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A BRIEF HISTORY


Clayton Golf Club was formed at a meeting held at the Clayton Board School on the 20th of April 1906. The club was formerly opened on the 19th May 1906. Elected President was Thomas Priestley Esq.J.P. a former Lord Mayor of Bradford and elected Captain was Mr. Herbert Robertshaw. The land on which the course would be built was originally rented from local farmers, who ensured they kept full grazing rights for their livestock. The course at this time was cut by using a horse drawn mower. The course was difficult to play, not only because of the animals but because the greens had to be fenced for protection. In 1909, the club rented a clubhouse at 23 Lavinia Terrace, from Mr. Asa Briggs at a weekly rental of six shillings and two pence per week. The club progressed well in the early years, but was held back during the 1914-1918 war due to lack of members and financial constraints, and loans of £25 had to be obtained from members. A massive step forward in the clubs fortunes occurred in 1964 when the club was able to purchase part of the course from a local farmer named Pickup, at what was then an expensive £7.750. This was financed by a government loan and a loan from Mr. W Holden a former President and Captain of the club. In 1966 the club purchased more land from the trustees of Mr. Asa Briggs. Arguably the most important development in the clubs history occurred in 1979/80 when the club purchased six acres of land together with the old workhouse farm and bungalow. This meant the club owned the whole of the course. By selling some land, Underhill Farm and Thornton View Bungalow, the club was able to finance the conversion of the farm into a fine modern clubhouse, and also build new greens and extend the course. In 1996 additional land was purchased from Mr. Pickup which allowed the club to extend the course to 6237 yards compared with 3000 yards in 1906. Today’s course is considered to be a stern but fair test of golf, made more difficult by the many tree’s and strategically placed hazards. Spion Kop is the clubs signature hole. The club is justifiably proud of its collection of trophies which are presented annually. Pride of place on the trophy shelf are the Asa Briggs Trophy and the Priestley Shield which were presented in1906, and the Centenary Trophies presented in 2006. Clayton were Bradford League Champions in 1969 and 1984, which is an amazing achievement for a nine hole club, who competed against clubs with county and international players. Clayton has produced many good golfers. Martin Foster is best known. Former winner of the English Boys Stroke Play Championship and the British Boys Matchplay Championship, he won Amateur International honours and was noted member of the professional European Tour. Clayton Golf Club is proud of its past and its future appears to be secure.

The Course

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                                     IMAGES FROM THE PAST

 

                                                  9 Hole Team Champions 1978

9 hole team champs

                                       J Sidney  J Davies D Moore (capt) A Lee D Lord

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 FIELD DAY1934

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Field day was an open day where residents of Clayton were invited to join the members to try and enjoy the game of golf. There would be putting , long driving and target golf competitions as well as a tea and cake stall and tombola. 

                           Walter Andrews

gof walter andrew

Founder member Captain 1909 President 1911

 

                                 

 

                                           

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                           Field Day 1947                         

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   Mrs Millie Holden on the first tee of the old course c1950            

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      Club annual Dinner at Victoria Hotel Bradford 1963

   The night President Kennedy was assassinated

 Golf easter

Easter 1926

                     

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                 Clayton Golf Club 19/21 LaviniaTerrace 1st Tee in foreground

                

                 M.F.Foster         

 Claytons Greatest Golfer

 

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    Bradford Boys Champion

Yorkshire Youths Champion

English Boys Stroke Play Champion

British Boys Match Play Champion

English Amateur International

            

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Andrew P. Lee. - Golf Memories at C. G. C

 

Early Days

My dad, Harold, was instrumental in starting me to play golf when I was 11 years old; in his youth he used to caddy and play at Shipley, Beckfoot, Golf Club and infact he went to school and learnt the game with Jim Wade, the eminent West Bowling Professional.

Dad had joined Clayton G.C. around 1959/1960 and I recall during the school summer holidays he acquired a few old hickory shafted clubs from some of the members and he sawed the shafts down and regripped them so that an 11year old shorty could use them. 

My pals and I whacked balls with these all summer long on the recreation ground just off Thornton View, eventually we made 4 holes on this ground, I never recall having any trouble hitting the ball, topping shots etc like the other lads and Dad was quite surprised I think, to see how quickly I took to the game. I also used to caddy for him on Sunday evenings when he usually played 9-holes with a guy called Reggie Cobbolds. I believe Dad made me a junior member of the club the following year for the princely sum of 1 guinea. 

At that time there were several juniors, the Harrison brothers, Peter & Paul, Pip Ramsden, Steve Deviin & Jim Sidney amongst others. There were no competitions for juniors in those days but I recall that the Captain, Peter Strachan, was keen on organising and encouraging the juniors who could not play at weekends until after 4:00pm.

Peter donated a “Junior Trophy “ and I think we also had a match play knock-out cup to play for. I used to caddy for Bill Holden on Sunday afternoons to pass the time until 4pm when we could play ourselves, still the most deadly putter I have ever seen in the game with an unorthodox stabbing stroke, he used to win the “Field Day “ putting competition every year. 

I also remember caddying for Chris Harwood a few times and witnessed himgoing round in 65 gross playing against his old club adversary David Lord who was also a very elegant player and one oft he best long iron players I had ever seen. 

By virtue of playing ability certain juniors were later permitted to play in full senior competitions as long as they played with a full member; I was one of those granted this dispensation I believe myfirst official club handicap was 13, about my age at the time. 

Bradford Boys Champion:

 

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In 1966 I won the Bradford Boys Championship at West Bowling G C. with a  gross score of72, I believe (with a 7 at the coffin hole!). Marlin Foster, who had not been playing very long then, at the age o faround 12 or 13 was also playing that day , Martin won the best net score prize- off his then 22 handicap. 

Incidentally I was still playing with a halfset of ladies clubs at this time. 

This success brought an invitation to play for the Yorkshire Junior Team and the very next week I also won the best gross at the BDUGC 2 D1V Championship at Northcliffe GC.

Scratch League 

Clayton GC had joined the BDUGC scratch league a few years earlier and had risen through the divisions each successive year I believe with a very good team comprising Chris Harwood, David Lord, Graham Butler & Gerry Kershaw. By the time I was invited lo play we were in the First Division. I remember Bill Hustler was the captain at the time and my first match was at home to Keighley GC. who boasted players like the great Roger Mitchell and Jack Emmett. I was drawn to face Geoff Smith the ex Bradford City goalkeeper who was also a very goodplayer. I clearly recall being so nervous on the first tee that my knees were trembling  and it was all I could do to scutter the ball forward. I have never before or since been so nervous on a golf course. For the record I lost 4 & 3 but it was a great experience in learning to cope with nerves In 1969 by which time I was down to 3 handicap, I believe, we surpassed our wildest dreams by lifiing the First Division league title; the first time any 9-hole club had achieved this. By this time of course we had the services of Martin Foster who had become a scratch player and also Geoff Holmes who was captain that year.I recall  halving matches with Roger Mitchell on his home course and also a wonderful match with John Hammond up at West Bradford. 

The scratch league, played on Friday nights was,for me, the whole essence of the sport and was the focus of my golf for many years. At Clayton we were extremely fortunate and the envy of the whole league in having fantastic supporters who would turn out both home and away to watch the matches and provide encouragement to our teams. 

In 1982, under the captaincy of Wilf Davy we once again succeeded in winning the First Division League but whereas our 1969 victory had been considered by many to be due largely to an unfair home advantage this victory saw the team accumulate more points than anyone away from home and I clearly recall Wilf forcefully making this point in his speech when receiving the trophy at the League Finals.

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Bradford and District League Champions 1984.

A feat achieved only twice in the history of the club

M Calvert  A Gallagher J Sidney R Shutt N Hawkins

    A Lee          Mr W Davey captain    J Davies

 

To have been a prominent member ofboth the 1969 and the 1982 successful league teams is probably the pinnacle of my achievements for C.G.C. and one which l am extremely proud

 

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                     Bradford and District League Champions 1969

                                 M Foster  C Harwood  G Holmes  A Lee

 

One lovely, humorous incident springs to mind on the nail-biting last match of the 1982 league season, away to Bingley St Ives, where I think we needed 3 or 4 points to ensure the Championship title. 

I was drawn against Whitney Hopkinson, whom incidentally was in the same class as me at Thornton Grammar School; we had been great adversaries on the rugby and cricket fields at school and here we were doing battle yet again on the golf course.

Whitney has proved himself as a great Bradford golfer, achieving several full county caps and attaining a scratch handicap so I knew I had a hard task, especially on his own course. Whitney had a 2-hole lead after 12 holes and was looking the more likely to prevail, playing solid par golf but in a 3 hole burst of birdie, eagle, birdie (spurred on by about 2-dozen stalwart Clayton supporters)  reversed the score and stood one-up on the sixteenth tee.

Needless to say the situation was tense and after both hitting similar tee shots on this down hill par 4 hole we were both on the fairway and it was not obvious whose shot it would be. In this situation we both knew that it would be an advantage to play first and  put the other guy under pressure by being on the green in 2. We debated for a while and still couldn‘t decide, when my caddie jokingly suggested that the gallery (of 2-dozen Clayton spectators) be asked to adjudicate. To his credit Whitney joined in the humour, we halved the hole; I won the match on the I7th green and the rest is history, as they say. 

Needless to say our supporters then proceeded to triple St Ives‘ bar takings for the month. 

Great Days!

 Bradord and Yorkshire Colts
 

Whilst not good enough ever to make the full Yorkshire team I am extremely proud to have been selected to represent the “ Yorkshire Colts “ ( I think this used to be under 25 yrs old) team during the early 70 ‘s and was selected for about half a dozen matches over a couple of seasons.I recall playing against the old enemy Lancashire twice, once at Clitheroe and once at Garforth 

I was first selected to represent BDUGC in 1970 by which time I was down to 2/3 handicap; I remember that Derek Ibbotson was the Bradford captain and our own Dr Cliff Butler was the Bradford President that year 

I have an amusing story about this very first match 

The Bradford team always comprises 12 players and whilst I played for around 18 years for the team I was never the one of the top players playing down the order normally I wouldplay any wherefrom 8-12. On this occasion, however, and for reasons best known to Derek Ibbotson the Captain, I was selected at number 3. I was told that I had drawn a tough opponent, a left-handed ex Durham champion; I I can ‘t recall his last name but his first name was Eddie. 

Cliff Butler had driven me up to Catterick Garrison GC and had been out on the course watching me play and  win in the morning foursomes with Neil Pearson but probably having heard of my draw was nowhere to be seen on the course in my afternoon singles match until the 11th tee. He approached me sheepishly and tentatively enquired how I was fairing. I replied that I was currently 8up and old Cliff nearly swallowed his tongue! lt was the only time I’d ever been first back in the clubhouse playing for Bradford. 

It always puzzled me why the best players went out first in these matches because often the overall match result would be down to the last 3 “journeymen “ at 10, 11 & 12. 

I recall once finishing a match in near darkness up at Teesside by holing a monster curling putt on the final green for a half and the President Peter Jackson informing me that I had just won the match for Bradford. 

It was always an honour to play for Bradford and I never refused an invitation but being on a Sunday which was the same day as the Clayton club competitions I missed out on one or two important club competitions that I would have liked to have competed in such  as the Asa Briggs match-play Trophy, although I did manage to enter and win this one year beating big Pete Harrison in a very good, low-scoring final  I cannot recall the year but Barry Clark was captain and refereed the final .

 BDUGC Stroke Play Events
 I was never good enough to win one of these although I really enjoyed playing in them. 
Unfortunately Bradford had a host of County Class players at this time and at least one
of them was always going to turn in a good performance on the day so it would havet
aken
something very specialfor me to have won one of these.
Realistically, as a Bradford player I was classed in the top 12 players
in the district so I was happy to finish in the top 12 to justfy my place
in the Bradford team. I did this often enough to not be too
disappointed with my lack ofsuccess in these events. I did manage to
win the early season Bradford Captains tournament one year
at West Bradford with a good score against most of the best players
in the BDUGC and Jim Sidney and I also won the inaugural scratch foursomes

36-hole strokeplay tournament at Baildon with a score round about level par as
I recall. 

One tournament Ifelt Icould have won over the years was the 9-hole individual championship; I  came second several times; the first in 1969 at East Bierley, I think.’ Best chance of winning fell when the tournament was held at Clayton; I forget the exact year but it was in the mid 1970’s. The par for the old course was 68 and after 18-holes myself Jim Sidney and I think Peter Wright of Bradford Moor were tied for the lead with scores of 7O. I remember having a steady roundwith equal halves of 35. In the afternoon I scored yet another 35 on the front nine then proceeded to birdie the next 6 holes I needed 2 pars (4; 3) over the last 2 holes for a score of 64. I was on the ] 7th green in two but missed a tiddler for a par , played the 18” (just a 9-iron) like an absolute novice to take 5 for a 67 and lost out by a stroke to Jim who had aced the 18th’. A case of counting ones chickens and a hard lesson learnt

On another occasion in this championship, this time at Silsden G. C. I had a Jekyll and Hyde day. I had never played this course but fortunately was partnering one of the Silsden players; unfortunately I cannot recall his name. During the morning round I developed a chronic toothache in a wisdom tooth and felt that I could not carry on;  a score of 83 meant I was way out of contention anyway. When I discussed this with my playing partner it turned out that he was a local dentist and believe it or not he took me to his surgery where he gave me an injection and somepills. The pain was immediately and totally relieved and so Iplayed in the afternoon, scoring a 65 and winning the best 2nd round score! An improvement of a strokeper hole I don ‘t know what was in those pills but they sure did the trick. I believe Martin Foster won the tournament with 2 rounds in the 60 s.

 Final Thoughts:
Clayton GolfClub willforever have aplace in my memory; it was for 
many years a very large part ofmy life and gave me the opportunity
to visit some wonderful places and also to meet a wonderful cross section of
people.

This is one of the beauties ofgolf and  golf clubs; it is one of the last bastions
of civiisation where etiquette and manners are accepted as the norm and are
regarded as important as playing prowess, and Clayton G. C. can be proud of its
adherence to this creed. 

I was fortunate to be involved with Clayton G. C. during a period when it produced a wealth of golftng talent, mainly, like myself from the junior ranks, that could compete with the best in the disfrict, and whilst not wishing to undervalue the talents of the individuals in our teams, I think it is fair to say that other teams had players of perhaps better individual talent, but Clayton teams abilities were always greater than the sum of the individual parts. There was a “spirit “ in the team that seemed to bring out the best in its individuals more often than not The “Clayton “factor. The great Clayton  support was also a signijìcantfactor in our successes. How else could we compete and beat teams like West Bowling who could at one timefleld afull team of county players? 

The continuous improvements to the course and clubhouse over the
years are a credit to the vision & efforts ofthe unpaidclub officials who
can be proud of their record of developments.

 My only regret is that the halcyon days of Clayton in terms of its 
playing prowess appear to have waned but these things tend to go
in cycles and after all it is the enjoyment side of golf that really matters.
 “Thanks for the memories  and for this opportunity to relive a few of them.
 

Best Wishes for a successful Centenary.

 Andy Lee

Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland. January 2005

 								CLAYTON GOLF CLUB
                                   Present day images

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 golf course

 

OLD DOCUMENTS

The actual cutting from the Bradford Observer

May 1906

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                        golf docs

Club Notice c1910                 Letter From The Ladies Section

 

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                                               Accounts 1908 - 09

                                        (Note -  no bar income no bar !)

 

FROM the TELEGRAPH and ARGUS

 25th October 1979 Residents fear golf club’s plans

Clayton Golf Club is currently negotiating the purchase of land near the club, which will cost about £49.000.
But the Pasture Side Action Group is upset that the acquisition could result in a
row of houses being built opposite the present clubhouse,which would spoil the
outlook for people who live in Lavinia Terrace. These terrace houses stand opposite
the first tee and the present clubhouse occupies two of them.

 Mrs Elizabeth Jowett, acting secretary of the Action Group, lives at 37 Lavinia Terrace and she says that if the houses were built then she and her neighbours would look out on to kitchens and washing on both sides of their homes. She thinks that this would be unfair, particularly as residents already have to endure a certain amount of noise from the clubhouse.

Mr David Bickers, secretary of Clayton Golf Club, said the club was in the process of buying additional land at the top of the course near Thornton View Road. 

The six acres included a barn, outhouses and a bungalow and it was hoped eventually to convert the barn into a clubhouse. “If that happened there would be no need for our present car park and the possibility of building houses on it is being looked into but nothing positive has happened yet,” said Mr Bickers. 

“We submitted a planning application for the houses to the council but we have since learned that permission could not even be considered until after it had received an application for change of use for the present clubhouse.”

“I can understand the people in Lavinia Terrace making an initial objection to any possible alterations but there would but there would be an advantage to them if the plans do go ahead. For instance, if we got a new clubhouse we would move out of our present premises and the whole of Lavinia Terrace would then be houses.

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Thornton View Farm in the foreground taken in 1923 from the hospital. Converted to the present clubhouse in 1979/80 

 

CHANGING TIMES FOR CLAYTON    T and A 1980

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                                             The New Clubhouse 1980

    CLAYTON are a club on the move in more senses than one for tomorrow week they officially open their new clubhouse and then look forward to their nine-hole course being lengthened on newly acquired land. And, by a nice coincidence, it will all tie in with the club’s 75th anniversary.

   Those people who have visited the cosy little Clayton clubhouse in Lavinia Terrace in recent years, particularly following extensive alterations there some years back, may well be wondering:            “Why move?”

      But Clayton officials and members felt the present building was rather constricting and they want to face golf’s ever-brightening future in more suitable premises.
   In 1979 the club bought the Thornton View Farm complex to the right of the existing first fairway. This included six acres of land and a bungalow.
   Clayton’s original clubhouse (in the early 1900s) was Underhill Farm, and the sale of this, plus the bungalow, made the deal self- financing.
   There remained a little matter of converting Thornton View Farmhouse into a clubhouse at around £50,000 but the project was completed recently thanks to a lot of help from members.
   To help meet this bill, the club has sold some land, including the old car park. In addition, there has been a brewery loan and the sale of
the Lavinia Terrace property.
        This has gone towards the erection of a bungalow for club steward Barry Taylor and his wife, Audrey.
          But all the work has been achieved without a single penny being levied on members’ subscriptions. Incidentally, subscriptions are a very
reasonable £78, and I hear there are some vacancies.

                   

                                               WORKHOUSE FARM    

BEFORE CONVERTION TO PRESENT CLUBHOUSE

1979/80

 

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BRANDT HASKELL

 

            Undoubtedly the oldest piece of memorabilia the club possesses is the Brandt Haskell. It is a treasured possession, which sits for all to see in the clubs display cabinet in the lounge.

             It is a Haskell Ball, which was first put to flight as the inaugural shot
at the opening of Clayton Golf Club in I906.

        What happened to the ball after the opening ceremony remains a mystery. 

          Some 50 years later however, it turned up, complete on a suitably inscribed silver stand in a Portobello Road shop, where it caught the eye of Mr Ove Brandt who was a keen collector of golfing memorabilia. Mr Brandt a native of Sweden also had a home in Switzerland.      

            When Mr Brandt acquired the ball he paid sixpence for it. 2.5p in
today’s money. We at Clayton place a much greater value on it than that.

            Despite several visits to England, he had never heard of Clayton, and neither had any of his acquaintances. Hardly surprising as Claytons only claim to fame was Martin Foster, and its unusual address 21 Lavinia Terrace.

      The years past and Mr Brandt finally found what he was looking for in a golf handbook.

          It was Claytons 75th anniversary in 1981 and Mr Brandt had the kind thought to return the ball to its rightful place. A letter to Dave Bickers, the club secretary created surprise and delight within the club.

Visiting Switzerland soon afterwards on a business trip Jack Bell was able to visit Mr Brandt at his home near Zurich, and reiterated the clubs gratitude and with Mr Brandts agreement was able to bring the ball back on a sentimental journey to Clayton.

           The Trophies

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Clayton Golf Club can be justifiably proud of its collection of silver trophies, which 
are distributed at a presentation evening towards the
end of every season.
Claytons first prize presentation and dinner was held in 1952 at Lavinia Terrace, 
with Mr W A Holden (president) presenting the prizes.
Later presentations were held in more salubrious surroundings like the Victoria
Hotel in Bradford and the Bankfield Hotel where evening
dress
could be worn, but was it was not compulsory.
It was at the prize presentation in 1963, at the Victoria Hotel, that the
assassination of President Kennedy was announced. A classic
case of
knowing where you were on such an historic occasion.

 

  Extracts from the Minutes

The club is in possession of the minutes from committee meetings dating back to  1906. The following extracts give an interesting and sometimes amusing insite into those early days.

20th April 1906           General Meeting at Clayton  Board School

Elected President Thomas Priestley Esq JP

             Captain    Herbert Robertshaw

             Secretary J.V Size

             Treasurer C.R.Thomson

The secretary was instructed to purchase a rough grass cutter, a greens lawnmower, an iron roller,spade, fork,scythe, rake and certain stationary. A discussion about the rules, together with which room at Underhill Farm should be used as a shelter  was adjourned.