A History of Temple Newsam Golf Course

A History of Temple Newsam Golf Club

In 1923 Leeds city council opened the first 18 hole municipal golf course in Leeds at Temple Newsam. The council employed the services of Dr Alistair MacKenzie to design the course, Dr MacKenzie was a renowned golf course architect who designed the Augusta National venue of the Masters, Cypress Point USA, Royal Melbourne as well as Moortown and Alwoodly.

Due to the success and the number of people playing golf a second course was commissioned, again Dr MacKenzie was the architect and this course opened in 1925. The two courses were named the Lord Irwin (No.1) and the Lady Dorothy (No.2) who were the owners of the Temple Newsam estate which was sold to Leeds City Council in 1923.

Most golf clubs have a resident professional and the first professional at TNGC was Syd Wingate who brought his sister Poppy with him to be his assistant. Poppy became the first ever women to play in a Men’s professional golf tournament in 1933, when she entered the Yorkshire Evening News tournament held at TNGC, competing against the country’s top professionals of the day, Henry Cotton, Abe Mitchell, Dick Burton.

One of the most famous players ever to play at TNGC was Gene Sarazen a top US golfer who played exhibition matches on the course on a few occasions. The course was held in such high esteem that TNGC narrowly lost out to Southport and Ainsdale GC in been selected as the venue for the 1937 Ryder Cup.

In an attempt to get the Ryder Cup to TNGC Percy Alliss (father of the famous golf commentator Peter Alliss) was made the professional in 1936. Alliss was later replaced by Bill Shankland, who came to England touring with the Australian Rugby League team, he played for Warrington and when he retired he concentrated on golf. He joined TNGC in 1938 as the professional and whilst representing TNGC he played in the British Open many times with his best position of 3rd in 1939 and 4th in 1947.

When war broke out the government took 18 holes on the golf course for agriculture and eventually outcrop mining as it was discovered that coal required for the war effort was only a few feet under the fairways of the course. The remaining 18 holes made a composite course this remained in place until 1957 when the two courses were restored. The layout of both courses have remained since that day, allowing the people of Leeds the opportunity to Pay and Play golf at any time.

In April 2017, Leeds City Council decided to redesign the courses in an attempt to attract more players to TNGC. The redesign closed 9 holes and the new layout comprises of an 18 hole course and a new 9 hole course. The members of TNGC were involved in planning the new layout of the 9 and 18 hole courses and it is hoped that these changes will encourage more people to visit TNGC and also give the people of East Leeds access to a 9 hole course, which can be completed in less than 2 hours.

Anyone wishing to play golf at TNGC can call 0113 264 7362 for further details, if you are

interested in membership please email secretary@templenewsamgolf.co.uk

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