A History of The Ladies Section

The Ladies’ Section has been in operation since the club was founded as a 9 hole course in 1912 when the first ball was driven by Mrs. Hannay of Heworth Hall with a “silver cleek” in the very first competition on June 1st 1912. The ladies were presented with silver jelly spoons for their competition but later these were replaced by the Hannay Cup which we still play for today.

The opening day competition was followed by tea provided by the ladies with no doubt lots of homemade goodies to go with it.

The first available records date back to 1937 and they show we had 33 lady members.

In 1948 the ladies were given the right to form their own committee and to administer their own section with regard to competitions and handicaps.

In 1952 the ladies became members of the Ladies Golf Union (LGU) and played their first medal round.

In 1955 we played our first league matches against Houghton, Ryton and Crook

In 1966 the present club badge was adopted and this was designed by one of our founder members, Mrs. Margaret Cassidy.

In 1987 the club produced a 75th Anniversary Booklet – "The History of Heworth Golf Club”, which makes fascinating reading and is featured in full on another of our web pages.

In 1996 at the Annual General Meeting, the ladies won the right to stand for the Club Management Committee with full voting rights.

How things have changed over the years both in terms of the standard of ladies’ golf and the role they are expected to play in the day to day administration of today’s golf clubs. Those early years must have been lean ones and the shortages of money and resources necessitated some form of DIY by all the members to keep the club viable.  The men working on the course and the ladies taking care of feeding and watering.

The members must have been stalwart souls and dedicated to their golf. A foray into the “castle” clubhouse meant pushing Stephen the black cat in first to deal with unwanted visitors, like mice and other vermin which had taken up squatter’s rights under cover of darkness.

On the course, a variety of farm livestock were allowed to graze in return for a nominal sum, and as such a “movable obstruction” or an “immovable obstruction” appears to have been dependent on whether the sheep, cow, or horse was in a good mood or not!  I think most players would adopt the safe option and the animal (including whatever they had deposited on the course) would be given a wide berth and a discretionary right of way.

Over the years the course has seen a number of remarkable transformations.  We now have a variety of trees in abundance which in the past, was thought would not flourish either down to ground conditions or very open landscape.

The skill of successive greens staff has changed the course to give each hole its own separate identity.

The course has been described as a “hidden gem” and rightly so.  Anyone who has not visited the course for some years would be surprised at the quality of the fairways and the greens today.

As they say, “Things they are a-changing”, not only on the course but on the whole ethos of the club in terms of its aspirations for the future.  Heworth’s Lady Members’ are no longer seen as providers of the refreshments and arrangers of the flowers but as an integral part of the golfing expertise of the Club.

We currently have two lady members on the main management committee and Ladies are allowed to be nominated and stand for the position of Officers on the main management committee.

Our course is immaculately presented and has some of the best greens in the County.  We have top class teaching facilities under the resident professionals who also have one of the best stocked pro shops in the region.  We have Ladies group coaching sessions available through Bryan Ross and our club competitions are run on Sunday’s between 12:00 and 2:00. 

We have a thriving ladies section which is one of the friendliest in the County, offering a warm welcome all new members and visitors.  So if you want to experience our ‘hidden gem’ for yourself, contact Bernie Jeynes, our club administrator who will be happy to help.

Still not sure?....why not join our annual ladies open in August and experience our excellent facilities including bar and catering.  If you don’t want to wait till then, why not contact one of our Ladies’ committee who will be happy to answer any of your questions.