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West Derby Golf Club

The billiard room of New Heys, the Sandfield Park home of Mr Charles Petrie, was the venue on 10 July 1895 for the first meeting of the founding fathers of West Derby Golf Club. The eleven men who attended decided to form a Provisional Committee with Mr T L Davies as Honorary Secretary. The land selected for their 9 hole course belonged to Col. Hollinshead Blundell of Deysbrook Hall and a lease was agreed for 50 acres between Yew Tree Lane and the public footpath on the Deysbrook Hall Estate. Mr H J Chisholm, a founding member, is credited with being the principal architect of the original 9 holes, which were opened for play a year later on 29 July 1896. Mr Petrie, later knighted and a Lord Mayor of Liverpool, was elected Captain for the first two years followed by Mr Chisholm for the next two years.

By 1897 the membership comprised 100 men and 70 ladies and in the following year the Rt. Hon. Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, accepted the invitation to be the club’s first President. The Committee allocated £100 for the building of a wooden pavilion and a shed for bicycles. Albert Haskins volunteered his services as groundsman, professional and coach, promising to do the tasks for no pay as he believed that he could make a living from sales, repairs and golf lessons. He was to serve the Club for 40 years until his retirement in 1936 when he was made an honorary member for life. His successor, Harry Rudd, almost matched this with 38 years of service until he retired in 1974.

On four occasions fires caused damage to the clubhouse, the most serious being shortly after the end of the first World War. Having survived a Government decree in 1917 that the course must be ploughed, the clubhouse was totally destroyed by fire in 1919. The insurance proceeds enabled a new clubhouse to be built but this too was lost to a fire in 1929. Twelve months later a new clubhouse was opened and is still serving the members, albeit having been extended and refurbished over the years. By the time the new clubhouse was opened in 1930 the course had been extended to 18 holes. A series of land deals between 1927 and 1931 enabled the club to purchase additional adjacent land and also secure the future by buying the original 50 acres. Messrs Kirkwood, Medrington & Hassell were the architects appointed to design the new course which was officially opened on 11 April 1931.

West Derby had its share of action during the second World War when a number of barrage balloons and a Royal Artillery gun battery were sited on the course. On the night of 21/22 December 1940 the battery fired 842 rounds against enemy aircraft out of a Brigade total of 11,200 rounds. The post-war period in the fifties was not without its problems when the club was threatened with a compulsory purchase order for a major part of the land. Having survived this threat the club embarked on a visionary tree planting scheme in the sixties with over 4,000 specimens covering 60 species. These have now matured to provide a course that is well defined and a pleasurable test of golf in a parkland setting.

As a founder member of the Society West Derby were well represented at the inaugural meeting in 1908. The Club has provided three Society Captains, Gerald Papworth (1952/53), Tom Wolfenden (1989/90), and the current (2014/15) Society Captain Alan Morris. A trophy to commemorate Tom’s service to the Society is played for by the “over 65s” at the Autumn Meeting.

1896 Sir C Petrie
1897 Sir C Petrie
1898 H J Chisolm
1899 H J Chisolm
1900 D Ackerley
1901 G Nickson
1902 G Bowler
1903 R Hall
1904 T Henshaw
1905 W Grace
1906 V Boyle
1907 H Ferns
1908 Dr Cooke
1909 R Fitzgerald
1910 M Brown
1911 T Eaton-Jones
1912 W C Manifold
1913 G Barclay
1914 W W Robinson
1915 W W Robinson
1916 T Henshaw
1917 E J Parker
1918 E J Parker
1919 J H Glover
1920 J H Glover
1921 W F Holloway
1922 R Nixon
1923 V S Cousins
1924 R L Burns
1925 W Baines
1926 W H Johnson
1927 W Montgomery
1928 W Montgomery
1929 W Montgomery
1930 W Montgomery
1931 W Montgomery
1932 G O Papworth
1933 T V Williams
1934 W O Rushman
1935 J Tomkinson
1936 W R Irving
1937 F Jackson
1938 H A Lee
1939 J W Clare
1940 J W Clare
1941 J W Clare
1942 J W Clare
1943 J W Clare
1944 W G Williamson
1945 W G Williamson
1946 L A Gow
1947 A Williams
1948 TV Platt
1949 A E Mackenzie
1950 A E Mackenzie
1951 C A Molyneux
1952 J L White
1953 G S Robinson
1954 W J Chisnall
1955 M A Reece
1956 M A Reece
1957 F M Pollock
1958 E C Bolton
1959 E C Bolton
1960 H McMath
1961 A Phillips
1962 O Gerrard
1963 W C K Owen
1964 J A Taylor
1965 J Cruces
1966 J E Rogers
1967 R L Bennett
1968 G E Ewing
1969 J Marshall
1970 G E Crawford
1971 L R Clare
1972 L R Clare
1973 A Bannister
1974 E J Horton
1975 W Brewer
1976 R H Owen
1977 H C Wilde
1978 T B Wolfenden
1979 I W Richards
1980 K Jones
1981 J Hale
1982 J F Donoghue
1983 A S Waters
1984 E M Geoghegan
1985 C B Townsend
1986 S M Williams
1987 R Weinberg
1988 P A Rawcliffe
1989 P B Bedwin
1990 W H Waters
1991 A J Winthorpe
1992 H J Perris
1993 F E Lucas
1994 P T Sarsfield
1995 A F Edmondson
1996 G H Low
1997 I G Walker
1998 J Kennedy
1999 F P Gerhard
2000 L A Rogers
2001 A J Morris
2002 A Houghton
2003 J Lucas
2004 P Bennett
2005 S B Upham
2006 M G Jones
2007 D F Thompson
2008 G H Wallace
2009 B N Reid
2010 E N Kinsey
2011 R G Chapman
2012 D F Yates
2013 J Leight
2014 D H Sanders
2015 W J Mainwaring
2016 P Holland
2017  G Williams 
2018  J S Whewell
2019  J J Cavanagh 

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