Club History

Originally the vision of the Reverend J R Wallington and Mr E J Abbot the club started life as a 9 hole course approximately a mile from its location today.

The club moved to its current site towards the end of 1896 and an 18 hole layout was completed in April 1899.

The clubhouse, pretty much as it is today, was opened on 21st February 1906 and a photograph recording that day hangs in the clubhouse next to a reconstruction of the same photograph taken to commemorate the clubhouse centenary in 2006 following extensive refurbishment.
A dominant feature of the club is the lake over which the clubhouse looks. Man made in the 16th century to provide fish for the local priory it is still available to members as a fishing lake today and holds a healthy head of carp.

Over the years the club has had many distinguished members two of the most celebrated are Carl Bretherton and Bridget Jackson. Carl Bretherton was introduced to the club at 8 years old in 1902 by founder E.J.Abbot, and was an active member until his death in 1976. Captain in 1924 & 1954 and President 1937-1948, 1951-1954 & 1956 – 1976 he won the Irish Open Amateur Championship in 1919 beating the legendary Tommy Armour 4 & 3 in a 36 hole final. A man more dedicated to golf, both at Handsworth and the wider golfing world, is unlikely to be found.

Bridget Jackson MBE has been associated with the club since 1941 and has brought many prestigious honours to the club. A Curtis Cup player in 1958,64 & 68 Bridget was a nine times player for England in the Home International matches and winner in 1956 of both the English Ladies Closed and German Ladies Championship which she followed with success in the Canadian Ladies Championship in 1968. In 1964 Bridget was the playing Captain of the England team in the first Ladies World Team Championship. A successful playing career was followed by an equally successful career in golf administration culminating in her election as President of English Ladies Golf Association in 1992 something that she describes as the “ultimate honour”. Today the Bridget Jackson Bowl is a fixture in most aspiring lady amateur golfer’s diaries. Open to players with a handicap of 10 or less it has attracted many players who went on to international success including Laura Davies, Katrina Douglas, Patricia Johnson and Karen Stupples. Still a very active member of the club Bridget is recognised as Handsworth Golf Club’s most decorated member.