This year the Liverpool Group golf competition was held at the Huyton and Prescot Golf Club, a true gem of a parkland course just 10 miles from Liverpool Masonic Hall.
The club celebrated its centenary in 2005, although it has gone through several identities during that time. The estate of Hurst Park really took off in the second half of the 19th century under the ownership of the Evans family. They made their wealth initially from printing, but in later years from the coal industry, with open cast mining taking place on the land that is now the golf course. Eventually, the land and thriving mansion were sold to another local wealthy family, the Atherton’s and it was during 1904 that a golf course was laid out in the beautiful parkland of the Hurst Park Estate, under the guidance of the great James Braid. The Atherton family encouraged the forming of a golf club known as Huyton Golf Club and considerable interest was shown by local residents, because almost immediately 77 gentlemen and 45 ladies enrolled as members.
Not much is known about the activities of the club prior to 1939, although apparently the Prince of Wales regularly played the course in the 1920’s and 1930’s when he visited the Earl of Derby at Knowsley Hall. His signature can be seen in a visitor’s book page and a thank you letter from his office on one of his hastily arranged visits in 1933. He was to prove a little hasty in other matters too!
The unprecedented hot weather we have been having in the UK meant not only was the golf in itself a challenge but the arduous conditions on the course were going to be a telling factor too. The course itself was in good condition considering the weather and the green keeper and staff had done a sterling job.
Of even greater note for some, was the visit and good turnout from the Liverpool Group, with a number of their friends also participating on the day, with the numbers extended even further at the dinner and presentation evening. It was a challenging day for the participants but the outcome was just reward for all. The outright winner of the prestigious Liverpool Group Trophy was Thomas Philip Pattullo of the Blenheim Lodge No 7519, with an enviable score of 31 points.
Last year’s winner Jim Eddowes of Everton Lodge No 823, managed to achieve the runner-up spot after a score of 29, which was also achieved by Alan Ray of Childwall Lodge No 5235, with Jim taking the honours on a count back. Jim was further pleased on realising his lodge Everton, had won the Presidents Cup.
Of the visiting friends, it was Ronnie Mills who took the laurels as the winning visitor, with an outstanding score of 39 points, while Childwall’s Alan Ray, who had narrowly missed out on being the runner up for the Liverpool Group Trophy, had the satisfaction of being ‘nearest the pin’ on the day. It was another visitor, Michael Darby, who achieved the ‘longest drive’ during the day.
At the evening dinner the Golf Society officers expressed their heartfelt thanks to the attendees, particularly to Assistant Provincial Grand Master Derek Parkinson, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals Samuel Robinson and Liverpool Group Chairman Mark Matthews, for presenting the various trophies and prizes. This was also extended to the Liverpool Group officers in attendance, Craft vice chairman David Johnson, Royal Arch vice chairman David Kemp and Craft secretary Robert Paterson.
In return Derek Parkinson thanked the society for organising the ‘Competition Day and Evening Dinner’ and also thanked the gentlemen and brethren for their attendance. The group golf officers expressed they’re thanks to the Huyton and Prescot Golf Club for their attention to detail associated with this year’s competition, adding that the attentive staff made the society visit, including the dining experience, sublime. The officers gave their appreciation and thanks to the Liverpool Group Golf Treasurer Geoff Brown in conducting a Dutch Auction and raffle which raised £170 and £235 respectively. Further thanks were proffered to Assistant Group Publicity Officer George Christie for taking the photographs during the event.
With regard to the Group Golf competition for 2020, Tom Walsh stated that the details will be announced as soon as all arrangements have been concluded, however the Liverpool Group Golf Society will be represented by a number of players competing at the Provincial Golf Tournament at Lytham Green Drive Golf Club, Lytham St Annes on 27 September 2019.