History of Davenport 2

Captain, Bob McGowan, and Lady Captain Olwen Sandiford
1980

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1983

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East Cheshire Hospice
1989

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There is some debate about the date of origin of Davenport Golf Club…

..with our own initial research showing that the Club was originally founded in the Adswood district of Stockport – then, predominantly farmland – in 1913 by a group who called themselves ‘The Niblicks’. Their intention, it seemed, wasn’t to form a formal Golf Club, merely a society. Such a society would permit the group of friends to play golf on designated fields. However, despite their leisurely intentions, the Niblicks soon became a ‘proper golf club’.

Davenport to Poynton

The Club happily played their golf until 1966, whereupon planning proposals for a new road threatened the club’s very existence and indeed would change the face of the area forever.

And so, in 1969, the shareholders agreed the sale of the land and went on to purchase Worth Hall Farm in Poynton, then better known as Poynton-with-Worth. There, a new 18-hole course was developed, on the parkland of the Worth Hall estate.

The Worth estate was originally owned by the Worth family who built the woerthig long before 1208 when written history of the Worth family begins.

Benedict and Jordan de Woorthe were well established by that date and owned those lands down through Henry, Robert, Thomas and then Henry de Woorthe whose daughter Matilda became the heiress.

She married William de Hulme and their daughter Agnes became the heiress. She married Robert Downes and they apparently had no living children and the Worth estate went to the Downes family.

Meanwhile, the Worth line continued through Robert de Worth who was Henry de Worth’s brother. Robert married the heiress of Tytherington and he exchanged some of his Worth holdings for several properties belonging to the Tytheringtons and acquired the estate of Tytherington as well as several other properties. The Worth family thrived during this period and married into most of the powerful families of the area including the Wheelocks, newtons of Pownall, Beresfords Suttons, Draycotts, Downes, Vernons and the Davenports.

The Worths were ruined economically by the war between the King and parliament, their estates were taken away and the head of the family was hanged for debt in spite of the fact that they had fought so valiantly for their sovereign.

Credit Poyntonweb, with Susan Elizabeth (Worth) Tilsley supplying the information.

Apparently, the last competition at Garners Lane (where Adswood still meets Davenport, albeit with little evidence of the once lush, green farmland and smallholdings) was played on 29th September 1973.

The members moved to Worth Hall in the first week of October that year. Since those early days, Davenport’s playing membership has trebled. Over the next nearly half-century, the Club has consistently invested significant sums in developments and improvements.

Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.

Winston Churchill

Edwardian Origins?

However, a read of the fascinating Golf’s Missing Links adds to the debate – certainly as to the existence of a golf course, if not the actual members’ club. According to their records, the club dates back to 1907, and they have the records to back that up:

The original 9-hole course was at Garners Lane off Bramhall Lane, and play continued there until the 1970s when the land was sold for housing development. The club played its final competition at Garners Lane in September 1973.”

So far, so what we already know. However, Davenport Golf Club didn’t appear in the Golfer’s Handbook until 1956. There are plenty of other fascinating snippets of history, though:

The first monthly medal competition was played on Saturday 26th January 1907. Owing to the bad weather only 12 cards were taken out; B Sellers, 102-18-84; J J Battersby, 111-25-86; T H Cocker, 103-16-87; A Briggs, 102-11-91; M Young, 111-18-93; J Longson, 114-18-96."

Result of the April 1907 monthly medal; F O S Leak, 91-9-82; H Newton, 97-14-83; E Beswick, 103-16-87; J T Green, 104-16-88; E Ritson, 105-16-89; H D Mason, 107-16-91; T E Forster, 114-22-92; J Longson, 113-18-95; G A Orme, 112-14-98; C R Brady, 117-18-99.”

In 1907, the following vacancy was apparently advertised in the Manchester Courier: “Wanted, for the Davenport Golf Club, Stockport, a grounds-man or working professional; must be a good worker and thoroughly understand greens and green-keeping; must be able to give lessons if required and repair clubs; wages 21s per week. Apply by letter, with all particulars, qualifications, references, etc., to the Hon. Secretary, The Orchards, Stockport.”

1908’s Davenport Golf Club AGM took place in the January with the annual report indicating that the club was doing well, with a balance of £60. 117 gentlemen and 55 ladies were members – course improvements, it seemed, encouraged more players.

Monthly Medal results Saturday 7th March 1908 show some familiar names locally:

Bogey score was 78; William Meadows, 93-16-77; G A Orme, 96-15-81; J T Smith, 90-6-84; R Hyde, 103-18-85; F Robinson, 103-18-85; J Longson, 99-13-86; W S Whitfield, 108-20-88; E Beswick, 105-16-89; H Dillason, 109-18-91; B Sellars, 109-18-91; J J Battersby, 112-18-94; W Bancroft, 114-20-94.”

Result of the monthly medal for July 1908; F O S Leek, 82-7-75; N H Smith, 85-9-76; A Gastall, 88-10-78; T E Forster; 96-16-80; J Howie Smith, 85-4-81; A E Daniels, 88-7-81; A Briggs, 89-8-81; R Hyde, 95-14-81; G A Orme, 94-12-82; M F Hickey, 101-18-83; J A Stott, 98-13-85; W Ralphs, 103-18-85; W Bancroft, 108-20-88; H E Corbin, 108-18-90.”

As mentioned, the first record of Davenport in the Golfer’s Handbook is from 1956:

Davenport Golf Club Ltd; Membership of 240; Secretary – H Briggs, 12 Egerton Road, Davenport; Professional T Cowling, and green-keeper L Whitehead; Nine holes, measuring 5,472 yards, SSS 68; Visitors, 3s/6d a day, 7s/6d at Weekend and Bank Holidays.”

In Davenport’s last year at Garners Lane, the Captain was J Gray. The still nine-hole course measured 5,526 yards with a SSS of 68. The professional was A C Gillies and the club’s members numbered 240. Course records; amateur – F G Thurston, 67; professional – A C Gillies, 68. Visitors’ fees £1.

The original nine-hole course is shown on 1922’s Ordnance Survey map.

A History of Warm Welcomes

For over a century, we’ve taken pride in the Club’s friendly and unstuffy reputation and never forgotten our humble origins. That philosophy is echoed through our staff and members and makes Davenport Golf Club the perfect place to play a wonderful course and enjoy excellent hospitality in unmatched surroundings. Despite a stunning location, in a beautiful and affluent village, and fantastic facilities, Davenport Golf Club remains unbeatable as somewhere simply to enjoy your golf – both on and off the course.