Sat 25 January, 11:41:30am
Although Lymm Golf Club opened in 1907, the history goes back before then, and is closely tied up with the building of the Manchester Ship Canal and the opening of the railway through Lymm.
The Manchester Ship Canal Company owned the land on either side of the present course of the canal and used part of this for depositing the spoil from the digging of the waterway. This accounts for the elevated land which houses holes 3 to 10. The construction of the canal also involved diverting the course of the River Mersey by building a short canal called Butchersfield to join two parts of the river together to the north of the land fill site across from the 6th. green. Previously, the river had flowed behind the sixth green, alongside the ninth hole and in front of the clubhouse. It had then meandered round the practice ground, along the 11th fairway and in front of the 12th tee to eventually pass behind the 5th green where part of it can be seen to this day. The Ship Canal was opened in 1894.
The coming of the railway through Lymm opened up the village to Manchester businessmen who could commute each day and yet be able to live in a pleasant country village. One of these was Mr Alfred Watkin who lived at Dane Bank House. Morning conversations took place between these businessmen on the train and the idea of a golf club was formulated. Mr Watkin worked for the Ship Canal Company and in fact later became its Chairman. No doubt he was influential in the spoil heap being made available for construction of a nine hole golf course. Mr Watkin was the first President of the club and, of course, has given his name to one of the major club competitions The Watkin Cup.
The first captain was Mr Boumphrey who lived at another large Lymm house Baycliffe, on the shores of Lymm Dam. It is very probable that virtually the entire early membership comprised of people of this sort. Very few ordinary people could play golf in those days. The course continued as 9 holes with a clubhouse where the present greenstaff sheds are now, until the early seventies, when, as a result of a freak accident on the level crossing to a farmer, the club was able to purchase the lower land and extend the course to 18 holes.
J M Goodier 26/2/2003
from John's book "The First 100 Years at Lymm Golf Club", copies available from the Club's Office.