A brief History of CGC
Information in this section is printed with the kind permission of Mr A.J. Rawlinson to whom we are indebted. His History of Childwall Golf Club books, Part one: The Early Years, Part Two.:A fresh Start and Childwall Golf Club The First Hundred Years, make fascinating reading and provide a much more comprehensive account of events than it is possible to display here.
From 1912 to 1921
The precise origin of Childwall Golf Club poses something of a mystery due to a lack of documentary evidence from the time.
It appears that sometime between 1908 and 1910 a hotel called Woolton Hall Hydro (occupying the 18th century Woolton Hall) first developed and opened The Hydro Links, a 9 hole inland course on the Southeast aspect of Woolton Hill, to attract people looking for golfing breaks.
Subsequently, in late 1911 or early 1912 and possibly because of under use of The Hydro Links, the course was leased to an organisation called The City Golf Club.
Later in 1912 it is probable that a splinter group of disaffected members from Woolton Golf Club joined The City Golf Club which then became The Woolton Hall Hydro Golf Club.
Initially the land on which the course was built was rented from its owners, the McGuffie trust. In 1916 a more formal five year licence agreement was negotiated and in 1917 the Club relaunched itself with its new licence and its third name in five years as The Woolton Hall Golf Club. A cottage on the land was used for the Clubhouse.
The formative years of running the 9 hole course must have been difficult. In addition to pre existing sheep grazing rights, the Agricultural Board insisted on cattle having grazing rights. 20 to 25 cows and some horses grazed the land. Fences had to be built to protect the greens. Also, at this time, some of the land was sublet to the Woolton Allotment Association.
In 1920, Captain Peter McGuffie, on behalf of the McGuffie trust, tried to renegotiate the terms of the licence agreement for use of the land on which the course was set out. Issues such as a proposed rent for using of part of Woolton Hall as a club house and proposed charges for damages caused to the grazing land by mowing it to create fairways and greens became stumbling blocks.
In April 1921, after months of failed negotiation and inertia, the owners announced their intention to sell the land. By the December of that year, not being able to determine the owners position regarding selling or renewing the licence (which was to expire in days), an EGM was called to consider winding up the Club affairs. It was resolved to vacate the Woolton Hall Golf Course but that the Club as a Club should continue.
From 1922 to Today.
So it was that the Club moved in 1922 to Childwall Hall and finally in 1938 to the present excellent site at Gateacre. Here you can read the club's booklet produced at the time of the course's official opening on 10th June 1939.
The Club owes much to four gentlemen, all ex Captains, who found the 200 acres in Gateacre, purchased it for just 8,000 Pounds and agreed to sell it back to the Members for the same price. The four wise men were Messrs Treneman, Sloss, Green and Foreman. A very fine Clubhouse was then built, designed by Alderman Shennan and it should not surprise anyone that he was also responsible for the Royal Birkdale Clubhouse.
The course design was based on the recommendation of James Braid has, over the years, undergone some alterations, mainly to increase the length.
Today, Childwall is a very tough test of Golf and can match any course in the area. The course is not undulating and is very pleasant to walk. However, some holes do rise and this can affect the run of the ball.
The Clubhouse is extremely attractive, serves excellent food and has a friendly, hospitable atmosphere.
Childwall ranks with the very best of courses in this area of very fine Golf Clubs.