Club History

ELLAND GOLF CLUB-HISTORY


Preliminary meetings concerning the formation of Elland Golf Club were held in Elland Town Hall in the early months of 1910. Mr W H Ingham, who resided at Hullen Edge Hall, was a founder member and land owner of which some 37 acres were to be used for the course. Mr Ingham was nominated as the first Captain of the Golf Club and he rented the land to the Club for £48 5s 0d per annum.
A loan was initially obtained from the Halifax Joint Stock Bank (later renamed the West Yorkshire Bank) and the building destined to be the Clubhouse was purchased at a cost of £140; this also included a Professional's hut.
In the first year the Club gained 146 members comprising 88 full playing gentlemen, 44 full playing ladies, 8 honorary and 6 junior members. Subscription charges were £2 2s 0d per year for gentlemen, £1 1s 0d for ladies, and 10s 6d for honorary (equivalent to Social) and junior members. Total subscriptions for the first year were £251 9s 6d.
The Golf Club was officially registered in July 1910 with golf being first played on the 2nd of that month.
The course was originally of six holes. The remaining three greens and fairways were under continual preparation during 1911. A horse drawn mowing machine roller was purchased for £35 9s 0d to cut the fairways, and horse boots which fitted over the horse's shoes were obtained for £2 4s 0d; these helped to prevent damage to the fairways.
A small but useful revenue was obtained by letting the course for grazing, which was a common practice in the early days of golf.
The first lady Captain, Miss Allen, was elected to office in 1913.
June 1920 brought an innovation to the Clubhouse, electric lighting was installed! It was now deemed necessary to acquire a proper locker room for gentlemen. An ex-government surplus hut similar to that previously acquired was therefore purchased for £125. Further improvements were considered necessary in 1921: the main part of the alterations at this time was the construction of the Ladies' Room.
In September 1921 Mr Ingham retired to Southport selling Hullen Edge Hall and its lands which included the golf course to Mr Arthur Wilkinson, owner of the brickworks at Blackley.
The first motor tractor was purchased in 1925, and cost £145. Also, a gang mower then called a Triple Mowing Machine was bought for £202 7s 0d. This expense was more than the Club could afford and again members were asked to loan money, and £300 was successfully obtained.
On July 1937 a special Committee meeting was held and it was decided to put to the Annual General Meeting a resolution to annul Rule 22 which banned play on Sundays. Mr A Wilkinson the lessor of the course was consulted and he addressed the Annual General Meeting on 27 July 1937. In his speech he stated that he would allow Sunday golf for a three year trial period. Play was not to start before 1.30pm, and under the following restrictions: no caddies, groundsman or professional was to be employed; no catering, no card playing, and no junior members to be allowed on the course. He also wished a prayer meeting to be held before play commenced. These terms were accepted and initially abided by with the exception of the prayer meeting, which never materialised! Sunday golfing was to continue and soon all the restrictions were forgotten.
On 3 October 1939 it was decided that members of recognised Golf Clubs serving in HM Forces would be granted free access to the course and facilities.
In July 1940 a letter was received from the Agricultural Executive Committee appealing to golf clubs to help increase food production as a war time measure. It was decided therefore to let the course to a local farmer for sheep grazing once again.
The War Agricultural Committee was encouraging the use of all possible land for the growing of food. A letter from this Committee was received at Elland Golf Club suggesting that part of the course be ploughed up and used for growing rye. Mr Jos Pighills, a local farmer, was interviewed and it was agreed that the 1st fairway should be ploughed and cultivated by him.
Club membership in September 1958 had reached a total figure of 238: 91 were full playing gentlemen and 41 full playing ladies.
Following the death of Mr Arthur Wilkinson, the sale of the course and various surrounding lands took place at the Savile Arms in Elland with representatives of the Club in attendance. The auctioneer refused to put forward a price under £3000 for the course so after some discussion a bid for this amount was submitted on behalf of the Club, and on 31 October, 1960, notice was received that this figure had been accepted.
The croft (a small field along the right hand side of the 2nd hole) was used by the owner for various purposes including the grazing of pigs. At times therefore an offensive smell was prevalent in that area of the course. It
was welcome news to the Committee when they heard that this small field would be for sale in the near future and it was decided that steps should be taken to purchase this land for a future extension of the course.
In June, 1965, Mr Bradley the owner of the croft offered it for sale to the Club at £1000. This was considered too high a price to pay, he then reduced his price to £600, this was accepted and the croft was duly purchased. The land was ultimately incorporated into the course providing a longer first hole and a reconfigured second hole.
1965 brought the successful formation of Elland Golf Club's Rabbits' Section .
A contract for the construction of a bungalow sited close to the Clubhouse for occupation by the steward was
placed in 1967. The final cost of the construction was £4736.
The replacement of the second hand wooden buildings forming the original Clubhouse was frequently under
review during the post war period, but the expense of total replacement could not entertained. Development had therefore to be catered for by adaptation and alteration. The need for more appropriate accommodation for the Professional led in 1976 to an alternative approach – the Clubhouse would be redeveloped in phases. The professional’s shop was then built, with further stages following in 1980, 1985 and 1995 resulting in complete replacement of the original structures.
Successive Greens Committees and greenkeeping staff have developed the course so that its 40 acres are utilised to their fullest extent. A programme of construction was completed in 2000 which realised a total of eighteen teeing grounds although these are directed towards the course’s nine greens.
The members are proud of their Club, their course and their heritage, and a working group has been active for several years in determining a fitting programme to celebrate the Club’s forthcoming Centenary in 2010.

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