The following edited extracts are taken from On Fulwood Green: The Story of Preston Golf Club 1892-1992 by T. A. Smith and K. R. Parker:
“The first move to form a club was made in the autumn of 1892 when James Rigby, the Medical Officer of Health for Fulwood, and Nicholas Cockshutt, a local solicitor, sought the advice of George Lowe, the professional at Lytham St. Annes, about where to site a course. Several likely areas in both Ashton and Ribbleton were inspected and eventually some large fields next to Preston Pleasure Gardens were chosen.
No reference was made in the press to a second club being formed in the area until a report was given of the first annual meeting of the Fulwood Golf Club held on 13th September, 1895. A sub-committee was formed to meet representatives of Preston Golf Club to discuss amalgamation and arrangements for their union under one name were completed on 25th November 1895. The name of Fulwood seems to have been quietly dropped from the chosen title of Preston Golf Club.
The move to Fulwood Hall Farm proved to be a turning point and the club was able to progress in every way. According to Golfers Guide, Fulwood Green, like the Ribbleton course, was laid out by George Lowe. In December 1898, he was again invited to advise on the construction of the new holes in the recently leased meadows south of Savick Brook. It was considered that his course would be too physically demanding and the plan was not adopted. A sub-committee was formed and its ideas were accepted.
The comparative stability enjoyed from December 1898 was reflected in the appointment of George McIntosh who came from the Serpentine Club, Kendal. He remained as professional, head groundsman and general assistant until he retired in 1936. Various ideas for improving the course were considered in the winter in 1911-12 and it was decided to invite Sandy Herd to advise on alterations which would increase its length. Five full-time staff were employed to assist McIntosh with the alterations to the course.
The land and clubhouse were offered for 21 years from November 1922 at a rent of £320 plus £25 for fertilizing. With rates and taxes estimated at £229 this meant there was a total liability of £574 a year. Having inspected the land carefully, Council sought advice about its suitability for good golf and one of the foremost golf architects in the country, Dr. MacKenzie, was asked to report on the possibility of making it into a first class course.
His report was favourable, but he felt it needed several more acres. For two to three thousand pounds he considered that the final product would compare favourably with the majority of inland courses. MacKenzie was asked to prepare another course similar to his first one but at a cost not exceeding £1500. MacKenzie was [subsequently] asked to submit a further plan which retained 11 holes and provided 7 new ones. His scheme was rejected and his brief association with the club ended.
The earlier reorganisations of the course were insignificant in comparison to the work and expense of 1922-23. McIntosh proposed a layout for the new course which was considered highly satisfactory and expert advice on this scheme was invited from such famous professionals as Harry Vardon, Sandy Herd and James Braid. James Braid was chosen and the charge for his visit and advice was £18 6s.
Everyone was impressed by his [McIntosh’s] conscientious attitude and the suggestions he made. The honorary secretary was asked to write to McIntosh on behalf of Council to express its ‘high appreciation of the valuable assistance you have rendered them in the planning of the new course.’ The new course was formally opened on 8th September 1923, attracting four of the top players in British golf to mark the occasion: Abe Mitchell, James Braid, Ted Ray and Arthur Havers.
By 1928, it was felt expert advice was again needed and James Braid was asked to pay another visit. His report was both lengthy and thorough and every hole was dealt with in detail. Many bunkers were added and more created to guard the greens. Braid was asked to visit the course in 1932 for restyling advice and his report suggested more changes and what was then the novel idea of planting trees to divide the fairways and improve the definition of certain holes.
In August 1960, land adjoining the course was offered for sale at public auction. On 7th December 1960, 29 acres of land were bought for £4,060. It was a purchase which has proved to be an excellent investment. As a result it became possible to achieve an ambition which had been cherished since 1923 of bringing the course up to the clubhouse. A new 1st hole was created, the former 1st hole was extended and became the 17th , with the 18th hole removed and another designed. The redesigned course was opened on Easter Sunday, 1962.
A feature of the club’s existence has been the regularity with which changes to the course have taken place. Its longest undisturbed period was from 1923 to 1962, and even then these years saw alterations and additions to the design.
In 1965, the golf architects Cotton and Pennink were asked to prepare a report on the course, with particular reference to improving its design. They were very complimentary about both its quality and general planning and considered that the area, its contours and natural hazards had been used to good effect. Two of the recommendations carried out were actually under consideration. The resulting alterations restored the two loops of nine holes which had been lost during the changes of 1961 and the Standard Scratch Score was increased from 69 to 70.”
very good course. Don't like courses that start with a par 3 which let's it down but during the summer the green's are amongst the best in the area. A challenging course