Club profile: Astbury Golf Club

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 6, 2022 10:11

The Cheshire club, celebrating its 100th birthday this year, has been featured on local television in which a ‘bard of the bunkers’ read out poetry describing the venue’s beauty.

Earlier this year Granada Reports captured one of Cheshire’s finest areas of natural beauty.

The ITV story featured a poet, one of Astbury Golf Club’s 800-plus members, John Hunter, putting into words the joy of the course with its lush tree lined fairways, ponds, impeccably manicured greens and a lay-out divided by the gently flowing waters of the Macclesfield canal.

John composed an ode to the course to celebrate Astbury’s centenary season this April.

John Hunter

“I was well flattered by the item,” said John, who was described on TV as the ‘bard of the bunkers’. “It was all great fun and good for the sport of golf in general and our lovely club at Astbury in particular. ITV filmed it beautifully.”

John, a retired IT professional and a single figure golfer, recited two of his poems at the centenary dinner, and presented framed copies to the centennial year captains, Dr Mike Sumner and Linda Stevens.

Looking ahead to the club’s next 100 years, chairman Phil Richards forecasts: “I expect our club will keep pushing itself to improve.

“We aim to build on our history of embracing gradual change and to carry on prudently investing in our excellent course and our welcoming clubhouse. This would enable us to firmly establish Astbury as the best golf club in south Cheshire.”

Astbury’s website records how the inspiration for the club’s existence arrived in the early months of 1922 when three young men working in the Congleton town clerk’s office found a bag of disused golf clubs.

Said the club historian and former president Orville Taylor: “Fancying trying out the game, the three approached a local farmer for permission to use one of his fields to hit some balls.

“The idea quickly gained interest from others who were keen to join them. And so, the seeds of what was to become Astbury Golf Club were sown.”

Fire destroyed most of the clubhouse 43 years later in 1965.

This led to enough land being bought to make room for an impressive new building, opened the following year with an exhibition match which involved Peter Alliss.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 6, 2022 10:11
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