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Sean_A

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The HESKETH Four And Hitler Trophy New
« on: August 18, 2013, 06:21:32 AM »
Trading in a high rent links district of Lancashire, Hesketh has a rich tradition of hosting professional and amateur events.  Most recently, it co-hosted the Amateur Championship with nearby Hillside in 2011.  Fleetwood Road splits the property leaving #s 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 on the links, clubhouse side of the site.  The other half has some good holes, but nothing which reaches the heights of the holes centering around the house; namely #s 2 and 14-16. 

Even before arriving at the gates, the first cool thing about the club announces itself.


The short par 4 opener is not without merit, but it is the second which impressed me more.  Yes, very straightforward.  Yes, very simple.  Still, that is all good design need be.  In fact, the strength of Hesketh is by far its very good set of short holes. 


We cross Fleetwood Lane for eleven holes.  Scattered amongst the mildly interesting holes is the very good long par 3 4th and several holes featuring centreline hazards.  Many of the par 4s seemed much of a muchness though where distance is concerned.  I would also say the shaping details and circular green shapes badly let Hesketh down.  We eventually cross back to the clubhouse side of the property for the stellar 14th.  This hole can be seen from the lounge, but that view somehow doesn't quite reveal the quality of the hole. 



The green is slightly sunken, creating an issue with controlling the long approach.


#15 is a blind drive played dead at All Saints Church.  If one is long enough a view of the green is on offer.  Shorter hitters must find a blind, Dell-like green.  The centreline bunker is a unnecessary, but the hole is still very good.



Playing along Cockle Dicks Lane, the par 3 16th requires an exacting tee shot.


The final bit of Hesketh interest can be enjoyed while relaxing with a pint of Timothy Taylor, one of England's finest bitters. 


The Hitler Trophy - talk about unique!


That then is the Hesketh Four and the Hitler Trophy.  I am not convinced these delights are worth the rather hefty green fee, but then, to each is own.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 04:02:39 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

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Re: The HESKETH Five And The Hitler Trophy
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 09:48:12 AM »
Who designed Hesketh?   Some interesting features. 

David_Tepper

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Re: The HESKETH Five And The Hitler Trophy
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 09:53:23 AM »
Sean A. -

Thanks for the pics. I wouldn't mind seeing more, as I played Hesketh in 1985. I wish I had gone inside the clubhouse for a look around.

DT

RJ_Daley

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Re: The HESKETH Five And The Hitler Trophy
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 11:26:30 AM »
What in the world!  Another fascinating tour by Sean.
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Dan Herrmann

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Re: The HESKETH Five And The Hitler Trophy
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 11:33:06 AM »
Boy - you don't see courses like that in the USA, and it's a shame.

Thomas Dai

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 02:05:18 PM »
Not only details of some interesting holes but a fascinating last photo of the trophy and the accompanying plaque detailing the story behind it. Thanks for drawing it to our attention.
All the best.

cary lichtenstein

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 02:48:42 PM »
Hitler Trophy?

Sorry guys but the mention of Hilter gets my blood boiling. The thing should be smashed into a 1000 pieces!!!!!!!
Lived Chicago, now Jupiter, Fl, was a 4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 3 back, wrist, shoulder surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, I don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms

Dan Herrmann

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 02:52:43 PM »
Cary - I'm with you.  Either destroy it or put it into a museum where all can see it an be reminded of the abject horror of that regime.

Neil White

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Re: The HESKETH Five And The Hitler Trophy
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 02:59:35 PM »
Who designed Hesketh?   Some interesting features. 

Bill,

I played with Sean and happened upon a member of the committee who was not aware of the original designer of the course when it opened in 1885 although he suggested that more of the course was laid over land similar to that seen in Sean's photos before being sold off to the local council.

I scoured a few OS maps (1894 & 1911) and couldn't find anything to back this up as it seems the course has only ever been on the property that still holds 1, 2 & 14 thru' 18, so I'm at a loss.

The committee member did state that Fred Hawtree had a role in the design of the new holes over Fleetwood Road - and may have had a hand in some of what is seen in Sean's photos.  Martin Hawtree is responsible for a few alterations since the course was extended to 18 holes.

An interesting side note is that an 1894 map refers to the area which the older holes are laid out on as 'Little Ireland' - fairly apt really.

Neil.
Courses played 2020 - ................!

Mark Chaplin

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 04:02:04 PM »
Cary/Dan read the story and you realise the trophy shows the futility of the man and regime, it should be displayed for this very reason.

Sean - £60 a round or £80 for a day ticket, your definition of hefty is getting rather extended.
Cave Nil Vino

Dan Herrmann

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 04:33:59 PM »
Aye. Display it, but in a museum, not a private facility.

Rich Goodale

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »
Thanks for (most of) that, Sean.  Hesketh was the "hidden gem" of my 1st tour of NW England in 1981, and your pictures confirm my memory of an interesting and challenging links laid out within (but not spoiled by) significant human encroachment.

That being said, I too am dismayed at the "Little England" mentality that seems to have caused the Club to recently buy that ghastly bit of Nazi memorabilia.

Shame on you, Hesketh Golf Club.

Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Mark Chaplin

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 05:57:50 PM »
A club buys a trophy directly linked to one of their members from 75 years ago and a bunch of Americans get offended and think its little England mentality. Whose got the complex? 
Cave Nil Vino

Sean_A

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 06:41:02 PM »
While I am sensitive to the war, I am 100% in the camp of the trophy is very unique and directly related to the club - its a keeper and a very handsome one at that.  One shouldn't destroy history, no matter the origins.  

Even with an interesting routing, there is a far better course sitting on that land.  Hesketh is good, but in the end quite disappointing for me. To put it in context, Hesketh is no better than Church Stretton, Cleeve Cloud and Painswick, courses people pass off as a bit of fun.  Its a shame Hesketh isn't nearly as fun as these three and for £60 its a non-starter so far as I am concerned.  Doak's 4 assessment is about spot on.  

Chappers - coppers must be overpaid if paying £60 for a game of golf at a decent place sounds good value.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 07:18:26 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Michael Whitaker

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 07:01:46 PM »
"Many of the par 4s seemed much of a muchness though where distance is concerned."

What the hell does this mean?!?!?

Whit

PS - the trophy is an Olympic relic. Would make a great story on TV for the 2016 broadcast. You should I inform the BBC.
"Solving the paradox of proportionality is the heart of golf architecture."  - Tom Doak (11/20/05)

Sean_A

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2013, 07:13:48 PM »
"Many of the par 4s seemed much of a muchness though where distance is concerned."

What the hell does this mean?!?!?

Whit

PS - the trophy is an Olympic relic. Would make a great story on TV for the 2016 broadcast. You should I inform the BBC.

Whitty

It means a lot of the 4s seemed to play the same length.

Ciao 
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Pete_Pittock

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2013, 09:20:20 PM »
I have pleasant memories of Hesketh. It was the site of my last team victory in the Company Days event of 2000. We rode the coattails of a Texan who the next week was in the final grouping of the British Senior Open at Royal County Down. I did contribute a couple of birdies at 12 and 13. I'll add some photos later. Had a very long discussion with the Professional Emeritus, John Donoghue. I have a copy of The Hesketh Golf Club 1885-1985 by Keith Hick, and can answer some questions on the architecture.

The club started as Southport Golf Club with some of that course on part of the current links, which had another name as Marschside Links.
"The original 12 holes was in an area enclosed by a line drawn from the present 14th tee. across the 1st, 18th and 17th fairways, from there northward to Marshside Road and the area occupied by Stanley School, back to the present 5th tee, then to the 5th green  and from there back to the 13th green."

JOF Morris, the second son of Old Tom Morris, according to the February 1185 edition of "Field' was responsiible as "J.O.F. Morris of St Andrews has been at Southport for the last fortnight laying off the course, and giving lessons..." Also, Tom Morris sent a man (A. Walker) to look after the course and supply clubs to all who may require them"

By May Old Tom Morris had requested that his professional at the course (Walker) to "assist in further work at Southport in lengthening the course to a full 18 holes." JOF (Jame)  returned the following year to oversee progress on 'his' course during the playing of the Captians Cup in October 1886.

The hanlet Little Ireland ran across what is now the 17th, 18th, 1st nd 14th fairways and "close inspection" will still reveal the trackway that ran through the settlement."

George Strath, the brother of Open champion Andrew Strath  became 'greenskeeper' around 1889 and improved drainage and the greens were 'adjudged to be amongst the finest in Britain.'

By the 1891 annual meeting the Southport Golf Course was free of all debt, "yet the nearby ramshackle, insanitary nuisance of Little Ireland, plus consequential alterations to the links by Hesketh Estate, meant the club were reluctantly compelled to seek ground elsewhere."
Negotiations with the Scarisbrick Estates found property near Roe Land and Blowick called Moss Lane and the available acreage allowed Stratj to lay out a full 18 holes. The club played here until 1902.

The return to the present location was facilitated by a new fourteen year lease secure from Scarisbrick Estates. By 1901 Charles Hesketh Bibby Hesketh returned from the Boer War and was determined to lay out a golf links. Assisted by his agent, Mr G E Gregson,  a Surveyor of Preston with work commencing in February 1901. Within weeks the club received plans from the Hesketh Estates for the new golf links and clubhouse in Cockle Dick's Lane. "The advice and direction of George Lowe, the St. Annes Professonal, were obtained in order to prepare the course on the best lines..."

Between the original plan dated September 1901 and the plan issued in December 1902 major changes were made, the 5th hole was shortened with the loss of the 5th teeing area, the 7th and 8th were combined, the 9th became the 8th, the original 10th hole plan was scrapped, and the 9th hole moved parallel and eastward, the 11th became the 10th. The original 12th, which came back over the sea embankment was scrapped, and a new 11th hole was laid running parallel and west of the sea embankment. A new 12th hole was laid running south-eastwards to Fleetwood Road and the oriigal 12th green. The area around 16 green/17 tee altered.
The next chapter starts "With work on the Club House and Linka completed by Estate staff under the supervision of Mr. G.E. Gerston..."  And,
"within six months of the course, now covering 128 acres, being opened and by the Spring of 1903, when the course was officially opened...
many changes had again been made to the course, which was lenghtened from 5584 yards to 6015 yards with a boley of 80." Only 7,8,9,10,12,14 and 15 reamined unchanged"  
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 11:59:31 PM by Pete_Pittock »

Pete_Pittock

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2013, 09:35:47 PM »
During the Great War the fields that now house the the 8th-12th fairways and the practice ground were well tended fields for harvest and the ladies club rooms were covereted into a ward of the nearby Cottage Hospital, which had become a military hospital.

Tom Simpson became the Professional, from 1920 to 1930. Minor changes from 1908-1921 were on the opening nine holes, with a bunch of renumbering. The present day 4th hole was built, then it was numbered as the 6th


Pete_Pittock

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 09:53:01 PM »
From the chapter 'The Reconstructed Course"
"Whilst the quality of golf was to quicken the pulses of members, players and spectators alike, the uncertainty over the conditions of a new lease was to some degree, undermining the confidence of the Club"
"corrspondence regarding a new lease to replace the present 14 year agreement, was begun by Alderman Averling J.P> on behalf of the Club in 1934, with the Southport Corporaton and Messrs. Duncan B. Gray and Partners, representatives of the Hesketh Estates, Agreement was reach to lease an area West of Fleetwood Road (the area forming the present 7th, 9th, 9th, 10th and Practice Area) in exchange for giving up land to the East of Fleetwood Road, which would mean discontinuing  play on the old 2nd 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th and 12th holes.  A drastice reconstruction was thereforeinevitable with the lodd of land for futire building purpoes. Four sets of plans were submitted, inclding those by James Braid of Walton Heath Golf Club and Major Charles A MacKenzie M.C. the latter submission was accepted and work on the reconstruction commence ain aAugust 1936 at a cost of" 2,200 pounds. In addition to the new holes, new wells wre dug for 7,8,9,10 and 17, a new sea embankment to protect the 7th fairway and at least 50,000 drain pipes,
The cost as at least double the exstimate, and probably triple.  

Pete_Pittock

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2013, 10:23:24 PM »
In World War II the old 7th fairway became farmed, wooden sleepers were placed in fairways to prevent landing by the Luftwaffe. Hesketh President for Life Col. Roger Fleetwood-Hesketh headed the unit responsible for convincing German leadership that the oncoming invasion would occur at Calais, rather than Normandy, then convincing German troops to return to Calais, on June 10th,  after they had started out for Normany.

Hawtree and Sons was engaged in 1956 because of housing developments adjacent to the 16th and short 17th. The 11th was divided into a new short 11th and a par 4 12th. Trying to make the 16th safer for the new housing created many problems. A possible alteration to 14 and 15 led to a new plan abandoning the 16th and 17th, replacing them with a 400 yarder (since expanded to a par 5) to a new green in the corner of the land toeards Bank Nook. The new 11th required two new greens - the 10th was moved 100 yds to the SouthWest, the 11th was built as the old 11th became 11/12.

Pete_Pittock

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2013, 12:03:43 AM »
To sum up Jame Morris, the second son of Old Tom Morris had a hand in the original course.
Tom Simpson was one of their Professionals.
Charles Mackenzie (Alistair's brother) laid out a new course when the course returned to Cockle Dick's Lane. Much of the course had laid fallow.
George Lowe was brought in to consult and there is good evidence he is responsible for 5,6,14,15,16. See link http://www.eigca.org/article/eigca11147.ink
Hawtree and Sons has been involved since the 1950s.
 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 12:11:20 AM by Pete_Pittock »

Rich Goodale

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2013, 07:52:01 AM »
An interesting additional fillip to the story (from the Liverpool Post):

"Curiously a small potted fir tree was presented to each of the winning team; Bentley’s was planted and still flourishes on a sandhill behind the flagstaff at the club.

It became known as the Hitler tree and during the war years members are reputed to have relieved themselves against it as they departed in the ‘black out’."
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

John Mayhugh

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2013, 12:32:35 PM »
Thanks for another interesting tour, Sean. I, too, like the looks of the second green.  How much room between the back of the green and the hill?

The trophy story is fascinating.  Not sure how anyone could think display of the trophy glorifies Hitler.  I can see the win in that event as a source of pride for the club, even so many years later.

Sean_A

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2013, 05:22:17 PM »
Peter & Rich

Thanks for the additional information.  The idea of a Hitler tree is quite humorous. 

Tucky

The 2nd green is reasonably deep - maybe 30 yards. 

Ciao   
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

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Re: The HESKETH Five And Hitler Trophy
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2013, 10:17:18 PM »
Well done Mr. Pittock!   What an interesting history.  You must assume Tom Simpson was not hands off the course during his years as professional.  

Where does Hesketh stack up among Wallasey, Firmby, Southport and the other courses in that area?   It looks really good.  

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