A Short History of Garforth Golf Club
Golf first came to this area with a 5 or 6 hole course at Barwick-in-Elmet on land south of Leeds Road. The clubhouse was a small hut containing two benches and a case of beer. Members of this Club made the first approaches to the Gascoigne Estate to rent the land forming the present course on the Barwick to Garforth road. The Garforth Golf Club course consisting of just over 101 acres was laid out by Dr. MacKenzie and opened in 1914 with an exhibition match by Abe Mitchell and Tom Williamson. Col. E.R.T.T. Gascoigne accepted the Presidency of the Club, served until 1933. and presented the Parlington Cup.
The first clubhouse was built at a cost of £112 exclusive of sewage and lockers, and the first horse purchased for £12.lOs.
Finance was raised by a guarantee of 30 founder members of £20 each covering a bank loan of £600.
The outbreak of the 1914 - 18 War was a setback, with many members resigning and staff joining the forces. Members of Crossgates Club, whose land was requisitioned by the War Office were accepted as members of Garforth Golf Club on very generous terms.
Following the cessation of hostilities and an influx of new members, an army hut was purchased and erected in place of the existing clubhouse, and a new hut purchased for the Professional for £40
In 1921 Mr. J.A. Townsend was elected to the Committee and was the prime mover in the development of the Club. During those years a new 21 year lease of the course was negotiated and the purchase of land sufficient to build a clubhouse. A Building Sub Committee was formed in 1932 and a final proposition to build a new clubhouse approved at a Special General Meeting of the members on July 6th, 1935, and a tender of £4,360 accepted. The new clubhouse was opened by the Lord Mayor of Leeds in February, 1937.
Mr. John Townsend died in November 1942 having served as President of the Club from 1936 to 1942. He was succeeded as President by Mr. Nelson Grimshaw who equally with John Townsend was responsible for the development of the Club, and who served as President from 1943 to 1972. He was President of the Leeds & District Union of Golf Clubs in 1943 and President of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs in 1950.
In the spirit of his father, John H. Townsend, together with C.H.L.O. Brown took a leading role in the modern day management of the Club. Both past Captains, Les Brown was Hon. Secretary for more than 25 years and John has served as Chairman of Committee since 1972.
The course was purchased in 1953 for £4,500 and the cost raised by a 4% debenture issue in 1952. Further clubhouse extensions were carried out in 1965 and again in more recent years, together with major improvements to the golf course which we believe has now given us one of the finest clubs in Yorkshire.
(The above is a re-print from the literature produced for the 75th Anniversary - 1988.)