The Club History

Club History


Wallasey was founded in 1891 by members from nearby Hoylake, perhaps because their links was becoming crowded or maybe because Wallasey was more convenient for the many Liverpool businessmen wanting to slip away to play golf.

Tom Morris senior of St Andrews, four times Open champion, laid out the links. An 1893 newspaper comment that “…the greens were in excellent condition…” has been repeated continuously ever since. Course improvements were made in 1901 by Alex ‘Sandy’ Herd (Open Champion 1902) and in 1913 by Harold Hilton (four times Amateur Champion and twice Open Champion).

The links had been affected by drifting sand in the early years, but after the October gales of 1917 sand inundated the holes closest to the sea. There was a real risk of golf being abandoned. On top of this there were problems with the local Council over the lease and their plans to develop the coastline. Fortunately these problems were resolved, a new coastal embankment checked the encroachment of sand, and the Club was able to consider restoring the links to its former glory. In 1929 James Braid, 5 times Open Champion (pictured, in light jacket), was consulted on alterations which led to Wallasey being selected as a qualifying course for the 1930 Open. It was whilst Bobby Jones was playing in the competition that the famous portrait was painted by Wallasey member J. A. A. Berrie, R.A. (See “Bobby Jones”). Only two years later the first Stableford competition was played at Wallasey. (see “Dr Frank Stableford”)

Although Wallasey was again an Open qualifying course in 1936, a new lease meant that the acreage was reduced and a new layout was required. This was designed by Hawtree and J H Taylor, with additional advice from James Braid.

The Second World War interrupted this development and caused the loss of some holes for defences. It was not until 1952 that the full 18 hole links was available, and in 1956 the Open qualifiers were again held at Wallasey when the Open returned to Hoylake. As well as eventual winner Peter Thompson, the competitors included Henry Cotton, Gene Sarazen, Peter Alliss, and the 20-year-old Gary Player.

1964 saw the retirement of club professional Bill Davies after 36 years service, during which he also managed 2 Ryder Cup appearances and several top-10 Open finishes.