Manchester Golf Club was created in 1882 by eight Scotsmen led
by John Macalister, a native of the St Andrew Golf Club. Indeed
the club was originally called "The Manchester St Andrews
Golf Club", not only as a token of respect for its Founder-Captain
and its recognition of the authority of the Royal and Ancient,
but also to distinguish it from another club called the "The
Manchester Golf Club", founded as early as 1818.
In 1883 when it was considered that the latter club had ceased
playing the words St Andrew's were dropped from the title and
the original Manchester Golf Club was called "The 'Old' Manchester
Golf Club", a title it retains to this day.
Photo Right: Mr Macalister and Mr McDonald at play on the Manley
In October 1882 the club's eight founder members played their
first round of golf over a small nine-hole course of some 1856
yards at Manley Park in the Whalley Range district of Manchester.
They had no clubhouse and had to share the land with the farmer's
cattle and sheep. The inevitable encroachment of urbanisation
compelled the club to find a new location and in 1898 the Club
moved to Trafford Park. The land was leased from the Trafford
Park Estates Company, who had purchased the de Trafford's family
estate in 1897. Trafford Hall became the Clubhouse and despite
the proximity of the Manchester Ship Canal, the new course was
hailed as the most prestigious in the area.
Right: On the putting green post war - circa 1946
development and fears that the lease would not be renewed when
it expired in 1912 again forced the club to seek new land. In
1910 the club announced that it intended to move to Hopwood Park,
the owner of which, Edward Robert Gregge Hopwood, had agreed to
lease the land for 35 years dating from Christmas Day 1912.
The course laid out on approximately
247 acres, was designed by Harry Shapland Colt, one of
the foremost golf course architects of his time. It was ready
for play by September 1911 but not open to members until 30th
Apart from relatively minor
modifications the general layout of the course has remained much
as Mr Colt originally designed it, although it has been lengthened
from its original 6145 yards to 6491 yards.
The most radical changes have
been in the ownership of Hopwood Park, the club having purchased
its freehold in 1925 for £10,000, and in the extensive alterations
made to Hopwood Cottage in 1985. These changes are perfectly illustrated
in images of the clubhouse the first showing Susan Hopwood outside
Hopwood Cottage circa 1885 and the second showing Manchester's
clubhouse as it is today. Otherwise most of the characteristics
of 'This beautiful park ......' as it was described in 1911, have
For more detailed information on
the history of the club see ' A History of the Manchester Golf
Club 1882 - 1982' written by MW Peers, available from the
More recently, players from all
over the globe have appeared at the Club, largely in PGA European
Tour Qualifiers. Amongst the household names have been Lee
Westwood and Darren Clarke to name but two.
Ryder Cup players Howard Clarke
and Mark James (who was also Ryder Cup Captain) have also
visited the club and entertained the members to some captivating
The Club has produced a number of
great golfers who have gone on to represent both county and country.
Roger Smithies, Kelly Tidy and Rachel Connor have all represented
Lancashire and England on numerous occasions. Kelly turned professional
in 2012 and Rachel played on the Futures Tour in America from
2010 to 2013.
Anne Sharman, Donna Barnes, Elaine
Clark, Karen Clayton, Jennifer Fallows, Sophie Powell, Sue Warrington,
Gareth Clarke, Tom Thorpe, Beth Greenhalgh, Louisa Brunt and Katy
Jane Stanley are amongst our members who have most recently represented
This is a Club that supports and
inspires golfers to become the very best that they can be. Our
Junior Development programme is second to none in the region and
as a result Manchester Golf Club will continue to churn out top
golfers for many years to come.