Club History | Deane Golf Club
Deane Golf Club

Club History

Early Years / The 20s and 30s / The 50s and 60s / 1970s Onwards / Ladies Section / Men's Section


The Early Years Of Deane Golf Club

Formation of Deane Golf Club

A large meeting under the Chairmanship of Mr Jessop H.F. Hulton was held in January 1906 to consider the question of a Golf Club at Deane. Mr Hulton, a permanent member of Lytham St Anne’s Golf Club had been Captain in 1894-95 and he assured all present of his support and best service regarding the proposal to form a Club at Deane. A Mr Rosbottom made a detailed statement as to the desirability of an additional Club in Bolton, saying there was ample room for two Clubs and there would be no risk of injuring any similar organisation. The situation was described as being on the west side of the town with a grand slope and providing a fine view with accessibility from all parts. The 18 hole course would have advantages of natural hazards such as streams, ravines and other natural features. The course was approximately 6700 yards long and meetings were held with the farmers to tell them how the land would be used.

The financial aspect was presented with an entrance fee of two guineas together with an annual subscription of an equal sum.

Mr R. Farnworth submitted a proposal that a Club be formed, to be called “Deane Golf Club” which was unanimously approved of together with the appointments of Mr Hulton as President, Mr Gask as Treasurer and Mr Hart as Secretary. A temporary committee was then elected and the first AGM was held at the Commercial Hotel in Bolton on the 6th April 1906.

The contracts for Foundations and for the Golf House were given to Mr Dickinson and golf staff to Messrs Wardle. Mr Farnworth was credited for inception of the movement.

The Ladies Section held their first meeting in Fernihough’s Café in Bolton on Tuesday 13th February 1906. Lady Hulton was elected Lady President and Mrs Flitcroft, Lady Captain.

Prior to the Grand Opening, Officials and Members alike played the course – this being beneficial in many ways, ‘tramping the turf’ – “good for the turf and the trampers” as quoted in the Bolton Journal 25th May 1906. Also caddies were trained up. The first Groundsman was a Mr Huckle, the son of a golfing father, late of Horwich and who came from the Salop County.

The territory was acquired on a 21 years lease and Mr Lowe of St Anne’s came to fix the holes. The boundaries were described as Junction Road (running from Deane to Lostock Junction on the South), the Railway on the north and the Giant’s Chair near Ladybridge, though not all the land within the confines was included.

Regarding the Club House, the Ladies were to have exclusive and special accommodation including a cosy chamber as sitting room with direct access to the caterers’ quarters. The gentlemen were to have smoking and tea rooms and a drying room.

Approval was thus given for ‘The Deane Golf Club’. Opening Day Wednesday 20th June 1906. Tickets were available for the sum of one shilling and these were exchanged for badges on admission.

Opening Day Wednesday 20th June 1906

The Opening Day, by all accounts, was a splendid Day with tea provided whilst a string band played selections during the afternoon. Photographs were taken by Mr N.S. Kay and at 3.o’clock Mr McEwen (Professional of Formby Golf Club) and Mr Simpson (Professional of Lytham & St Anne’s Golf Club) played a round on the links. At 5 o’clock Miss May Hezlett (an ex-Lady Champion) and Miss Florence Hezlett also played a round on the links. Unfortunately rain prevailed in late afternoon.

At the Opening ceremony those present included Sir William Hulton Bart, Lady Hulton, Mr Jessop Hulton (President) and Mrs Jessop Hulton, the Messrs Haslett, Councillors A.T. Crook, J.P, .N. Fletcher, D. Maginnis, J.P., Messrs E. Farnworth, T.W.Shaw J.P., E. Walker J.P., J.H. Goulburn, W. Horrocks, C. Crook, F.W. Thompson, A. Entwistle J.P., B. Knowles J.P., F. Marsh, W. Booth, Noble W.R. Lythgoe J.P., A. Sparke, F.R.L.S., and a large number of other ladies and gentlemen.

Mr Farnworth briefly called the company together opposite the Pavilion, and in the name of the Council of the Club asked Mrs Jessop Hulton to accept a handsome gold key with which to open the door of the Club House and to formally declare the links open. The key was designed by S. Wolfenden, D.B.H.I., Bradshawgate.

The Club had 170 men members and an overfull ladies section of 100. The Men's Captain was Mr J.H. Hulton.

Mr William Ernest Buckle - Deane's first professional

From information received by Joyce Commins (Vera’s Buckle-Commins daughter-in-law), It is believed that Vera, William’s daughter, was born at Deane Golf Club on 19th June 1906 the day before the inauguration of the Golf Club. Vera celebrated her 100th birthday the day before the club celebrated its Centenary.


Vera remembers being told that he was the first Professional at Deane but has nothing to confirm this. He only stayed at Deane a relatively short time and then moved to Gatley Golf Club. War broke out in 1914 and he joined up and was sent to France as a gunner. He was demobbed in 1918 when he moved to Leigh Golf Club at Culcheth.

Disaster Strikes - Clubhouse destroyed by fire

The Deane Club House was completely destroyed by fire on Monday 17th May 1915. The outbreak was discovered at about 10.50 a.m. and the alarm given to the Fire Station by telephone. Superintendent Bentley and his staff were soon on the scene with the motor engine. The building, a wooden structure, was by this time however fully alight. The brigade’s efforts were turned towards saving the caddies house and outbuildings and the adjoining farm of Mr Roberts. In this, they were successful although slight damage was done to the roof of the caddies house.

The property, which was erected at a cost of £700, was partly covered by insurance. The cause of the conflagration is thought to have been a back firing of the gas burner belonging to the wash boilers. The fire was witnessed by a large number of people, and the event caused much excitement in the district. Temporary headquarters were established at New Brook House, Deane.

Some five years later a solid brick building was erected and the new Club House was opened by Lady Beaumont on 29th May 1920. There was a large gathering for the Opening including many visitors from other Clubs and after the ceremony a mixed foursomes was played followed by a concert in the evening.

Some two years later the ‘new’ clubhouse was featured in the Bolton Evening News as shown in the following cutting.

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The 1920s and 1930s - A Period Of Development

The enthusiasts at Deane are nothing if not enterprising. A handsome new clubhouse has been built on the site of the one destroyed by fire a few years back. It is a fine roomy building, with every comfort considered. The upper floor is a spacious club-room with billiard table, and on the ground floor, to the right, as one enters, is the men’s room, and on the left the dining-room, with ‘ladies’ room adjoining. In front it is proposed to form a small terraced garden.

The 18-hole course is extremely popular, and, though several of its holes have long been known for their sporting qualities, efforts are on hand now to provide golf of even better quality.

This means that No.s 2, 3, 4, 11 and 15 are all being lengthened.

The old No. 6, “Spion Kop”, becomes No. 3, with No. 6 alongside, and with the new No. 3 a little further out.

The experts say this improvement will make for a much better game. In order to improve the picture, trees have been planted between No.s 2 and 3, and next year No. 10 will be in commission again, after having been ploughed up during the war for food growing.

The Council are assured of a grand future. They have already 240 members, in addition to a full book of 120 ladies. Mr. H. Leah is president; Mr. J. E. Norris, secretary; Mr. G. G. Altham, captain; and Mrs Todd ladies captain. The year is 1920.

In the early days with drier summers the clay subsoil was of benefit to keep the turf moist and green and the natural fall to the streams and ravines crossing the course, helped the ground not to be unduly heavy (except in exceptionally wet weather). 

Bunkering scheme

The land selected for Deane Golf Club, with the ground being of excellent golfing turf, was thought to be most interesting with its streams, ravines and other natural features. Over the years the course with its delightful rural setting and easy accessibility by bus or tram from Bolton, progressed steadily and in 1932 Mr J A Steer was called upon to submit a scheme of bunkering on modern lines which was carried out in the next couple of years.

Tees, fairways and greens were given careful attention and advice was sought on a regular basis from the Bingley Research Station.

Card of the course


Here is the scorecard as taken from the Deane Golf Club Handbook for the 1933 / 34 season and a diagram of the course layout, again from 1933. Notice the direction of the 1st fairway.

All of the pictures and diagrams in this section have been taken from the Deane Golf Club Handbook for the 1933 / 34 season. Many thanks to P. A. Tonge for providing the handbook.

And finally, here is an advert found in the same Handbook.

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The 1950s & 1960s - A Period Of Change

Today, One Hundred Years later, we still have a delightful course. The course has had many changes, most particularly, in the early 50’s funds were pretty low and economies had to be made.

On Coronation Day 1953 – a mixed foursome was arranged.

In August 1954 it was suggested that the course be reduced to 9 holes.

Between December 1958 & April 1959 the NCB wrote regarding authority to prospect for opencast coal on the course.

In 1959 a meeting of members was convened by the Captain Mr S. Blower to discuss the proposal to reduce the course to 9 holes and to ascertain the popular feelings.

The points against the proposal were:-
(1) To play 18 holes It would be necessary to go round the course twice and that there may be some disruption at the first tee between players finishing the first nine & members just turning out.
(2) The club would have to forego any of the major Bolton Golf Association Competitions.
(3) Some of the better golfers might think that a nine hole course is not a fair test of their capabilities.

The points for the proposal were:-
The main one on which nearly all the others are based was the financial position of the club.
In 1954 the club made a profit of £ 218 in 1955 a £ 91 profit, 1956 a £143 loss and in 1957 a £70 profit. The Captain explained that the situation would have been worse but for the social activities of the club.

Arising from the financial position the points for consideration were….
(1) The course was suffering due to a lack of labour
(2) There was a danger of loosing the 12th hole altogether – the cost being in the hundreds of pounds to put in order.
(3) The 7th hole was in need of immediate attention.
(4) Due to heavy rain experienced over the previous few summers there was a danger of losing the 13th tee.

Ballot papers had to be returned by 22nd January 1959
to the Secretary A.E. Sandiford.

The course was reduced to 9 holes.

A decade of struggle

Between 1959 and 1971 the club struggled along on a small membership.

Here is the scorecard as recorded in the 1964 Deane Golf Club Handbook. Current members will have difficulty in recognising the course and the annual subscriptions charges due in 1964.




Many thanks to Mr G. Lister for use of this handbook.

During the middle 60`s every Tuesday night the club held a 9 hole medal competition that was open to members of other clubs with an entrance fee of
2 shillings & 6 pence. This became quite successful and eventually developed into the current format of our Tuesday medal competitions.

During the late 60`s part of the course, the 2nd and 17th holes, had to be relocated to their present position to allow the landowners to build houses on the 1st, 17th and 18th fairways as was, this was done reluctantly because of the fear that the landlord would not renew the lease that was due for renewal in 1980.

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The 1970s Onwards

The 1970s

In May 1971 the course was re-established as 18 holes.

In April 1974 a Celebrity Golf Testimonial for cricketer Harry Pilling was held with professional footballers, Sporting & Entertainment Celebrities coming from all over the country.

Standing just 5 feet 3 inches tall, Harry was a right handed batsman of the highest order. He played for Lancashire for 20 years scoring over 15,000 runs. It was a sad day for all sports fans when he passed away in 2012.

In April 1975 a Celebrity Golf Testimonial for footballer Norman Hunter was held with big name celebrities and the England Football team.

Thus, once again, we had a course to be proud of and in 1975 the men’s waiting list was 97.

Purchase of the golf course land

The future of Deane Golf club was eventually secured on the 17th October 2001 when negotiations to purchase the land from the Duke of Norfolk's Estate at a cost of £475,000 were finally secured.

Pictured here (from left to right) celebrating the deal and acquisition of the Deeds we have President Tony Sutton, Club Secretary Roy Hough, Past Captain Dave Thompson and Captain Richard Ewell.

Deane Golf Club Centenary

In 2006 the golf club celebrated it's centenary with a festival programme of events running from the 10th to 24th June. On Saturday 10th June the Centenary Trophy Singles Medal, a Major competition, was played whilst the Ladies Section also celebrated with the Centenary Cup, another Major competition, on Wednesday 14th June. There were also other golf competitions from the 17th to 24th as part of the festival programme.

To finish there was a Marquee Gala dinner & Ball on the 24th June.

The Centenary Captain 2006/7 was Mr W. A. Sutton and the Centenary Lady Captain 2006/7 was Mrs P. A. Jones. Mr G. W. Hartley was Centenary President 2006/7 and Mrs Z. A. Brooks was Centenary Lady President 2006/7.

The Centenary Committee

To celebrate the centenary of the club a committee was set up to organise all the events throughout the year.

The Centenary Handbook

The Centenary Committee were also responsible for the production of the Centenary Handbook which detailed all the relevant events from the formation of the club up to its centenary.

Most of the information on our website regarding the history of Deane Golf Club has been taken from this handbook. Many thanks to all who contributed in the production of the handbook including the Centenary Committee, tee sponsors, advertisers in the handbook and many others, including members of the golf club.

Recent years

In 2011 the golf club registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), enabling the club to get mandatory rate relief and the ability to claim Gift Aid on voluntary donations,

In 2012 the golf club hosted the BGA Championship both for men and juniors and in 2013 hosted the BGA Ladies Championship.

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History Of The Ladies Section

As previously stated, the first meeting of the Ladies’ Section was held in Fernihough’s Café on Tuesday 13th February 1906. The Agenda for the Meeting was to elect officers and committee and fix a medal day. Thus Mrs Jessop Hulton was elected Chairwoman for 1906, Lady Hulton - President of the Ladies Section with Secretary Miss Read and Assistant Secretary Alice Haslam. The Lady Captain for 1906 was Mrs Flitcroft and F. Gask Esq., Manchester and Liverpool District Bank, Deansgate, Bolton was Treasurer.

Surprisingly there were 100 ladies who joined the Club. In today’s world most Clubs are struggling to attract half this number but, of course, there are now many local Clubs to choose from.

A sum of 6d was paid to enter medal competitions in order to provide mementoes for the winner. Any surplus money was given as second prize and even a third prize.

In 1908 Deane Ladies Golf Club was affiliated to the Ladies Golf Union.

In 1913 The Lancashire Coronation Medal competition was held at Deane with 84 competitors from all over the County.
In 1920 the Ladies Section joined the Manchester and District Ladies Golf Association.

The Annual Report of 1921-22 in the Minute Book records there were astonishingly 150 lady playing members!

It is most fitting that mention should be made of Pat Sharrock who has been a playing member for over 50 years having joined as a junior when her mother, Rosie Schofield, was Lady Captain. Rosie took the office of Lady Captain twice as did her father Ted Schofield (1961 and 1962). Pat has been an invaluable member of the Ladies Section, having held every office on committee and now holds honorary membership of the Club. Pat brought honour to the Club in 2004 when she undertook the prestigious office of President of the Past Captains Association.

In 1982 Zoe Brooks achieved a course record in the Ladies’ Section 76-13-63. Another notable achievement was by Anne Longworth in 1986 when she entered the new Zealand Lamb Competition and with a 90-33-57 came in the top 10 out of 28,000 players from 874 Clubs (she won half a lamb!)

On the 11th February 1987 the Lady Captain caught the first sighting of ‘The Flasher’.

Successes - Bolton Championship

1920: Deane - won by Mrs Scowcroft
1938: Deane - won by Miss Pacy
1948 & 9: Miss Caldwell won the Preston Trophy and again in 1953

This picture shows Nancy Caldwell playing Joyce Booth in the Ladies Championship at Bolton Golf Club.

Successes - Golf Cot

Won by the Deane Ladies’ Team in 1963, 1964, 1965, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1984 & 1988.

Successes - Lomax Bowl Competition (now the Challenge Bowl)

1930: won by Jessie Dixon
1947: won by E. Tinsley
1956: won by M. Blower
1964: won by Mrs Grundy
1976: won by Ann Glover
1980: won by M. Haworth
1990: won by Mary Berry
2001: won by Judith Atkinson
2010: Barbara Spencer won the Bolton Challenge Bowl Higher Handicap Trophy.

Lancashire Ladies County Golf Association - 'Lady Derby Challenge Cup'


Won in 1989 by Mrs Zoe Brooks and in 2001 by Mrs Judith Atkinson (right).

Lancashire Ladies Handicap Shield


Won by Deane Ladies in 1968 and again in 2000.


In 1936 Mr G. Anderson gave a Cup and Replica to be played for each year. This was to be called ‘The Anderson Cup’ knock out competition. Miss Tinsley was the first person to win the Cup. This Cup is still played for today where there are 4 qualifiers who then play matchplay to determine the winner. In the AGM of 1943 the Cup was placed in the care of the Bank and at the same time it was proposed that the Cup be played for as a Medal Round and furthermore at the committee meeting 30th January 1944 it was agreed that partners should be drawn for the Anderson Cup.

With the outbreak of war, in 1939 the Ladies Section set up a “Comforts Fund”. From evening whist drives and sweep money from competitions they gave money to the Red Cross. The ladies obtained wool from the Mayoress’s Fund and met in the Club House on Saturday afternoons to knit comforts for H.M. Forces.

In 1949 Miss Slee offered the Ladies’ Section a Silver Rose Bowl in memory of Miss Florence Pacy. When in 1974 Miss Slee left the area to live in Carlisle, she gave a cheque for £110 to the Ladies’ Section to be invested for the Pacy Trophy prize and returned to the Club for the presentation whenever she was able. Today this bowl is still played for and each year 10 qualifiers from the LGU medals play 18 holes at the end of the season (this is also a Major Board Competition).

In 1974 Mr Gruszkos gave a trophy in memory of his wife Phyllis which was to be played for over 36 holes. However, in 1976 it was proposed and agreed that the trophy would best be played for with the 4 best nett scores returned from Opening Day to Closing Day.

In 1974 Doreen Holland gave a trophy to the Ladies’ Section to be played for by Past Captains. The first winner of this trophy was Mildred Haworth. Mrs Holland is no longer a member of the Club but every year she very kindly gives a prize for the winner and a prize for best nett score of a non past captain.

When Hannah Shaw died in 1982, her husband and daughter Frances Baxendale donated a painting (now displayed in the Lounge) and a medal competition was run for many years.

It was agreed at the 1982 AGM to run a Singles Knock Out apart from the Anderson Cup and Mr Kevan Dunn kindly donated the Trophy, the first winner being Phil Long in 1983.

The Winrow Rosebowls were donated in 1993 by Lilian and Lynda Winrow for the doubles knock out. The first winners were Margaret Culley and Maureen Farrell.

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Men's Section - Roll Of Honour

Bolton Golf Association Competitions

B.G.A. Championship since 1921

1925 R. Shipperbottom
1948 N .Woods
1951 J. Smith.
1953 C. Kirkpatrick.
1983 A. Winrow.
2001 A.Runciman

B.G.A. League Champions since 1958

1987 Team Captain, A.Clayton.
1993 Team Captain, D.Morris.
1995 Team Captain, T. Sutton.
2000 Team Captain, K.Robbinson.
2002 Team Captain, A.J.Mitchel & R.J.Kelly.

B.G.A. Jack Taylor 4 Ball Team K/O since 1971

1996 Deane won the Trophy after being losing finalist on 7 previous occasions.
Team Captain T. Sutton

1998 Team Captain R.Hughes.

B.G.A. Junior Champions since 1953

1956 J.S.Blower.
1957 D.Sheffield.
1958 G.Kay.
1959 G.Kay.
1961 G.Kay.
1984 D.C.Barlow.
1986 H.Hughes.
1996 S.Parry.
2005 M.Gibbons

Past Presidents Trophy - Best 18 Holes Stroke Play Net Score

1980 P.V. Thompson
1988 A. Clayton
1992 A. Winrow
2004 A. Runciman
2005 G. Walker
2006 A. Gibbins

Preston Handicap Trophy - 18 Holes Stroke Play (Best of 4 players aggregate score from any one club)

1979, 1986, 1990 and 1998

Four Ball Better Ball - 18 Hole Stroke Play Competition

1974 G. Pasquill & L. Thomasson
1982 A. Gruskos & M. Thomasson

Corser Trophy Mixed Foursome

1970 W. Cryer & Mrs K. Wood
2007 G. Walker & K. Wardle

Seniors Championship (Formerly Senior Competition) - 18 Hole Competition, players to be 55 years or over

1986 J.Heyes & H. Lobb
1987 R. Statham & C. Lanceley

Lancashire Junior Champion

1998 J. Barr

B.G.A. Past Presidents From Deane.

1966 - 1967 H.Potter.
1992 - 1993 R.J.Statham.
2004 - 2005 T.Rawson

Bolton And District Society Of Golf Captains

Past Captains since 1959

1960/61 H. Potter.
1977/78 R. Makin.
1998/99 R. Fletcher.
2010/11 W.A.Sutton

Past Presidents since 1959

1984 to 1986 F.Marsh.
1991/92 G.Davis
2004/05 K.Dunn.

Four Deane Members Hold Pesidents Offices

This occurred during the first part of 2005.

They are from left to right.
Mr K. Dunn - President of the Society of Bolton Captains
Mr T. Rawson - President of the B.G.A.
Mrs P. Sharrocks - Lady President of the Bolton and District past Lady Captains Association
Mr G. Lister - President of Deane Golf Club

Bolton Golf Association - A Brief History

Although the Bolton Championship has been around since 1913 it came under the control of the newly formed Bolton Golf Association in 1931 with Fred Walker of Turton being elected as the Association’s first President.

The first Championship of this new Era was held at Deane in 1931 and won by J. Gerrard,Jnr. of Bolton Golf Club.

In the 1953 Championship held at Deane 15 year old Norman Johnson from Gt. Lever lost in the semi-final to Jim Scott. Two years later he went on to become the youngest ever Champion beating Jack Taylor with a birdie on the first extra hole.

There have been many worthy Bolton Champions but one who stands out amongst the rest is Jack Taylor from Old Links Golf Club. During 21 years between 1947 & 1968 Jack was a Finalist 17 times and a winner on 10 occasions. He gained county honours representing Lancashire over 100 times and was a semi-finalist in the English Amateur Championships.

Jack was also elected as B.G.A. President in 1982-83.

Terry Rawson was elected President of the B.G.A. for the usual 2 year term of office starting in March 2004 through to March 2006.

Terry has had 2 other Deane Members & Past Captains to follow in this prestigious office – they are Harry Potter 1966 & 67 also Bob Statham 1992 & 93.

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