In the Staffordshire Moorlands, Leek GC’s roots date much further back than the 100 years they are celebrating in 2023.
The first record of Leek Golf Club being in existence is in 1892, when the club registered with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. It is one of the oldest clubs in the country, and a member of the 1892 Club; an organisation which allows other members from the 1892 club to play on their course.
The original course of 9 holes was sited across the road from the current home. By 1897, another nine holes were created on the other side of the road, where the course now lives.
In early 1899, the club moved to Wallbridge, where the Westwood Golf Club is now situated. Then in 1922, the massive step of buying 92 acres of land back at the Big Birchall site was agreed upon, and the current course was opened on 5th July 2023, hence the centenary this year.
Tom Williamson, the professional at Notts Golf Club (Hollinwell) was appointed to design the course and act as an advisor during the construction.
The course opened on 5th July 1923 and records show the layout of the course to be virtually identical to that of today, a true testament to the vision of Tom, the committee and members of the time.
In 1924 Harry Vardon, the six time Open Championship winner, accepted an invite to inspect the new course and whilst no reports exist, the retention of the original layout indicates the golfing legend was pleased with the result.
A tree planting scheme commenced in October 1930 to ‘relieve the monotony’. Many of those trees are still on the course, and the club is now a far cry from the sheep grazing fields of the 20s.
Work over the years has included making the 18th green into the putting green, and building a new one, and extensive work has been carried out building, maintaining and extending the clubhouse.
The members held a celebration on 5th July this year, where they dressed up in traditional clothes of the time. Five club officials are pictured here.