Woodsome Hall Golf Club in Huddersfield are celebrating their centenary. Here is a look back at their unique history and what they're planning for the year ahead.
Over 200 members marked the start of the centenary celebrations at Woodsome Hall Golf Club recently at an event that included raising a centenary flag, burying a time capsule and unveiling a centenary stone.
An award-winning brass band entertained the guests, while over 60 golfers played in a special ‘hickory golf’ competition.
Newly compiled archives with over 300 items from the past were on show and a 104 page book, ‘100 years of memories’ was produced for the very special occasion.
A vision of Woodsome Hall
Woodsome’s history started on October 13, 1921, when a small group met at The George Hotel in Huddersfield to discuss the possibility of developing a golf course at the 16th Century Hall, which is now the impressive Clubhouse.
The man responsible for the meeting was Major Alfred Ernest Yates Trestrail. A lawyer and sportsman, he moved to the Huddersfield area to work and thought that the Woodsome estate would be a great place to build a golf course.
His idea was approved and a committee was formed, with the first committee meeting held just eight days later.
The first committee meeting appointed a golf professional, Mr William Button of Redcar, on a salary of £3.10.0 a week with accommodation in the Hall along with free fuel and light. Life membership of the Club was fixed at 50 guineas for Gentlemen and 30 guineas for Ladies.
William the 6th Earl of Dartmouth agreed to lease the house, out-buildings, and 134 acres of land to the Club for £467 a year. He also accepted the position of Honorary President of the Club.
Things moved very quickly, with as many as 30 men working on the development of the course. Incredibly, just a few months after the club had been formed, on February 3, 1922 it was reported that ‘given favourable weather, the whole of the rough work of construction, will be finished within a fortnight’.
Thirteen holes came into play at Easter 1922 and in May 1923 the full eighteen holes were opened up for play. On June 23, 1923 the formal opening was performed, with Woodsome Hall Professional Button playing Arthur Day, the Professional at Ganton.
Woodsome Hall and grounds were eventually bought from the Earl of Dartmouth by the club in June 1939 for £10,000.
Woodsome has welcomed many famous golfers, including Bobby Locke, American Ryder Cup Captain Walter Hagen, British Ryder Cup Captain Dai Rees, Peter Alliss, Ian Woosnam and many more.
The Centenary Year celebrations
Club Captain Mark Fielding is looking forward to a busy Centenary year:
“We have a number of special events planned throughout the year and we have a great story to tell, not just about the past 100 years of golf, but also about our fantastic clubhouse that has seen many more centuries of history. We are very proud of our past and in great shape for the future.”
On the golfing honours boards in the clubhouse there are the names of 876 individual members who have played in the 3179 board competitions over the 100 year period.
The club now provides two large practice areas for the 700 members and a Dormy House has eight twin, en-suite bedrooms for guests staying for either a social function or a golf break. The forward-looking club runs its own Bio Mass Boiler and has also installed a bore hole which provides irrigation for the course.
The 16th Century Grade 1 listed clubhouse hosts hundreds of social functions throughout each year and the first wedding ceremony was held at the club in October last year, offering couples a fantastic venue where they can hold their special day.
100 Years of Memories - Centenary Book
Woodsome Hall have kindly shared with Women & Golf some of the earlier items in the book that specifically related to the ladies at the club. After six months, the club had 260 members of which 44 were women, so they have played an integral part of the club from the very start.
We're sure you'll find some of these entries quite amusing...
March 1923 - The ladies are allowed to obtain a ping pong table.
March 1928 - The heating apparatus installed in the greenhouse at the cost of £18 was removed and transferred to the ladies locker rooms as it was needed urgently.
May 1928 - The ladies committee request permission to install hot water apparatus and a footbath in the lower and upper locker rooms at their own expense
November 1928 - There were a total of 682 members, 326 of them ladies.
July 1931 – Mrs Smith, the first Housekeeper, leaves and is presented with £15 by the Captain and £5 by the Lady Captain
May 1935 - The Committee discuss admitting ladies into the Billiard room. The decision is not to allow admittance.
February 1937 - The ladies complain that the locker room is damp and cold. It is agreed to extend the central heating to that area at a cost of £16.00.
April 1939 - Member Miss Margaret Mitchell wins the Championship of Ceylon.
June 1946 - Lady members are reported for picking and taking raspberries at the back of the Hall without offering to pay for the fruit. It was declared that ‘this practice should cease immediately’ and that fruit taken should be paid for in the kitchen.
May 1952 – The ladies section request the creation of a putting green, but no action is taken
October 1963 – At the ladies request, an outside toilet is built in the corner of the courtyard at a cost of £170
March 1967 – The first match between the men and ladies is planned.
October 1970 – The Lady Captain writes to the Committee thanking them for the provision of a parking space.
January 1972 – The Ladies section present the Club with flowering cherry trees, azaleas and rhododendrons to mark Jubilee year.
Because of that first meeting in October 1921, thousands of members and visitors have enjoyed millions of rounds of golf and countless memorable occasions, all because of one man’s vision and his journey to work!
To find out more about Woodsome Hall Golf Club please visit their website.