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Hesketh Golf Club

Southport Golf Club was founded on 3 January 1885 at the instigation of Captain J Hardy Welsby “and a few friends”. He was one of 29 founder members some of whom, including John Dun a Past Captain of Royal Liverpool, were members of other clubs. Membership and involvement in a number of clubs was a common feature of the early golfers and part of the mechanism that resulted in the spread of the game. The land for the course at Marshside was leased from Colonel Edward Fleetwood Hesketh and the 12 holes were soon increased to 18 later in the year.

Until 1891 the course was known as the New Inn Links, named after the nearby Inn which provided a club room for the members. The golfers had to negotiate their way around the scattered cottages of fishermen and shrimpers and along the tracks on which they travelled and a further impediment were squatters who inhabited the nearby hamlet of Little Ireland. They numbered about 500 and lived in slum dwellings situated near to the present clubhouse and the problems they created motivated the club to move inland to Moss Lane in 1892. The Moss Lane Links were leased from the Scarisbrick Estates, Charles Scarisbrick having been one of the original founding members. The new course had 18 holes, one being a monster 546 yards, and membership flourished with a ceiling of 250 members imposed in 1894.

However, by 1901 the Hesketh family had sorted out their problems at Marshside having cleared out the unwelcome squatters. The Hesketh Estate decided to restore the former New Inn Links to its former glory with additional land and a new clubhouse and Charles Hesketh Bibby Hesketh issued a prospectus setting out his plans. Furthermore, he invited the Southport Club to join him back at Marshside and despite having signed a new lease at Moss Lane the members agreed to return to their original home. Thus in 1902 the name was changed to Hesketh Golf Club using the splendid clubhouse sitting on top of the old beach cliff which still serves the present members, albeit somewhat extended over the years.

The 1920s were troubled times for the club following several attempts by the landlord to sell the land. The course was saved when Southport Corporation bought the land in 1936 and granted a 99 year lease to the club. There were conditions attached but the club survived and the future was finally secured by a later 999 year lease. There have been a number of changes to the course layout over the years but the essential links features have remained.

In 1908 the possibility of a Golf Union for Lancashire had been debated and this led to 29 clubs deciding to go ahead and form the Union. The inaugural Lancashire Championship was played at Hesketh in 1910, the winner being Hesketh’s G F Smith. The brothers Arnold and Harry Bentley also played 82 times for the County and 70 times for England. The club played an even bigger part on the national scene when a Past-Captain, J Rayner Batty, convened a meeting in 1924 that was to lead to the formation of the English Golf Union and also to his appointment as its first President. Derek Holden, a twice Captain of Hesketh in 1967 and 1985, served as President of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs in 1997.

As a founder member of the Society, Hesketh has provided four Captains in Bryce Hanmer (1950/51), Norman Thorpe (1970/71), Peter Jones (1993/94) and Colin Roberts (2016/17).

1885 J H Welsby 
1886  J Hardy Welsby 
1887  J Hardy Welsby 
1888  J Hardy Welsby 
1889  H McNicholl 
1890  T O Clinning 
1891  C Scarisbrick 
1892  J Betham 
1893  W E Buckley 
1894  W E Buckley 
1895  W E Buckley 
1896 C J Mulleneux 
1897  W E Bland 
1898  J Morison 
1899  W Thompson 
1900  R O'C N Deane 
1901  D C Anderson 
1902  T Aitken 
1903  C H B Hesketh 
1904  G F Smith 
1905  R A Nicholson 
1906  C Smith 
1907  W Hendserson 
1908  H E Mason 
1909  A H Leech 
1910  J W Wilson 
1911  H J Walker 
1912  A S Mead 
1913  A S Mead 
1914  J Brown 
1915  J Brown 
1916  J Brown 
1917  W Hodge 
1918  W Hodge 
1919  A E Evans 
1920  J R Batty 
1921  J R Batty 
1922  H Walker 
1923  F W Carter 
1924  W Hodge 
1925  W K Ball 
1926  W K Ball 
1927  E H Q Henriques 
1928  R A J Berry 
1929  R A J Berry 
1930  J C Taylor 
1931 R A Barnes 
1932  S Whittaker 
1933  WG Radcliffe 
1934  W R Gregson 
1935  W R Gregson 
1936  T Goffey 
1937  T Goffey 
1938  B M Hanmer 
1939  B M Hanmer 
1940  B M Hanmer 
1941  B M Hanmer 
1942  T M Mawdsley 
1943  T M Mawdsley 
1944  J D Ashworth 
1945 R G Taylor
1946 R G Taylor
1947 W Morris
1948 A L Ashton
1949 J S Hollings
1950 J N Howarth
1951 F H Duncan 
1952 S Bradshaw 
1953 A L Bentley 
1954 J L Braithwaite 
1955 D C MacNicol 
1956 F H Lomax
1957 A C Radcliffe 
1958 H C Crowther 
1959 T N Thorpe
1960 P K Horrocks 
1961 L Wells
1962  L Wells 
1963  T N Thorpe 
1964  R F Legat 
1965  D Wood 
1966  R C Terry 
1967  D T Holden 
1968  R G WElls 
1969  A L Blackhurst
1970  J R Craig 
1971  B W Pierpoint 
1972  C Grindlay 
1973  F S Martin 
1974  N Webb 
1975  W H Kernahan 
1976   A R Wilson 
1977  W P Howard 
1978  R Mentha 
1979  C Rawstron 
1980  J Harris 
1981  P D Carroll 
1982  M W Molyneaux 
1983  J D Owen 
1984  J Fearn 
1985  D T Holden 
1986  P Dougherty 
1987  G C Farrow 
1988  P W C Jones 
1989  R H Foster 
1990  A J Hartley 
1991  R Abram 
1992  P F Butterfield 
1993  E J Usher 
1994  D C Cobham 
1995  H J Foster 
1996  C Ryding 
1997  E Oldroyd 
1998  T Walton 
1999  K Brady 
2000 P Griffith 
2001  J A Fleetwood 
2002  M G Cruickshank 
2003  M A Williams 
2004  A F Roe 
2005  R E Price 
2006  A Rodwell 
2007  A S Tilbrook 
2008  R Fletcher 
2009  C B Roberts 
2010  R W Reeve 
2011 D Harrison
2012 S W Mentha
2013  J McInerney 
2014  R W Stevens 
2015  P M Killick 
2016  S S Jones 
2017 J B Watkins
2018  P I Powell 
2019  I H Garden

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