History of Derby Golf Club
Construction of the municipal golf course began on April 27th 1923 at a cost of £500. The Mayor said that this was a red letter day in the history of Derby, because they had come to open the largest open space ever designed for municipal purposes in Derby.
The Course was opened by Councillor W. H. M. Marsdon, the Chairman of the Estates and Improvements Committee. The Mayor, Alderman Ling gave the project an official blessing, Alderman Hart driving the first ball the members of the Corporation playing a match with a number of officials.
Alderman Hart drove off. It is an ordeal to anyone discharging this function and many first class golfers have been known to play a shot a pure novice would despise. Alderman Hart was true to tradition. He made a practice swing and then addressing the ball for the real thing, sent it only about 50 yards. A youngster attached to the Derbyshire Links pounced on it and returned it to the smiling and blushing Alderman who gave the boy a sovereign. Alderman Hart and Mr T. B. Farrington, a well know County and Midlands golfer who designed the course, then set about their match, with Mr Farrington giving the Alderman twelve strokes. The match was eventually halved.
It was most appropriate that Cotton’s Farm should be converted into a golf course as two or three years ago when there was a demand for small holdings the Cotton’s Farm was taken over. But demand was low and the Corporation decided to turn it into golf links. A fact mentioned at this time was that the site, approximately 100 years ago was the site for Derby Races.
Alderman Hart proposed moved a vote of thanks to Clr. Marsden his handsome hospitality in entertaining them that day. Ald. Raynes seconded and congratulated the Corporation on steps taken. The result of the match: Corporation 3 1/2 Officials 5 1/2.
There have been one or two changes to the course over the years, the most notable during the seventies with the construction of Wilmore Road. A large chunk disappeared at the north edge as an extension appeared down the western side by the side of Sinfin Primary School.
Derby Golf Course is a generally flat, mature course which sets a real challenge. Set in low lying parkland close to the River Trent, its flat terrain makes it a favourite of golfers of all ages and abilities.
The Fire of 1981
During the early hours of Tuesday 14th July 1981 most of the clubhouse and the ladies locker room were destroyed by fire, apparently caused by vandals. On the same day, Derby Golf Club was to host the Derbyshire Ladies County Golf Association, County Foursomes. It was through the efforts of the Lady Captain Mrs Smith, the Club Captain Jock Winter and help from fellow members, husbands and friends the event went ahead. The City Council provided a marquee and portable catering facilities.
On the black side of the occurrence many of the Captains photographs were damaged by smoke, fire and water and it is therefore with regret that we cannot provide pictures of Captains prior to 1953.
If anyone reading this can supply photographs to fill some of these gaps it would be greatly appreciated.
Mary Hettie Wyld
11th November 1905 – 20th March 1993.
In the thirties Hettie, together with her husband Harry, joined Derby Golf Club and she achieved success by constant practice under the coaching of Jack Hodgkinson, the assistant to Charlie Knight, the Professional at the Club.
It wasn’t long before the name “Mrs H. Wyld” appeared on the Club’s Honour Board, covering a span of 40 years and 22 entries. She was Lady Captain in 1942, 1947 and 1958 and in recognition of her achievements and dedication to the club she was awarded Life Membership in 1961.
Hettie’s golfing career blossomed after the war and resulted in consistent successes and wide recognition. Hettie represented Derby Golf Club for many years and held a handicap of 4.
Other Club achievements include: 5 times winner of the Club Cup, 12 times winner of the Hart Bowl and 6 times winner of the Moorland Trophy.
Although she never won the Derbyshire Ladies Championship, she was runner-up 6 times in the years 1949, 1951, 1953, 1956 and finally in 1970
Her two proudest moments were perhaps playing in the Derbyshire Ladies Team in the English Finals in 1956 at Pulborough in Sussex, and later being asked and accepting the Captaincy of the Derbyshire Team in 1973.