Benjamin Smith, founder of 'The Wandering Golfers'
Hebden Bridge Golf course is situated above the towns of Hebden Bridge & Mytholmroyd, some 1,000 feet above sea level.
The course is laid out on a hill side making use of the natural contours of the land which offers a challenge for golfers of all levels.
Although relatively short at just over 5200 yards, the combination of the terrain and the prevailing weather conditions, ensure that you have to place your shots carefully in order to record a good score.
The course is 'nine holes twice' where there are 9 greens, but 18 different tee positions. Over the years the greens have developed subtle borrows which can confuse all but the best putters. The variation in the tee positions also means that each hole is a new challenge.
Conservation of the natural landscape has been of paramount importance, and the course contains significant areas of heather, gorse and bilberries, occupied by rare black grouse.
Views from the course are spectacular and on a clear day you can see as far as the Emley Moor television mast to the east, with Stoodley Pike to the west.
The clubhouse at Hebden Bridge Golf Club is a converted Grade !! listed Farmhouse and Barn dating back to 1779, as notateted by the date stone over the entrance to CP's bar.
Initially, the farmhouse was used as a Clubhouse with the barn being used to store the course maintenance equipment.
The Farmhouse has been converted to Fairway View Cottage and CP's Bar (named in honour of Philip Astin - a long serving and much missed former member), whilst the barn has been converted to contain the locker rooms on the ground floor and the substantial bar & function room on the 1st floor.
The following account of the Club's establishment and early years was kindly provided by Pete Smith and is re-produced here with his permission: - Calling themselves "The Lowkers (from colloquium "leykers" or players) Messrs J Gill and E Eastwood played in a fourball against Messrs B Dawson and S Heyhurst over 4 holes at Dodd Naze. They had to hide their 'brasseys' and 'masheys' under their jackets as they were pirating (or tresspassing) on farming land, using cattle drinking wells as the holes! This was in October 1929. Over the next few months they played at Carr Farm, a little higher up the hill, Wood Top, and finally on common land below Faugh Well (Johnny House) i.e the field behind our 6th tee. Messrs J Thornber, F Sutcliffe, W Jackson F Peckover and S Heyhurst wandered onto Mount Farm and when challenged by the Farmer they asked to 'pay and play' as this was 'a likely place' to play the game. A week later and agreements had been made.
These local and apparently wealthy businessmen continued to be determined to develop their interest and to their credit very quickly developed the land to the point where Hebden Bridge and District Golf Club were members of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs in 1932 - 1933.
During the second World War (1939 - 1945), golfing activities ceased and the land was used by the Ministry of Defence. Search Lights and Gun Emplacements were set up to take advantage of the high site.
During the 1950's, Cape Insulations bought Great Mount Farm for the purposes of using it as their Sports and Social Club for their local employees. They tried to have equal outside members to their own employees and captains of the Golf Club were selected from the firm and non-employees in alternate years. Mr A. E Hepper was the first 'Cape' captain.
The present 4th fairway was a football pitch and the firm had its own team in the local leagues.
The barn was the changing room for all sport activities and a Steward was employed. Membership was £5 per year.
In 1970 the next major change occurred when Members bought the premises and land from Cape Insulation Ltd for the sum of £4,000. 91 men and 27 ladies formed the membership
The green account for the year ended 31st October 1971 shows course maintenance expenditure to have been £140. This was more than paid for by the bell fruit machine yielding a profit of £204!!
Captain Anthony would like to invite members to the Gentlemen's Dinner to be held in the Clubroom on Friday 10th
November. Thanks to the generosity of the Club agreeing to subsidise the event, the cost will be held at £35 which is the same cost as last year.
The Captain is very keen that all prize winners are in attendance to receive their prizes, and hopes to see you there. Please remember that guests will be made welcome.