 85; P H Charley (18) 86; H Agnew (14) 87; J W Blackwood (25) 87; M Turnbull (30) 87; H Glendinning (28) 88; W R Stitt (30) 88; S Wilson jun (10) 89; J S Woodside (8) 91; H Herdman (18) 92; J M Calder (30) 92; R Morrison (18) 93; J F W Hodges (12) 93; W Secton (21) 93; J Lytle (24) 94; J Lowry (25) 97.

The players spoke highly of the course, and all considered the greens to be in very good order. The frequent burn hazards added greatly to the enjoyment of the course.

Following are the monthly medal results played during 1895; May, George Cumming (28 handicap) 96net; June, H C Smith (25) 76net; July, J Calder (25) 76net.

Result of the Captain’s Cup; June, J Calder (25) and H C Smith (25) 81net; July, J W Blackwood (21) 82net.

Result of the medal played on 19 October 1895; J F Peddie, 85-17-68; H J Johnston, 87-10-77; Geo Todd, 96-16-80; J King Kerr; 119-30-89; J Buchanan, 125-30-95; D G Caldwell, 137-25-112.

Result of the monthly competition for the Captain’s Cup for November 1895; R Patton, 94-15-79; J F Peddie, 97-17-80; H J Johnston, 91-10-81; J Buchanan, 117-30-87; T Rutherford, 110-18-92.

Below is the result of an 18-hole match played on the Knock course against Ormeau. A couple of interesting points were made in the report. Mr J A Dickson completed the first nine holes of his match in 35, a record for the course, 4,4,4,4,4,3,4,5,3. Two of the young Knock players, Walter Forde and George Watson, “who have only handled the sticks for three or four months, were in fine form, and it may be expected that their names will appear in the next competition for the Irish Championship”

Knock Golf Club   Ormeau Golf Club  
R T Webb 0 W Jackson 2
G L Harvey 7 J McIlveen 0
W J Johnstone 0 J A Dickson 5
J F Peddie 0 R Woodside 4
J Lytle 0 Mr Hodges 8
Geo Watson 5 W T Seeton 0
Geo Todd 4 T Stevenson 0
Walter Forde 9 J K Christie 0
A Fiskin Porter 0 R Thompson 5
J Buchanan 0 James Clarke 7
J M Calder 8 A Wadsworth 0
T Rutherford 0 R Morrison 0
  33   31

From the Nisbet's Golf Yearbook 1905; Instituted 1894; Membership of 170; Station at Knock quartet of a mile; Hon. secretary, C Hill; Captain, Dr. J E Whyte; Entrance, £2/5s and subs £1/11s/6d; Nine-holes; Amateur record, 66; Visitors 1s a day, Saturdays, 2s. There is a good clubhouse.

Also listed was the Knock Ladies' Golf Club (earlier foundation date and likely had a separate course); Instituted 1893; Membership of 50; Stations at Neill's Hill and Knock both half a mile; Secretary - Miss Forde, Shandon Park, Knock; Captain, Mrs Webb; Entrance fee £1/1s and subs 10s/6d; Nine-holes; Amateur record - Miss Forde, 89; Terms for visitors 1s a day, 2s/6d a week, 3s/9d a fortnight, 6s/3d a month.

Following WW1 the club was keen to find a new home. The newspaper report below gives the first indication of its intention.


Knock Golf Club. The clubs search for a new home following WW1.

From The Belfast News Letter Wednesday 17 December 1919. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the railway station which adjoined the former course.