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Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. (1890 - WW2)

The club was Founded in 1890.

The course was situated on the outskirts of Dunham Park with a subsoil of sand ensuring good lies on the fairways. It was described as a good and testing nine-hole course with a SSS of 75 (73 in the 1940s). The principal hazards were artificial sand bunkers a pond and various trees. Club membership averaged about 160 throughout. Stations at Bowdon and Altrincham were 2miles away and Dunham Massey 1 mile. It cost 2/- for a cab from any of the stations pre-WW1. Sunday play was not allowed until after WW2.

Report on the new club in October 1890.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Report on the new club in October 1890.

The Field Saturday 18 October 1890. Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Bowdon Golf Club had a very unusual motto; “Golf Is Not Agriculture.”


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Masssey, Altrincham. Club button.

Bowdon Golf Club button showing the club crest and motto.


Result of the October 1890 monthly competition. Mr H Ransome, who came in first with 84 net, was unfortunately disqualified owing to "an error in play" consequently Mr Cyril Ransome secured the win with 88 net, Rev H W Crozier was second.

Entry from The Golfing Annual Vol. V 1891-92:-

"Instituted July 1890; Entrance Fee, £2/2s; Annual Subscription, £1/10s; Number of Members, 150; Captain, F V Williams; Council - S W Gillett, J Pattison, T C Morgan; Hon. Secretary - T Crewick Oliver, 6 Laurel Mount, Bowdon; Green, Dunham Village; Green-keeper and Professional, Thomas Gourlay.

Prize Winners in 1891; Hon. Secretary's Medal, for eight monthly competitions from February to September - Rev. W M B Lutener, 76 net; Club Championship (scratch) - J S Scott, 177 for 36-holes; Captain's Cup (handicap) - F C Morgan; Killick Gold Medal (handicap limit 18) - T D Cummins, 98 net. 

The green record for two rounds is 69 by Gourlay, the resident professional, in July 1891; the amateur record is 84 by F C Morgan, in April in the same year.

The course is situated at Dunham Village. There is excellent accommodation at the Unicorn Hotel, Altrincham, or the Stamford Arms, Bowdon. The course originally eighteen, now consists of nine-holes of about a mile and three quarters in length and is laid out on undulating ground. During the past year the putting greens have been enlarged and kept in good order by constant coatings of sand and special attention has been paid to the turf throughout, good lies being in consequence the rule rather than the exception. A number of artificial sand bunkers have been made wherever natural hazards were deficient, and the round is now sufficiently sporting for the most exacting player. The membership of the club has steadily increased, and as soon as the present limit is reached it is proposed to raise the entrance fee to five guineas. The professional is in attendance daily at the clubhouse, which is on the green."   

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 5 September 1891; T W Killick, 121-36-85; F Ransome, 97-7-90.

Competition result from October 1891.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Competition result from October 1891.



In the monthly medal played on Saturday 3 June 1893 Mr F C Morgan returned the best gross score ever returned in competition over the Dunham course, result as follows; F C Morgan, 82-2-80; T D Cummins, 88-6-82; F Platt-Diggins, 99-16-83.

Below is the result of a club match played at Cheadle on Saturday 17 June 1893.

Cheadle Golf Club   Bowdon Golf Club  
J Merry 1 H Holden 0
R H Prestwick 0 F C Morgan 1
D H Greenwood 0 W G Clegg 3
C D Milne 1 Rev T Pym Williamson 0
F Bindloss 0 S W Gillett 4
J M Easton 8 C N Wolff 0
J H Milne 0 E Withington 6
Rev F A Macdona 0 S Smelt 2
O G Mosley 0 T C Oliver 0
H Wilson 0 W Mowat 6
  10   22

Result of the monthly medal held on Saturday 12 August 1893; N Carlisle, 94-10-84; R S Boddington, 101-16-85; E Withington, 94-7-87. F K Morgan, 83 scratch; G H Wolff, 94-6-88; P J Worsley, 106-18-88; H F Ransome, 99-10-89; S W Gillett, 94-4-91; Rev T Pym Williamson, 96-4-92; N McIver, 105-12-93; W Mowat, 104-10-94; R M MacLaren, 109-14-95; J H Myrtle, 115-20-95; R Sykes, 128-30-98. 

Competition result from August 1893, leading scores; S Smelt, 95 - 10 - 85; W Withington, 95 - 7 - 88; S W Gillett, 94 - 4 - 90; T P Williamson, 94 - 4 - 90; G Worthington, 100 - 10 - 90; R D Maclaren,104 - 14 - 90; R Craig, 107 - 14 - 93; R M Meath113 - 20 - 93; W S Boddington, 109 - 14 - 95; T C Oliver, 108 - 10 - 98.

Below is the result of the monthly medal held over the lengthened course at Dunham Village for the first time on Saturday 2nd September 1893.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Result of the medal played over the long course September 1893.

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Saturday 9 September 1893. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


Results of competitions played over Christmas 1893.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Competition results from Christmas 1893.



Result of the Captain’s Cup played in January 1894, due to the frost the ground was “as hard as iron” There were 26 competitors, following are the leading scores; S W Gillett, 95 – 4 – 91; E Withington, 100 – 6 – 94; T Muirhead, 102 – 8 - 94; T D Cummins, 96 – 1 – 95;W K Craig, 110 – 13 – 97; Rev T P Williamson, 103 – 4 – 99; R D MacLaren, 133 – 14 – 99; F C Morgan, 100- scratch.

Report on the annual meeting in July 1894.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Report on the annual meeting in July 1894.



The monthly medal was played on Saturday 4 August 1894, leading scores; M Withington, 87-3-84; G Worthington, 95-10-85; T Pym Williamson, 93-6-87; G W Moultrie, 99-12-87; E Withington, 95-6-89; W M Neild, 107-18-89; S W Gillett, 94-2-92; F Heywood, 100-8-92; R Sykes, 110-18-92; W S Mainprice, 107-14-93; J Boyd, 114-20-94; R D V MacLaren, 109-14-95; F W Ryecroft, 112-16-96; G Shorland Ball, 105-8-97; W Mowat, 108-10-98. There were 26 competitors.  

Bowden Golf Club, Dunham Massey. The Staffurth trophy.

At the Spring Meeting in 1895 the above trophy, presented by H Staffurth, was won by S W Gillett.


Bowden Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altincham. Samuel W Gillett, trophy winner..

Portrait of Samuel W Gillett, secretary of the club in the 1890-1900s. This picture would have been one of many of the prominent officers and members displayed in the clubhouse. Thanks to J A C W (Tony) Gillett, grandson of Samuel W Gillett, for supplying and allowing us to use the above images.


Below are the results of a match played on Saturday 23 March 1895 between the Bowdon and Wilmslow Golf Clubs, the first teams playing at Bowdon and the second at Wilmslow.

First team.

Bowdon Golf Club   Wilmslow Golf Club  
F C Morgan 0 C S Hoare 3
H Holden 8 A N Cumming 0
S W Gillett 2 W W Barlow 0
C H Occleston 9 Sir F Forbes Adam 0
E Withington 0 J A Tweedale 0
A G Hogg 3 T A Bradley 0
Rev T Pym Williamson 3 R A Bradley 0
T Muirhead 0 H G Langley 1
  25   4

Second team.

Wilmslow Golf Club   Bowdon Golf Club  
G Bickham 1 C H Wolff 0
R R Schofield 4 Rev Wilson Cowie 0
J H Milne 5 G Shorland Ball 0
J A Hutton 0 F Heywood 7
J K Ford 0 S Smelt 1
P Swanwick 0 C W Dudley 4
F Godlee 0 E C H Wolff 8
J J Brickhill 12 James Boyd 0
  22   20

Result of a one-sided club match in favour of Bowdon played at Wilmslow on Saturday 18 May 1895. M Withington had a splendid gross score of 74 (35+39), S W Gillett and E Withington recorded scores of 80 and W G Clegg 81.Mr Gillett went out in 36 but came back in 44.

Wilmslow Golf Club   Bowdon Golf Club  
C S Hoare 0 W Holden 3
A N Cumming 0 M Withington 5
J A Tweedale 0 W G Clegg 4
G Bickham 0 S W Gillett 7
H G Langley 0 E Withington 4
R R Schofield 0 C H Occleston 10
J Kent Ford 3 G S Hall 0
P Swanwick 0 T P Williamson jnr 6
  3   39

Busy week in July 1895.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Busy week in July 1895.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Busy week in July 1895.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Busy week in July 1895.



In April 1896 in the final of the Lindsell Worthington Challenge Cup T W Cummins beat H Holden 5 and 3.

Below is the result of the December 1896 monthly medal.

H Holden 84 +3 87 J H Brancker 113 19 94
Dr Duggan 102 14 88 Mr Wilson Cowie 104 9 95
F C Morgan 87 +2 89 R Sykes 109 14 95
F Platt-Higgins M.P 107 18 89 W R Craig 102 5 97
T Muirhead 97 8 89 S Smelt 103 6 97
E Withington 94 2 92        

Result of the April 1897 medal; N Rycroft, 103-16-87; Rev W Cowie, 97-9-88; C M Dudley, 100-9-91; T Muirhead, 99-8-91; G Worthington, 101-10-91; C H Occleston, 93-2-91.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Layout of the nine-hole golf course at Bowdon.

Above is the layout of the nine-hole Bowdon golf course.


The trophy below is marked the “Lindsell Worthington Challenge Cup Memento.”


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Silver Trophy marked Bowdon Golf Club 1929.

Bowdon Golf Club Lindsell Worthington Trophy Memento dated 1898.


Report on the qualifiers for the above trophy in April 1898.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Qualifiers for the Lindsell Worthington Cup in April 1898.



In 1900 the secretary was S W Gillett. Course records were; amateur H B Waite 40, professional F K Weir 36. For two rounds (18 holes) H H Hilton 78.

Below is the result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 3 November 1900.

Dr Cooper 93 14 79 W Cowie 99 12 87
S Bridgford 87 6 81 C Scheu 109 22 87
J Brooke 99 18 81 J Boyd 109 22 87
W G Clegg 84 scr 84 E Withington 95 6 89
W Ryecroft 96 12 84 S Smelt 99 10 89
J B Duncan 100 15 85 C Atkinson 105 16 89
C Hopkinson 100 15 85 F Roylance 103 13 90
W B Edmonson 95 9 86        

Below is the result of a ladies’ match played at Bowdon against Worsley on Monday 28 October 1901.

Bowdon   Worsley  
Mrs Dallmeyer (Half) 0 Mrs MacLaren (Half) 0
Miss Bradbury 12 Mrs Albresht 0
Mrs Cobbett 1 Mrs Prestwich 0
Mrs Duggan 0 Miss Miniati 8
Mrs Wood 0 Mrs Schack Sommer 7
Mrs Ashe 1 Miss Arrowsmith 0
  14   15

In 1902 the secretary was still S W Gillett.

In 1903 the professional was Frank Kerr Weir, Dunham Massey; Secretary John H Brancker, jnr. 

The following is from the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook; Membership of 160; Hon. Secretary – C F Worrall, Long Croft, Altrincham; Captain – Richard Bock; Entrance Fee £5/5s and Subs £2/2s; Nine-holes; Professional F K Weir; Professional Record – F K Weir, 36; Amateur Record – H Holden, 37; Terms for Visitors – one free day, 2s per day (excluding Saturdays), 5s a week (excluding Saturdays), 5s for Saturdays (if no competition.) “The course is situated on the outskirts of Dunham Park. The subsoil is sand, and the lies are generally very good. There are only nine-holes, but they are a good length, twice round the course being a matter of 6,200 yards. The best holes are the 1st, 6th and the last. The 6th or “nest” hole required a long and accurate drive, which gave players a chance of reaching the green, which lay in a cup and was guarded on the left by a tree. The principal hazards are trees, artificial sand bunkers, a dyke pond and various trees.” – R O J Dallmeyer.  

The result below is from the fourth round of the Amateur Championship played at Royal Liverpool in May 1906. It is interesting to note that C H Alison was playing out of Bowdon Golf Club. Is this Hugh Alison the famous golf course architect? This is the only reference found so far of Alison having any attachment to Bowdon Golf Club. If anyone has any further information please let us know via the “Contact Us” facility on the website homepage.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Result from the Amateur Championship May 1906.


A match play competition for the captain’s prize, presented by Mr W G Clegg, was played on Saturday 19 May 1906. In the semi-finals; A G Hogg beat the Rev R M Gray by 5&4 and J Vincent Bock beat C F Worrall by 4&3. In the final Hogg (scratch) had to give Bock six strokes, a fine contest resulted. Unfortunately the final was played in torrential rain, making play difficult. The match was all square at the tenth, Hogg won the next three holes, but Bock, was playing well and won the following three, squaring the match at the sixteenth, the seventeenth was halved. On the eighteenth Hogg hit a good second shot, giving him a chance of a three. Bock played a poor approach shot but stymied Hogg with his fourth. Hogg played round the stymie and made four, winning the match and the cup.  

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 3 August 1907; C H Occleston, 82-1-81; H F Ransome, 90-6-84; A S Hogg, 89-4-85; H J Miller, 87-2-85; N P F Sandiford, 107-22-85; John Brooke, 103-16-87; W B Edmondson, 96-7-89.

In 1908 Miss Dallmeyer of Bowdon won the Manchester and District Ladies’ Golf Association Cup.

In 1909 the secretary was Charles F Worrall.

Result of the monthly stroke competition for January 1910; J W Botsford, 95-11-84; H N Nuttall, 93-8-85; W G Clegg, 85+1-86; B Atkinson, 101-14-87; J R Hepburn, 100-12-88; E M Lodge, 108-20-88; F W Roylance, 107-14-93; N P Sandiford, 111-16-95; P D Lodge, 118-18-100. 

Result of the February 1910 monthly competition; W M Neild, 96-15-81; A D Robertson, 91-7-84; S Bonnalie, 88-3-85; P D Lodge, 103-18-85; R D Maclaren, 99-11-88; B Atkinson, 104-14-90. 

In 1911  entry fees were £5/5/0 and Subs £2/2/0. Visitors were allowed one free day then 2/- a day (excluding Saturday), 5/- a week (excluding Saturday). 5/- for Saturday if no competition .

Below is the result of a ladies’ match played at Didsbury in September 1911. 

Didsbury Ladies' Golf Club   Bowdon Ladies' Golf Club  
Miss Adamson 1 Miss Roylance 0
Mrs Walsh 0 Mrs Ellis Briggs 1
Mrs Glassford 0 Mrs Spence 1
Miss Ashby 0 Miss Needham 1
Mrs A Norbury (half) 0 Miss Stafforth (half) 0
Miss Cunningham 0 Miss Duggan 1
  1   4


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. The golf course on the 1911 Ordnance Survey Map.

Ordnance Survey Map Revised 1907 to 1908 © Crown Copyright {year of publication 1911}


Following is the result of the December 1912 monthly bogey; C Paterson (14), 4down; D Drummond-Fraser (16), 4down; T Coventry (5), 5down; H F Ransome (8), 5down; C W Dudley (14), 5down; Geo Rhodes (20), 6down.

Miss Muriel Dodd (1892 – 1976) was a leading amateur golfer and a member of Bowdon Golf Club. She married Allan Macbeth in 1916. Amongst her achievements; Winner of the British Ladies Championship 1913 at Royal Lytham & St Annes and was runner-up in 1923 at Burnham; winner of the Canadian Ladies Championship in 1913; semi-finalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur 1n 1913; Cheshire Ladies Championship, 1922 and 1923, 1927 and 1932;  winner of the Indian Championship 1927; represented England in International matches 1913/14 and from 1920 to 1926.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Muriel Dodd Macbeth Ladies golf champion and member of Bowdon Golf Club.


In January 1913 the silver medal of the L.G.U was won by Miss Needham (19) with an aggregate of 83, the bronze medal won by Miss S Allen.

The bogey competition, played in March 1913, for the lady captain’s (Mrs Percy Cooper) prize was won by Miss Edith Needham with a score of 2up.

The club championship was played in April 1913. In the final H Holden beat P G D Haworth to win the Lindsell-Worthington Challenge Cup and memento.

The match play prize presented by the captain, Mr T Coventry, was played during the week ending Saturday 31 May 1913. In a keenly fought final Bertram Thomas defeated Claude Paterson at the 19th hole. Prizes were presented to the winner, runner-up and the losing semi-finalists, results as follows; Mr Thomas beat Mr Miller, 3&1; Mr Paterson beat Mr Haslam, 5&3.

Result of the monthly bogey played on Saturday 2 August 1913; A D Robertson (6) all square; A A Atherton (8) 2down; W M Nield (14) 3down; S Bridgford (1) 4down; P G D Howarth (3) 4down; H N Nuttall (5) 4down; C S Lewis (14) 4down.     

In 1914 entry fees had risen to £8/8/0 and subs £3/3/0.

Result of the 1914 gents January medal; T Coventry, 88-5-83; H H Reed, 99-15-84; H F Ransome, 93-8-85; A A Atherton, 95-8-87; A G Hogg, 87+1-88; P G D Haworth, 91-3-88; H J Miller89-scr-89; J Warburton, 103-14-89.

The March 1914 monthly qualifying competition for the prize presented by Mr Bertram Thomas, results as follows; A D Robertson, 84-5-79; H N Nuttall, 86-5-81; T Coventry, 87-4-83; L Holden, 83+1-84; J F D Spence, 96-12-84; J R Hepburn, 97-12-85; H J Miller, 86-scr-86; D D Fraser, 100-14-86; Geo Rhodes, 104-18-86; W Atkinson, 91-4-87; W M Shipman, 93-6-87; C F Worrall, 98-10-88; C W Dudley, 101-13-88; H F Ransome, 96-7-89; C E R Abbott, 107-18-89.  Bogey score was 80.


Bowden Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Captain's Cup 1914.

Thanks to John and Lizzie Wicks for providing the above image.


The inscription on the above cup states “Bowdon Golf Club – Captain’s Cup 1914 - Presented by H J Miller – Won by P G D Haworth.


  Secretary Professional/greenkeeper
1894-1919   F K Weir (p)
1919-40   J B Holt (p)
A Warburton (g)
1911 C F Worrall, Long Croft, Altrincham.  
1914 G W Bickham.  
1920s-30s G Percy Haworth, Bayfield House, Stamford Rd, Bowdon.  
1930s (late) J G Leaf, Church Bank, Bowdon.  
1940 W H Tuke, Park End, Dunham Massey.  
1947 G Buckley, Heather Lea, Green Walk, Bowdon. J B Holt (p) C Norcross (g)
1950s H Botham, 46 Wellington Road, Altrincham.  


  Course records
1911 H Holden (am) 36 F K Weir (pro) 35
1920s-40s H Holden (am) 73 professional (no name) 68


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. Location of the former course.

Location of the former Dunham Massey golf course.

Grid reference SJ73650,87840, co-ordinates 373650,387840.


A mixed foursomes competition was played at Bowdon in October 1921. If anyone has any information regarding the result and the names of the people who took part please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the Ladies Golf Championship at Burnham in May 1923 Mrs Allan Macbeth of Bowdon was beaten in the final by Miss Doris Chambers (Wirral) who won 2up.

The winner of the "Eve" monthly medal in October 1929 was Mrs K Tillie, 91-20-71. The scratch score was 76.

In June 1931 H L Holden (Bowdon) played for Cheshire against Yorkshire at Wallasey.

In May 1932 the "Brittania & Eve" monthly spoons were won by; Miss Dorothy G Shaw (Division 1 - handicaps 18 and under,) 91-17-74; Mrs Bryan Armitage (Division 2 - (handicaps over 18,) 100-28-72. The scratch score was 77.

A golf club invention by J B Holt, the Bowdon professional, in January 1933.


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. J B Holt the professional at Bowdon and his invention of a golf club.

Liverpool Echo Friday 13 January 1933.With thanks to Trinity Mirror. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. All rights reserved


In 1940 visitors’ fees on introduction were 2/6 a day, 3/6 Saturday, 5/- a week, 15/- a month, exclusive of  Saturdays.

Result of a ladies’ eclectic competition played in June 1940 for prizes given by Mrs Smalley in aid of the Salford Royal Hospital; Mrs J Barclay, 42-4-38; Mrs Smalley, 41-2¾-38¼; Mrs Wilson, 44-3¼-38¼; Mrs Harrison, 44-3-41; Miss Shipman, 44-2½-41½.

Thanks to Jane Wilson for providing the following information which accompanies the images below. “My father (W G Murray Wilson) was just out of military service. He was in the Royal Engineers during the war and after the war was seconded to the Intelligence Corps of the British Army to do counter sabotage work in Germany. (He was released from service 14 June 1947, but on leave from March to June.) He didn’t mention winning the cup in his memoirs  . However I remember him talking about winning the cup, he felt specially cheered on by the gallery/audience because he was a returning soldier (26 years old.) I don’t know the exact date he won it in 1947. As you can see his name was not inscribed on the cup. He grew up in Suffolk Road in Altrincham (about a mile as the crow flies) from the Bowdon golf course. In September 1947 he emigrated to Canada.”


Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. The Captain's Cup dated 1947 won by W G Murray Wilson.



Bowdon Golf Club, Dunham Massey, Altrincham. The Captain's Cup dated 1947 won by W G Murray Wilson.

The Captain’s Cup won in 1947 by W G Murray Wilson.


From 1947 to closure visitors’ fees had risen to 3/6 a day, Saturdays 7/6 (5/- with member).

The death was reported in July 1947 of James Bertram Holt, professional at the Bowdon Golf Club.

Bowdon Golf Club disappeared in the mid 1950s.

Thanks to Margaret Sykes of Gawsworth for her contribution regarding Bowden Golf Club “My husband ( a golfer of course) was a boy early in the war and used to cycle to Bowdon Golf Club, play a few holes when it was quiet, so had some knowledge of its demise. The course was ploughed up for agriculture around 1942. The land was owned by Lord Stamford. It’s also possible that POWs were billeted on the land”