A Brief History of Blackburn Golf Club

Founded in 1894 at the height of Blackburn’s power as a cotton and engineering town, the club has seen many changes and improvements to the course and the clubhouse over the years, which have made Blackburn Golf Club a place to be proud of. The 18 hole parkland course today, with its outstanding views of the Pennines Hills and Lancashire coast is a far cry from that original course, where sheep and cattle grazed.

Blackburn Golf Club Time Line

  • Inaugral Meeting at The Old Bull Hotel to discuss the formation of a golf club.
  • A second meeting was held at the Old Bull when the title of the new golf club was agreed to be “Blackburn Golf Club” The annual subscription rate was agreed at £2 2shillings with there being not more than 70 members.
  • D. Herd appointed as professional. Lady Members were allowed for an annual subscription of 10s 6d, they were only allowed to play on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The club take on the tenancy of Corporation Park Hotel Farm, thus taking the first steps towards becoming an 18 hole course.
  • Additional land from Cuckoo Hall Farm was rented at a cost of £10 per annum.
  • The club admitted it's first junior member.
  • The first plans being presented for an 18 hole course. This was completed by November 1910.
  • The First World War was now under way and a number of members had “joined the colours”. Blackburn Golf Club can be rightly proud that two of East Lancashire’s nine VC’s were members. Second Lieutenant John Schofield won his VC at Givenchy France on 9th April 1918. Lieutenant – Commander Percy Thompson Dean was Blackburn’s only Naval VC. He won it in the attack on Zeebruge on 23rd April 1918.
  • Membership increase to 225 with 80 Ladies and subscriptions went to 4 guineas for men and 2 guineas for ladies.
  • Members petitioning council to allow Sunday golf.
  • The first Ladies night was organised.
  • Ladies allowed to play golf on Saturday from 7pm.
  • Steel shafted golf clubs were permitted to be used.
  • James Braid visited the course and council adopted his recommendations.
  • First mention of the Winter League.
  • It was decided to give courtesy of the course to golf club members serving in HM forces. Decisions regarding an air raid shelter for staff and making the course unsuitable for aircraft to land were also taken. Sheep dog trials were held on the course in 1944 organised by Blackburn Corporation for holidays at home entertainment.
  • The club was invited by Blackburn Corporation to hold a Centenary Competition with a grant of £20 on condition that it was an open competition and that spectators be allowed.
  • Walter Stirrup, the founder of Blackburn Golf Club died. By the end of the year ladies were allowed access to the main clubroom on Saturdays from 8.00pm and Sundays from 2.00pm.
  • The Blackburn inter club league was agreed consisting of Blackburn, Pleasington and Wilpshire. Membership was bouyant with: Men – Full 218, Country 12, Social 29, Juniors 58 Ladies – Full 78, Country 1, Social 17, Juniors 21
  • Subscriptions were increased to £16 16s for men and £9 12s for ladies. This resulted in larger than normal resignations.
  • Exhibition match took place with Nigel Richards (B.G.C.) and Tony Jacklin playing Dave Thomas and Jack Walsh (B.G.C.)
  • The first 200 club was started to raise funds for future development.
  • Water was finally installed on the course. The 2nd hole was made into a par 3 following complaints from a local resident regarding the number of golf balls being hit into his garden.
  • Forestry Commission plant small woodlands on 3 sites within the course, between the 7th and 8th fairways, to the right of the 10th fairway and from the 16th tee to near the 17th green. 8700 trees in all. An additional 1300 trees have been planted by members throughout this period.
  • Blackburn Golf Club won the Manchester and District Alliance Dunham Forest Trophy at the first attempt, the ELGA President’s Cup, the ELGA mixed foresomes, the Tom Nuttall Memorial Trophy and John Reed was runner up in the Harold Ryden.
  • Miss Claire Blackshaw became the Lancashire Ladies Champion.
  • 1994 saw the Centenary celebrations at Blackburn Golf Club. Ray Smith one of our past Secretaries produced a book “Blackburn Golf Club 100 years 1894 – 1994” from which most of the above has been taken.
  • Tony Jackson won the Lancashire County Championship.
  • Claire Blackshaw became Lancashire Ladies Champion.
  • Jack Brooks won the English Golf Junior Championship.
  • Mixed Team wins Archie Preston Trophy.
  • Gents Foursomes Alliance Team wins The City Glass Trophy.