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Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club

The Grosvenor Golf Club held its inaugural event in June 1906, having been formed a few months earlier by a mixed group of card players from a Whist Club bearing that name. At this meeting 24 men and 27 ladies took part in a shotgun start testifying to the social nature of the club. Within six months the name had changed to Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club, later to be affectionately known as S&A. The 9 hole course was built at Birkdale on a 32 acre triangle of land bounded by the Liverpool & Southport Railway line and what is now Blundell Drive and Conyers Avenue. Like many courses from that era the layout was rudimentary with jam pots for holes and rails of posts and wires to keep farmer Lloyd’s cattle off the greens. Banks of earth several feet high, known as “cops”, were retained as golf hazards which also helped to prevent the sandy soil from being blown away in the wind.

The instant success encouraged the Committee to seek a new venue to accommodate the increasing numbers and to formalise the structure of the club. A suitable piece of land had been identi fied on the Weld-Blundell Estate and George Lowe, the professional at Lytham, was paid a fee of ten guineas as Architect for the new course. A Limited Liability Company was formed and at the first General Meeting in February 1907 Mr F W Smith was elected Captain and later that year his wife was elected the first Lady Captain.

The new 18 hole course, 5,600 yards long, was opened on 14 May 1907 with a Whit mixed foursome competition. It was built on approximately 100 acres of land, of which part is on the present site. The railway once more provided the western boundary with the inland boundary dictated by development along Liverpool Road South. The northern boundary was close to Sandon Road and the southern boundary was level with Birkdale Cemetery. A tall ridge of sandhills at this point marks the signature hole of S&A, the present 16th hole. On the proposal of Hobart Gumbley it was decided to leave this ridge as a hazard and to create a huge bunker using railway sleepers to face it. The blind second shot over “Gumbleys” has ruined many a scorecard and will no doubt continue to do so for years to come.

By August 1908 a new two-storey clubhouse had been constructed at the northern end of the course in Liverpool Road. However, in October 1921 the members were shocked to learn from Southport Corporation that they planned to extend Waterloo Road to join up with Liverpool Road, thus isolating some land and the clubhouse from the rest of the course. Fortunately, compensatory land at the southern end was available and the 18 holes measuring 6,350 yards were restored by September 1923. The old clubhouse was converted into two houses and a new bungalow style clubhouse was built at Bradshaws Lane. The club survived subsequent loss of land for houses but eventually was able to secure the future tenure when on 29 June 1964 the members bought the freehold for £27,919.

In 1933 the club hosted the Ryder Cup in which Great Britain and Ireland beat the team from the USA but when the match returned to S&A in 1937 the result went in favour of the Americans. Dr David Marsh won national recognition as President of the EGU and Captain of the R&A and has received the Gerald Micklem Award for services to golf. As a founder member of the Society S&A has had three Captains, Tom Barker (1957/58), Stan Dickinson (1982/83) and in 2008 Eddie Williams became the Centenary Captain.

1907 F W Smith
1908  S J F Murphy 
1909  D J Mulholland 
1910  A Williamson 
1911  E Blackburn 
1912  W Parry 
1913  T Mawdsley 
1914  G Boycott 
1915  A Appleton 
1916  H W Andrews 
1917  W J Yates 
1918  G Roscoe 
1919  F S Yates 
1920  F Lomax 
1921  F T Hargreave 
1922  J Crompton 
1923  E Blackburn Jnr 
1924  E C Taylor 
1925  T S McKenzie 
1926  R J Ridout 
1927  A P Douglas 
1928  J Lawrie
1929  H Stevens 
1930  H Stevens 
1931  A T Marcroft 
1932  A T Marcroft 
1933  P Carter 
1934  E P Taylor 
1935  J Marshall 
1936  H Prestt 
1937  H Prestt 
1938  F Crewe Roden 
1939  W Bloor 
1940  W Bloor 
1941  A Bradley Dixon 
1942  A B Dawson 
1943  F Orr 
1944  L Birkett 
1945  L Birkett 
1946  J A Sloan
1947  J A Sloan 
1948  J Moore 
1949  G S Butler 
1950  T W Barker 
1951  I G W Newington 
1952  J T Watts 
1953  H Cameron Booth 
1954  E C Hoesli 
1955  J J Smith 
1956  A R Ball 
1957  C S Cullen 
1958  F Brewer 
1959  H Murphy 
1960 J Bonar Wood  
1961  H Standish 
1962  L Bowan 
1963  A E Charnley 
1964  T M Bunting 
1965  R F Hardiman 
1966  C B Smith 
1967 D M Marsh
1968  C G Erskine 
1969  W E Wilding 
1970  J R Gregory 
1971  S Dickinson 
1972  J R Walker 
1973  E Simms 
1974  D E Ritchie 
1975  G A Wade 
1976  W J Harris 
1977  J G Graham 
1978  J Brennan
1979  J V Cubbon 
1980  J Wilson 
1981  E J Williams 
1982  R W Preston 
1983  M Edwards  
1984  H Beddows 
1985  R N Backhouse 
1986  M A Bennett 
1987  J V O'Rourke 
1988  A R Greaves 
1989  P W Lennon 
1990  P S Joyce 
1991  H F Waterson 
1992  I White 
1993  P Wilding 
1994  K Ritchie 
1995  S F Jackson 
1996  D J Ball 
1997  W P Whinnett 
1998  L D Morgan 
1999  M Attenborough 
2000  R Draper 
2001  A J Ravey 
2002  C B Walker 
2003  G O Thomas 
2004  G C Fisher 
2005  E Cheesman 
2006  P B Gwynne 
2007  S J Bond 
2008  N Leadbetter 
2009  R W A Underwood 
2010  P Jackson 
2011  D J Hindle 
2012  J MacLachlan
2013  G B Gordon 
2014  J C Moorcroft 
2015  K Davis 
2016  D E Walker 
2017  D Rich 
2018  M J Bennett 
2019  P D Darlington 

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