The Fifties and Sixties

By the early 1950s, most clubs in the county were well on the road to recovery from the tough years of WWII. Membership numbers had generally recovered to pre-war levels, and areas of courses taken for agricultural use had been re-instated. 

Ian Patey

The 1946 English Amateur Champion, Ian Patey, had moved north from Hayling Island for an executive role with the Crosville bus company, and he joined Sandiway G.C. A giant of a golfer at over 6' 4'', he again reached the English Amateur final in 1950 at Royal Cinque Ports, but lost by one hole to John D.A. Langley, a former Walker Cup player from Stoke Poges (see report below)

Patey made 12 England appearances from 1949 to '52.

With Patey in a team also comprising Michael Pearson and Harold Humphreys, Cheshire looked strong contenders for the 1954 English Counties Championship at Woodhall Spa. They did not disappoint, winning by a single stroke. Patey, however, made it a nervy affair. Needing only a six on the last to secure victory, his tee shot resulted in a lost ball, and he had to scramble the six required to bring the trophy back to Cheshire.

The 1950 and '51 County Championships were both won by Harold Humphreys. He beat Ian Patey at Sandiway in the 1950 final and then at Prestbury, his new home club having moved from Alderley Edge, he set a course record of 68 in qualifying for the 1951 championship. He went on to beat E.Crimes in the final.

 

1951: Harold Humphreys receives the County Championship trophy from C.U.G.C. President, C.R.Darlington

In 1953, Royal Liverpool again hosted the Amateur Championship. Cheshire players did well, Michael Pearson making it to the sixth round. "Jock" Lambie from Sandiway, a car salesman and ex-footballer north of the border, reached the quarter final where he met the great Joe Carr. Lambie was leading until 17th where Carr made a birdie, which he repeated on 18th to win by the narrowest of margins. Carr went on to win the Championship.

 
A report in the local press on the 1957 county championships at Prestbury. Pat Clark won the championship.  
   

 

By 1957 the county had established Colts fixtures with Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire & Herefordshire.

In 1959 Jack Jones of Upton-by-Chester won the County Championship at Royal Liverpool, beating his fellow club member, M.E. Wesley, by a record margin of 9&8 in the 36 hole final. He won again in 1960 at Wilmslow and then again in 1961 at Mere, becoming the only player to have completed the remarkable feat of winning three consecutive Cheshire County Championships. In 1962 the County Championship format was changed to 72 hole stroke play, and Jones set a course record of 69 in the opening round at Wallasey, but narrowly failed in his bid to win four straight championships. Gordon Edwards won it, beating J.W. Howard of Royal Liverpool in an 18 hole play-off after a tie. 1962 was a good year for Gordon, for he tied with Alan Thirlwell in the inaugral English County Champions tournament.

There was clearly still a demand for match play golf, and a seperate Match Play Championship was instituted in 1964, Gordon Edwards winning the first two, both hosted by Mere Golf and Country Club, thus establishing himself as the leading player in the county.

A club that had, since its inception always been affiliated to the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs was Reddish Vale. In 1963, however, they resigned from Lancashire and joined Cheshire. They have hosted county events and provided several players for Cheshire, notably Barry Barker (###) and Adam Stott (###).

The 1967 County Championship saw the biggest ever winning margin.

Bowdon Golf Club folded in the 1950s. It had a rather odd club motto: "Golf is not agriculture"

Arnold O'Connor, of Hazel Grove, had a healthy lead over Gordon Edwards going into the fourth round at Wilmslow, and his blistering outward nine of 31 left everyone trailing in his wake. He won by an incredible 20 shots, completing a 281 total with a final round of 68.

Rodney Gorton of Stockport G.C. came desperately close to winning the French Amateur Championship in 1969, losing on the 37th hole in the final.

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Jones receives the County Championship trophy at Royal Liverpool, 1959

 

Reasearched and written by Jerry Dixon

​Image of I.Patey and news clipping courtesy of British Newspaper Archive