In November 1911 a decision was made by a few local gentlemen to form a golf club in Worksop. Previously, golfers had had to rely on the Duke of Portland’s private course at Welbeck, which had been in existence since 1902 or Lindrick Golf Club which had been opened a few years earlier in 1891 when it was called the Sheffield and District Golf Club. Some 36 acres of land, to the north of Mansfield Road between Lodge Farm Lane and the fork in the road leading to Mansfield on the left and Chesterfield on the right, were leased for 3 years from the owner Mr. A Rushworth of Harrogate with an option to lease a further 25 acres to make a full 18 holes. A 1877-yard 9-hole course, offering beautiful views over the countryside where three counties converge, was designed and laid out by the Committee with help from Mr A Murray, the groundsman at Welbeck. In the absence of the Duke of Portland, the opening ceremony was performed on Tuesday 1st May 1912 by Mr. C A Longbottom, Mr Longbottom was well supported by the Committee and members, who numbered 70 at this time, including a small number of ladies, who, it was reported, had taken to golf with great zest. Mr. Longbottom believed the new course “satisfied a long felt need in the town”.
After two years a decision was made to vacate the Mansfield Road site and construct a new links on land near St Cuthbert’s (Worksop) College. Tom Williamson, the professional at the Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell), was engaged to design a 2850-yard 9 hole golf course on 58.9 acres of land to the north of Windmill Lane. Williamson was a top golfer of his day, good enough to play with the great triumvirate of Vardon, Taylor and Braid in an exhibition match at Lindrick in 1905. He was made an honorary member of Worksop Golf Club in 1921 and remained so until his death in 1950. In his report Williamson wrote “the land was undulating and sporting with dry, sandy soil, that the air was fresh and pure and the view delightful”. The land was owned by the Duke of Newcastle of Clumber Park and the following is an extract from the Newcastle Manuscripts relating to its lease:
A further 9 holes were added and the resulting Par-70, 5295-yard 18 hole course was officially opened on 31st May 1924, again by Mr. C A Longbottom, who by now was Chairman of Directors, this time deputising for the President, the Duke of Newcastle. To commemorate the occasion a match was played between the Captain ( T E Baines)/ Vice Captain (C H Dimblebee) and the Chairman of Directors (C A Longbottom)/ professional (H J Large – pro from 1924-27). Afterwards the members played foursomes and, in the evening, the gentlemen played a singles match against the ladies. In the various speeches made, praise was given to the professional who had done so much work on the extra holes for which he was awarded a bonus of £10.00.
The golf correspondent of the Nottingham Guardian Journal was moved to write “The Worksop course, although not long, demands accurate hitting as many of the holes are bounded by out of bounds hedges. It is a most friendly club, officials make every effort to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable day both on and off the course and they are always happy to welcome Nottingham golfers.” A statement that still holds true over 90 years later. Membership in 1924 totalled 219, including 113 gentlemen and 73 ladies. In 1925 they paid a fee of 4 guineas and 2 guineas respectively. Country membership was permitted for those living 8-14 miles away and Special Country Membership for those living more than 14 miles from the clubhouse.
A new lease for the increased acreage, now totalling 83, was negotiated with the Duke of Newcastle on the same terms as the original lease although the lease was to be bought out on 3rd May 1948 for a price of £4,000 or £32 an acre. By any standards an inspired buy by the Directors and Committee of the day. The Duke of Newcastle was succeeded by his nephew the Earl of Lincoln as President of the club in 1927 in which capacity he served until 1963.
A new clubhouse, to replace the wooden pavilion first built in 1914, was officially opened by C A Longbottom on 26th March 1927 financed by a 15 year loan of £1250 from the Duke of Newcastle with the remaining £250-00 raised by donations (C A Longbottom started the ball rolling by giving £50).
In 1970 the first major alteration in 44 years was made to the course following the purchase of land for the nominal sum of £109 in 1968. The extra land increased the acreage to 162 and made it possible to construct 4 new holes – currently the 9th, 10th, 12th and 13th. These holes are surely amongst the most picturesque, interesting and difficult holes in the County. The overall yardage was increased from 5,295 to 6,651 yards and the par from 70 to 72.
In 1983, two new holes were created on land to the right of the 4th which had previously been out of bounds on that hole. These new holes are now the 5th and 6th. The 6th has proved a popular hole, a par 5 that can be reached in two shots by even moderate golfers with the prevailing west wind behind. Not so the 5th which was never popular. This short dog leg with a plateau green on which it was very difficult to stop the ball and frequently susceptible to flooding was not typical of Worksop greens. Plans were drawn up to build a new green and an area of gorse was cleared for this purpose but, in an unprecedented move, the membership called an Extraordinary General Meeting (the first and only one in the history of the club) at which the plan was rejected. Eventually, with input from golf architect Donald Steel and new club professional John King, a new plan was drawn up and implemented in 1995. Other significant alterations to the course at this time included the removal of the ‘hill’ on the 18th which previously had obscured the view of the green from the tee; another was the much needed re-make of the first tee at the expense of half the putting green, but the sacrifice was well worth it.
The miner’s strike of 1984 ultimately led to the closure of Manton Pit in 1994, the long time source of the water for irrigating the greens. A new source had to be found. The rock underlying the course is a natural aquifer from which all Worksop draws its water supply. This rock is called the Bunter Pebble Beds, dating back to the deserts of the Triassic Period some 180 million years ago. It is soft, red, porous sandstone which gives the course its naturally free draining properties, a real asset in allowing golf to be played 365 days a year – it also throws up pebbles in bunkers, but this disadvantage is far outweighed by the advantages. A bore hole to tap into the water table and a pump to bring it to the surface was quickly completed and now supplies all the irrigation water the course needs.
The final solution to the problem of the 5th green was made in 1995 when it was totally rebuilt using the free draining sandy soil for which Worksop is renowned. The natural slope into which it is built had always seemed to lend itself to a ‘McKenzie’ or terraced construction and when the green staff completed it the members found there to be 3 such levels. Bunkers were added left and right and the fairway bunker removed from the middle to the edge of the fairway.
Acknowledgements: A Fisher, John Fletcher M.B.E and David Caseldine
Reference: The History of Worksop Golf Club 1914-2014 (copies available on request)
President & Chair of Directors
John has been Club President since March 2020 a Director since 2000 and Chairman of the Board since 2011. A member of the Club since 1978, he served on the General Committee for a number of years and at various times he was Chair of the Social, Competitions and Finance sub-committees. John had the honour of being Captain of the Club in 2004. His career, although some years ago, was as a Company Secretary during which he gained a significant amount of company administration knowledge and experience which has been very useful when discharging his duties within the Club.
Jean is the longest standing playing Lady member having been at the club for 50 years. She has made a strong and lasting contribution to the Club as it is today having been both Lady Captain and Lady President prior to her role as Lady Secretary which she has held for 14 years. She became the first female to stand for the General Committee and subsequently held the office of Chair of House and the General Committees before becoming the first female Director.
Trish, a retired chiropodist, has been a member of Worksop Golf Club for nearly 30 years, Lady Captain in 2005. Mother to Worksops own Lee Westwood and grandmother to Sam and Poppy. Trish served on the ladies committee for many years running the ladies competitions, she is involved in many aspects of Worksop Golf Club and frequents the club regularly.
Club Captain in 2016-17, Richard has been a member of the Club for over 30 years and has served on the General Committee, including a spell as Chair of the Finance Committee. Before retiring he was a company director in the manufacturing sector. He takes a keen interest in natural history and supports a number of wildlife conservation charities. Richard has been a Director since 2014.
Derek has been a member of WGC since 1992, born 1954 and married with 2 sons; a retired accountant with a broad commercial expertise having worked in both the public and private sectors. He was a founder Director and shareholder in Business Healthcare limited, an occupational health provider before retiring in 2007 on the sale of the company. Apart from his family and playing golf his main interest is cricket. He played cricket for many years at both junior and senior level, initially in Essex and then in Staffordshire and Lancashire. A qualified cricket coach and umpire, he is currently Chairman at Mansfield Hosiery Mills CC and umpires at weekends in the Bassetlaw District and Notts Premier Leagues. Derek has been a Director since 2012.
Steve was born in 1953 on Windmill Lane literally overlooking the 18th hole of Worksop Golf Club. By the age of 12 he earned pocket money caddying for some memorable members of the club and subsequently became a Junior Member of the club over 48 years ago. He worked for Sheffield City Council for over 33 years, mostly at a senior management level handling £1m+ budgets, personnel and employment issues, short term and strategic business planning. At retirement Steve decided, “to put something back” into the golf club that had given him so much enjoyment. He has subsequently been a member of the General Committee for 9 years, was Chair of House Committee for 6 years, Club Captain in 2014 (our Centenary Year) and is presently Chair of General Committee. Steve has been a Director since 2012.
Shirley joined Worksop Golf Club in 1991 whilst following a career as fitness instructor and running her own Post Office. Wanting to find out more about how the club operated, spent eleven years on the ladies committee and was appointed Lady Captain in 2001 and Lady President in 2018/19 After spending a number of years as social organiser was elected on to General Committee, and held the position of Chair of Social for a further number of years and was also actively involved on the house committee. Having retired from General Committee 2019, became a director later that same year.
Trevor has been a member of WGC since 1981 and is a retired teacher and School Inspector. He was Club Captain in 1994-95. He is former Chairman of the General Committee and also Chaired the Centenary Planning Committee from 2009 to 2012. He has also chaired the Social and Green sub committees at various times. Trevor served as a Director of WGC in 1998 to 2002 and again in 2008 to 2017 previous to his current appointment in 2019. He was a member of the Sheffield Union of Golf Clubs Executive Committee from 1997 to 2006 and had the honour of being the SUGC President in 2012.
Gary was born in Lincoln in 1957, he worked for British Telecom in both Lincoln and Sheffield, before he moved from Lincoln to Worksop over 28 years ago, joining Royal Mail, at Chesterfield in their computer section. He continued working in the IT industry around the UK, before retiring in September 2016. After moving to Worksop Gary joined Worksop Golf Club as member in 1997, during his time as a member he’s was Junior organiser for 5 years, served on the committee for about 8 years, and was House Chair 3 for years, Gary is also honoured to be serving as our club Captain for 2020/21.
Iain St John
Iain St John is a retired PE teacher who taught for over 30 years in Worcester, Leeds and Sheffield. In addition he was a Rotherham Borough Councillor, and a school governor for nearly 40 years. Because of the latter and his involvement with Dinnington Operatic Society Student Academy, Iain has an Enhanced DBS certificate, and Child Chaperone Licence which is valid until July 2023. Iain has been a valued member of Worksop golf club since 1988.
The Junior section normally has over 25 competitions every year and teams also play in the Sheffield and Notts Union junior leagues. Last year they were successful in the Home Nations Team competition at Regional level.
If you have a youngster interested in trying golf please contact the Club, or Iain directly on: 07432106950
WGC is a private members golf club with over 500 playing members, nearly 100 additional social members and over 25 employees. It is my job to plan resources and deliver cost effective, efficient support services to the members of the club making optimum use of modern management methods and technology. In other words I need to ‘manage’ both short term and long term to make sure the club is presented in the best possible condition (financially, clubhouse, course etc), and ‘of course’ to “try” and keep all the members “happy”!
After 22 years membership of Worksop Golf Club it was a great honour when Mick Bower asked me to serve as Club Captain in 2020.
My Vice Captain is Stuart Fletcher, my Lady Captain is Sue Orme, her Vice is Christine Linathan and our Junior Captain is Reuben Tennant. An excellent team who I know will work together with me to promote Worksop Golf Club in the coming season.
Our Captains’ year is proving quite unique, but as a club we are keen to maintain as much of our planned year as possible, both playing and social. This will be done in conjunction with guidance from England Golf.
I look forward to supporting our scratch teams play in the Notts and Sheffield Union leagues during the summer, as well as the juniors. I am also hoping to play in as many club, mixed, senior matches as well as club competitions.
We have an excellent Social Calendar this year and I hope that as many members as possible will attend to support our club, with friends, for a meal, good company, and a range of different entertainers.
My charities this year are Aurora Wellbeing Centre in Worksop, this charity does wonderful work providing support and services to people and their families living with cancer. I will also be supporting Parkinson’s UK local branch, your donations however small would be appreciated.
Finally, I wish all members, good health and good golf in 2020 and remember Play Safe and Stay Safe throughout this year.
I was honoured to accept the invitation to be the Lady Vice Captain to Marie Jacobs and now I am pleased to be Lady Captain of this old and prestigious golf club. I am elated to have Christine Linathan for her commitment to be my Lady Vice Captain, who I know will serve to maintain Worksop Golf Club’s fine reputation.
We have much to be proud of at Worksop which was established over a century ago. The Ladies section was instigated in 1915.
The course itself is considered to be one of the finest in the county, famous for the quality of its greens, and is a pleasure to play.
The social calendar is filled throughout the year with pleasant evening functions. Our catering staff are smart and cheerful, supporting the delicious output of Joe Robson our most excellent chef.
In all, Worksop Golf club and it’s course provide everything a member can expect of a fine golfing and social establishment. Due to the popularity of Worksop Golf Club our membership has its limitations, however the modest Ladies section at present is looking to expand further. Applications from ladies wanting to join are always welcome and with handicaps ranging up to 54 for beginners, they should soon be able to compete on a level playing field. Even without competition our course provides a pleasant stroll through beautiful wooded environment, away from the madding crowd.
I will be happy to arrange a courtesy round for new applicants intending to join to provide a first experience of the course. The future is bright.
My chosen charity is the Macular Society.
Macular degeneration is a lesser know disease affecting eye sight.
I’m Reuben and I’m 14 years old and have been playing golf since I was 5 years old. I have attained a handicap of 6 for the coming season. I attend Worksop College on a golf scholarship and have represented Nottinghamshire County since the age of 10 and have previously captained the U12s & U14s squad and will be a part of the U16s squad for the 2021 season. I have been a member of Worksop Golf Club since the age of 8 and was honoured and privileged to be asked to be Captain of the junior section. We have a strong group of players which keeps growing from strength to strength each year with many of the juniors gaining individual and team honours both at the club and in open competitions. Although it has not been the start to the golfing year that we all wanted, I am confident that we will have a good season and I look forward to being Captain of the section and welcoming any new juniors that come our way.
Chair: Steve Webster
Members : M. Bower, T. Cockayne, R. Dexter, J. Fisher, R. Hill, D. Shepherd, C. Slack, K. Slack, R. Smith.
Chair: Richard Hill
Members : S. Webster, C. Slack, G. Edwards, R. Dexter, R. Smith, M. Bower.
Chair: Rob Smith
Members : R. Dexter, S. Webster, M. Bower, J Fisher, K. Slack.
Chair: Chris Slack
Members : R. Hill, D.F. Shepherd, S. Webster, S. Fletcher.
Chair: David Shepherd
Members : G. Edwards, S. Orme, S. Fletcher
Chair: Roy Dexter
Members : K. Slack, D. Shepherd, R. Smith, G. Edwards
Chair: Mick Bower
Members : T. Cockayne, C. Slack.