Geoffrey Tweedale

Wilmslow G.C. has produced four county champions, and in Geoffrey Tweedale it claimed the winner of the first and second championships in 1921 and '22. Tweedale was also highly active in golf administration, being the first Hon Treasurer of both the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs and the English Golf Union.

Tweedale was a member of the Cheshire team which contested its first inter-county match with Lancashire at Royal Liverpool in 1921. Partnering the legendary John Ball Jr in the foursomes, they won 1 up. He won his singles 5 & 4.

The inaugural County Championship took place at Delamere Forest in June 1921. Tweedale qualified comfortably and progressed to a semi-final where he was fortunate to beat E.H. Leece of Bowdon on the 19th, Leece having lost his ball on 18th. In the final he met Israel Sidebottom, and was four down stood on the sixth tee. He recovered to be all square after twelve, took the lead on the sixteenth and bravely holed from 15 feet to win on the final hole.

Tweedale again partnered John Ball in the match with the Midlands that immediately followed the 1921 championship at Delamere. They faced the renowned Carl Bretherton, 1919 Irish Amateur champion, and J.H.Baker. Tweedale and Ball were square at the turn but came back in a superb 34 to win the match.

The 1922 championship was schedued for Royal Liverpool, however the long drought of 1921 had left the links in a poor state, so the county made the decision to move the event to Prenton. Tweedale again prevailed, beating Ernest Hassall of Bromborough by 2 up in the final. In the final he drove almsot 300 yards into the bunker on the twelfth. His ball was in water, however he managed to find the green from 80 yards with a masterly shot.

Geoffrey Tweedale (image courtesy of Wilmslow Golf Club)

Tweedale also won the Ashton Trophy in 1922, a tournament which had the status of the stroke play championship of the North. His opening round of 72 at St Anne's Old Links was remarkable, and the lowest recorded by an amateur at that time. Playing off plus 1, and having beaten a former champion and other fancied players in reaching the fifth round of the 1922 Amateur Championship, he could have a legitimate claim to be the leading amateur in the North. Perhaps his top form came too soon, as he was never selected for England or for the Walker Cup.

Tweedale's performances in 1922 were all the more noteable in that, having taken advice from George Duncan, he'd changed his grip from an old-fashioned "baseball" style to an overlapping "Vardon" grip in the early part of the season.

Tweedale's style was described in "The Sketch" in 1923: "Mr Tweedale has a quiet, unobtrusive style which is the token of steadiness -  the steadiness which brings in a year more victories than defeats in matches with players of spasmodic brilliance".

Geoffrey Tweedale was elected as the first Hon Treasurer when the CUGC was formed in November, 1920. He was clearly considered highly capable, for he was elected to the position of Treasurer when the EGU came into existence in 1924. He was also selected as part of the working group tasked with drafting the formal constitution of the EGU. He later went on to be Hon Secretary at Wilmslow Golf Club in the 1930s.

Tweedale was an automatic selection for the county for a number of years, and he was captain of Wilmslow G.C. in 1941.

Researched and written by Jerry Dixon

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