Photos: 1 Charles presents the trophy to the winners, 2 The first winners in 1897, 3 Robert and Ky with the Houldsworth clubhouse behind them
The Balfour and Houldsworth Golf Committee has provided top competitions for clubs within a 20-mile radius of Manchester Town Hall for the past 125 years.
Houldsworth Golf Club which was set up in 1910 by Sir William Houldsworth Bart and the club were fitting hosts for the playing of the magnificent Houldsworth Cup in a Better Ball Bogey competition.
It was first played for in 1897 at Timperley (now Altrincham) Golf Club and was won by GE Schofield and Dr J Howie.
Houldsworth provided a course in fantastic condition backed by their usual top class hospitality and friendliness off the course and there was a full house of players battling with strong winds with 15 clubs represented.
Making it a very special day was Charles Houldsworth, the great grandson of Sir William who travelled north to present the prizes to the top pairs
A hot early pace of +10 was set by Stand duo Robert Lam and Ky Tu and although several close challenges were made during the day it was enough to take top spot ahead of home pair Steven Garner and Daniel Ward on +9 with Flixton’s Paul Thornley and Bob Barrow third with +7 and Houldsworth’s Kenny Miller and Richard Hackney +6.
It also marked a great double for Stand Golf Club as they won the Balfour Cup played at Worsley GC a few weeks before
B & H Chairman John Farmer thanked the club for their great support by their playing members, and officials and to all of the players for their excellent support.
The final words came from Charles Houldsworth: “Sir William Houldsworth was my great grandfather and a generous benefactor in the Reddish area funding the golf club as well as St Elizabeth's Church, a School and Working Mens Club, said to be one of the oldest in the country.
“The mill was obviously very successful and he was able to support the community.
“As a member of parliament he was friendly with Lord Balfour and as keen golfers they started the Balfour Houldsworth Golf competitions. The splendid cups were made at the same time in London and the competition has been played for 125 years, quite an achievement.
“The current B&H Committee are very active and keep the event running smoothly, having to negotiate with different clubs each year and make all the arrangements. Entrance fees are kept low to encourage all players.
“The Houldsworth Club has an excellent course with some interesting holes and this year's event even with the gusty conditions provided an entertaining time for the players.
“Not many clubs are named after a person rather than the place and the family are proud of his legacy. We were rewarded with an excellent dinner after the event.”
Photos & copy courtesy Geoff Garnett