Jack Morris, notable architect and designer of the initial course.
The first Clubhouse, 1905
The Clubhouse prior to its 2006 development
State of the art, 12 bay driving range
Founded in 1902, Heswall Golf Club was originally designed as a 5115 yard, 18 hole course. It increased its length to 5889 yards in 1957, to 6556 yards by 2006, and a century later, following several extensions and alterations, it increased further to the impressive 6882 yards that we see today.
The Club has benefited from the expertise of several well known architects over the years, notably Jack Morris, nephew of Tom Morris of St.Andrew’s. Jack designed the original layout of the Club with Harry Vardon, Frank Pennick, and Donald Steel contributing to remodelling designs over the years.
In 1948 the Club purchased the land on which the course lay, together with two agricultural fields within the boundaries of the course. Once these were no longer required for farming they were incorporated into the course causing the following hole changes: the present 10th (was 14th) in 1958, the present 13th (was 12th) and 14th (was 13th) in 1977.
In 2005, the members of the Club voted to incorporate further land into the course. Once again Donald Steel & Partners were the architects. Work began in 2006, and the course as we see it today opened in July 2007.
2015 saw further improvements in the practice facilities at the Club with the introduction of a state of the art, 12-bay driving range, a teaching bay, a USGA-approved chipping and putting green, and a separate bunker green. In addition, six clay greens were closed and re-laid to USGA standards raising the number of compliant greens to fifteen. Continual ongoing investment in the club takes place in the form of new greens, due to open May 2017, and improved irrigation and drainage of the course.
The first Clubhouse, a substantial two-storey building, was erected in 1904 only to be devastated by a fire in 1924. The distinguished local architect, Herbert J Rowse, who later went on to design India Buildings, Martins Bank Building, the Philharmonic Hall and the Woodchurch Estate, designed the new facility which was completed in 1926. The clubhouse was positioned on the same site that it stands today, boasting outstanding views of the course, the Dee Estuary and North Wales. Extended in the 1960’s, the clubhouse underwent further improvements when the course was being overhauled in 2005.
During its 115 year history, the Club has been home to six professionals with Joe Collins and Alan Thompson claiming an impressive 73 years in aggregate. Alan has received acknowledgement and recognition for his outstanding teaching skills; in 1984 by the Cheshire County, in 1955 by the English Golf Union, and most recently at the 2016 English Golf coaching conference where he was awarded the prestigious Life Time Service Award. Having retired from the Club in 2012, Alan now coaches a number of Tour Professionals, some of whom utilise the Club’s practice facilities.
Tom Atkinson has held the position of Club Professional since 2012. With the latest in simulation and video analysis lessons, Tom assists both newcomers and seasoned golfers in developing their game. Heswall Golf Club are the proud coaches of the Cheshire Junior County Team.
Over the past 90 years the Club has been the venue for numerous prestigious events including both County Championships and matches. 2006 saw the Club being chosen by the R&A to host the Junior Open Championships. The event was held at the beginning of the week that The Open took place at nearby Royal Liverpool Golf club, just down the road in Hoylake. In 2012 the Club was again honoured to be selected to host the English Seniors Championships.
In reflecting upon the history and development of Heswall Golf Club, it would be remiss not to mention Stuart Cookson; Captain of the Club in 1972, President of the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, 1981, as well as The English Golf Union in 1994. A longterm benefactor of the Club, Stuart’s financial support and commitment has been very much appreciated by its Members over the years.