The Ladies Section of Houghwood Golf Club is an entertaining, vibrant, fun-filled and friendly place to be.
Competition day is usually on Saturday at 10.00am. A variety of club-based competitions take place weekly through all seasons. We have a draw for playing partners therefore ladies play with a different group each time and so new members become an integral part of the section very quickly.
The section operates two teams in the Lancashire Ladies Shield at Handicap and Bronze level and enters the Frances Smith, Scott Leggett, Ping Betterball and Archie Preston Mixed competitions. You will soon learn all about the Competitions.
Additionally, ladies are free to play in any of the 3 Open competitions which operate each year.
There are various opportunities to play at different courses with some weekends away, Lady Captain’s Away Day and occasionally some trips abroad.
Ladies have reserved tees on Tuesday morning for casual golf where, after a relaxing game taking in the best views on Merseyside, with an outlook over Liverpool Bay to Snowdonia, ladies usually stay for a sociable lunch. Obviously, the lunch part is important as many who may not have played that day turn up to share in the chat.
The Ladies organise a number of social events during the year including Presentation Evenings, Quiz nights, Demonstration Evenings and Dining experiences. We thoroughly enjoy our annual Dawn Chorus competition which begins at sunrise and concludes with a hearty breakfast. Some ladies take advantage of the Yoga and Pilates classes which take place at the club and the Ladies Charity Luncheon is not to be missed.
Each year, Houghwood operates a Ladies’ Beginner Group starting in May and for a small cover charge ladies benefit from 6 group lessons with our talented professional, Paul followed by weekly evening golf with a group of lady mentors and probationary membership for 6 months. Places are limited, therefore should you wish to take advantage of this Beginner’s scheme contact the Office as soon as possible.
This provides an excellent way for complete beginners, or those who haven’t played for a while, to grow in skill and confidence and become integrated into the club. There are a number of membership options available to suit everybody.
History on Competitions
Pemberton Leisure Home Trophy – At one of the first meetings with the Directors in 1995, people were asked if anyone would consider setting up a competition, sponsoring prizes and providing a Trophy. The competition became a Board Comp from the beginning and was sponsored by Sheila McAdam.
Dave Hatch Memorial - Dave joined Houghwood at its opening and was always a great supporter of the Club. He was Captain in 2007 but very sadly died during his Captaincy after a long battle with cancer. He was a lovely man who loved life, golf and good company & everyone held him in the highest regard. His widow Chris has initiated and supported this important memorial with a presentation to both men’s and Ladies sections and later in the year to a separate competition involving the Junior Section.
Joan Mellan Trophy - The Joan Mellan Trophy has been played for the last nine years in memory of Joan who died suddenly in December 2010. A larger-than-life character Joan was very jovial and you could hear her laughter all around the course. She enjoyed her golf and socialising with the ladies, also she served as secretary for the Ladies section for 5 ears and always added her own touch to her reports. She is sadly missed. The trophy is sponsored by two of her good friends, Sheila Bowe and Barbara Buckley.
Lady Captain History – first Lady Captain …… a recollection from a lady member “I joined Houghwood in March 1997 the club having opened the previous May, Anne White had been asked if she would be the inaugural Lady Captain and Ken Pilling the Men's Captain. I think the first AGM would have been in February 1997 as when I became Lady Captain in February 2000 I was asked along with the then Captain if we would do an extra month as the Directors wanted the AGM to be changed to the month of March.
Anne White was a wonderful, caring person and much admired by all the Ladies she made me feel so welcome the first Tuesday morning I rolled up not knowing a soul saying 'come out and play some golf with me Margaret and I'll introduce to the ladies later' I've never forgotten that and knew I wanted to be a member of the section from that day on. Anne had been a member at Dean Wood and knew the etiquette and formalities that were required of a Lady Captain and we have all tried to emulate her when our turn as Lady Captain came round. She got the section going and was most insistent that the Ladies played their competitions on a Saturday like the men as back then most of us were working during the week, hence the reason why we have the 10 to 11 slot on Saturday morning. In the early days she introduced the section to the Lancashire Shield Competition (none of us actually knowing what it was back then!). Anne also explained and showed us how to apply to enter Opens at other clubs saying it was an enjoyable and fairly cheap way of playing good courses, would help improve our golf and also get Houghwood Ladies Section known on the circuit.
Etiquette and basic golfing rules were something she was keen on and for a number of years founder members and newcomers were asked to attend Etiquette Evenings this was compulsory before you could start playing in competitions. I remember attending quite a formal meeting in the restaurant one morning which Anne had organised, coffee and biscuits were served and she went on to explain some of the rules and regulations of Shield Matches and in her own quiet but persuasive manner got the point across to us that we were representing the club and although most of us found it daunting she gave us the confidence to take part in it and was always on hand to give her support. The success that we have had with Houghwood Turkey Trots and Opens over the years are down to her instigation ably assisted and organised by Gill McGough, Anne was the initial driving force for the Houghwood Ladies Section and her hard work and dedication has made it what it is today.
Anne and her husband Owen established the Whitehouse Cup, a beautiful trophy and to my absolute amazement I was the first winner of it in May 1997. The competition always took place early in May and became one of the favourites of our golfing calendar, Anne made a special effort greeting everyone on the first tee, seeing us off before meeting up again with us on the 10th in a buggy where wine, soft drinks and nibbles were provided. The presentation along with photographs took place at the end of the competition and husband Owen came up and joined us for it, the prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd were always that bit different plus there were bottles of wine for nearest the pin and longest drive. Anne made the day special and all of us feel special, we old stagers have lovely memories of those times.
It was a terrible shock to the section and club when she took ill and sadly died a few years ago, we were blessed to have her and all her wisdom and kindness she was a wonderful lady.”
Finally, you may have noticed on the older scorecards that all the holes have “names”... Unfortunately, the new scorecards require blue yardage so the names have been taken off, however the course holes still carry the names - for more information on this please click here.