Bolton Golf Club was founded in 1891 on land in Green Lane, Farnworth, next to Bolton Cricket Club, with the cricket pavilion used as a temporary clubhouse. Soon after, the club moved to Hollin Hey, Smithills where a 9-hole course was laid out.
In 1911, the club managed to secure a long term lease at Lostock Park which would allow an 18-hole course to be established. Some members decided to remain on the old moorland site, forming Bolton Old Links Golf Club, with Alister MacKenzie redesigning the layout in 1924.
Richard Hermon Crook, a local architect, set out the course at Lockstock Park, assisted by G. E. Vickers, the greenkeeper. The clubhouse was built – as many such buildings were at the time – so that it could be converted into two semi-detached houses if the golf club failed.
It’s said that Harry Colt was consulted and made suggestions regarding the order in which holes were played, but as the course doesn’t appear within Colt & Co’s catalogue raisonné, we feel unable to include this architect in the design credits for the layout.
The North Region of the PGA was based at Bolton Golf Club before relocating to Pleasington, so it’s no surprise to learn that the challenging Lostock Park course is a regular venue for county and other prestigious fixtures.
Played in an open this week, the course was in good condition though greens were on the slow side. I found the course very dull and not very interesting. Holes 2 & 17 were the best of a bad bunch.