Club History from 1154

Davyhulme Hall 1154

Davyhulme Park Golf Club was part of the original Barton Fee and Davyhulme Hall became the seat of John de Hulme in the reign of Henry II in 1154.

His descendant William de Hulme was High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1701 and Davyhulme Hall would have been well known throughout the County.

It is probable that William de Hulme constructed the lake on the 17th and 3rd hole around 1690. It is known that the soil extracted to construct the lake was deposited on the field to the west side of Bent Lanes footpath.

The footpath descends to a lower level, while the field on the west side remains level with Davyhulme Road and ends with a steep bank down to the level of Woodhouse Road.

The Hulme family continued to own the land of Davyhulme until by a Decree of Chancery in 1765, the Hulme Estates were sold to John Allen, who was succeeded by his son, William Allen, a banker who became bankrupt in 1788.

The Estate was then sold under the Commission of Bankruptcy and was purchased by Henry Norreys, who was related to the Norreys family of Speke, a very ancient and influential family who distinguished themselves when the Lancashire archers fought at the battle of Flodden Field in 1513.

1844 Robert Henry Norreys

Robert Henry Norreys inherited the hall and estates in 1844, when he was 31 years old. He was a generous benefactor and was known affectionately as 'Squire Bob'.

1844 ROBERT HENRY NORREYS

He was a sporting bachelor. Archery and horse racing were the standard pursuits of landed gentry and interest in golf as an additional sport was developing rapidly. The present 14th and 15th fairways were the original lawn on the west side of Davyhulme Hall.

The lawn was 200 yards by 150 yards and was used for the sport of archery. A racecourse ran from the front of the hall, around the lawn to the right of the present 11th fairway, behind the 14th green, across to the 16th fairway, with a finishing post opposite the stand erected on the south side of the hall, which can be seen in the lithograph. The stand accommodated around 300 people.

The 9 hole golf course, measuring over 2,500 yards, was situated on the east side of the hall between the present 12th green and the public footpath on the right of the present 8th hole.

Golf was being played on this 9 hole course from an early date and Robert Henry Norreys had his own private golfing society.

Records do not show when the 9 hole course first came into play but it is reasonable to assume that a course being played by 60 gentlemen, and 30 ladies, each with their own clubhouse in 1883 must have been well established during the 1860s and probably earlier.

This would date the golf course as the fourth oldest course in England following Royal Blackheath, Manchester Golf Club and Royal North Devon. The gentlemen had their own pavilion situated at the back of the 9th green and in 1883, the squire built at the right of the 12th tee a separate ladies' clubhouse, with courtyard, for the 30 lady golfers who were playing the course.

This must be the second oldest clubhouse for ladies in the world, following St. Andrews Ladies Putting Club. Robert Henry Norreys died in 1887 and Davyhulme Hall was bequeathed to his nephew J B N Entwisle of Rochdale.

Davyhulme Hall was put up for sale, but as no purchaser came forward, the entire property was demolished in 1888. The Entwisle Golf Club was founded in 1893, with J B N Entwisle as President, with golf being played on the existing 9 hole course.

The Entwisle Golf Club moved to Flixton and became Flixton Golf Club in 1903.

1911 Davyhulme Park Established

1911 DAVYHULME PARK ESTABLISHED

On 21 April 1911, a meeting was held at 67 Princess Street, Manchester, to form Davyhulme Park Golf Club Company Limited, to take up the lease of the land at Davyhulme Hall from J B N Entwisle.

This then comprised the 9 hole golf course, with an option to lease additional land adjoining the golf course, to extend to 18 holes.

The option to lease the additional land was exercised on 2 February 1912. The first annual general meeting was held on 17 May 1912 and reported that the course was making satisfactory progress.

A clubhouse was located in farm buildings on the right hand side of Davyhulme Road, opposite the present 12th green. The first meeting in the clubhouse was held on 4 June 1912. This clubhouse continued in use until the present clubhouse was opened in 1937.

1923 Purchase of the golf club

There were negotiations over a long period of time, which culminated in the purchase of the golf course for £13,500, which was completed on 28 September 1923. Additional land to lengthen the golf course was purchased from Humphrey de Trafford on 25 March 1931, at a cost of £2,400.

This land comprised part of the 13th fairway running down to Davyhulme Road, the short 14th hole and the 15th fairway up to the line of beech trees guarding the 15th green.

Having purchased this additional land, there was a problem because the back garden of the cottage on the right of the 14th tee was 29 feet wide but 216 yards long and formed a barrier between the existing course and the new land purchased from Humphrey de Trafford.

It was, therefore, necessary to negotiate the purchase of the strip of land at a cost of £100. Thus by 1931, the whole of land comprising the present golf course had been purchased at a total cost of £16,000.

1930 Construction of new holes

1930 CONSTRUCTION OF NEW HOLES

A quotation for £3,000 was received for designing and constructing new holes on the newly acquired land.

The professional, Ernest Smith, offered to undertake the design and construction of the new holes, with the help of members and the present 13th, 14th and 15th holes were completed at a total cost of £600.

As a result, the club council made Ernest Smith an honorary member of the club. This was unusual, since in the 1930s, a golf club professional would not normally be allowed access into the members clubhouse.

Within two years of honorary membership, however, Ernest Smith eloped to South America with a Miss Shawcross, a daughter of one of the members to whom he had been giving 'lessons'. This caused quite a stir.

Ernest Smith had already been mentioned in the 'Guinness Book of Records', having played five rounds of golf in five countries within a period of 24 hours.

This was achieved by using a light aircraft, commencing at Prestwick in Scotland, followed by Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Hawarden near Chester in Wales and finishing in England, with a course record at Blackpool North Shore.