The founding fathers of our Golf Club at its Rothwell Haigh location were Mr Harry Howell Mr Frederick J Brown and Mr J Pratt. All three were businessmen of some substance and local standing. The three friends wished to play their golf at a location nearer to their places of work on the south side of the city. At that time South Leeds was the industrial heartland of the city and no such facility existed or had even been considered.
The three men hit upon the idea of renting one or two fields upon which they would construct a few rudimentary holes over which they could indulge their passion for golf. In the year 1906 the three friends found what we know think to be Rose Cottage Farm at Rothwell Haigh on the outskirts of the city. They rented a couple of fields from the farmer and constructed a rather basic but functional few golf holes.
Being businessmen our founding fathers came to an accommodation regarding the rent. Initially a basic rent for the land acquired was agreed. Any rent increase was to be based upon the number of members of the club and persons playing the course. These numbers would correlate to the amount of land that would be required to extend the golf course to accommodate them.
A New Home
The directors of the company were charged with the duty of negotiating with the Low Moor Company Limited. Their efforts resulted in the company securing the tenancy of Parkside Farm and Top Parkside Farm Gypsy Lane Leeds 11.
Due to the links like nature of the contours and the pasture of the property the golf club adopted the name Parkside Links Gypsy Lane Leeds 11. This was to be our home address for the next hundred years.
It is believed that the two properties had previously been farmed as one and as a result the farmhouse and out buildings of Parkside Farm had fallen down due to lack of maintenance. The original buildings of Parkside Farm were located on land in the close proximity to the 15th green.
Top Park side Farm consisted of three separate buildings. The Farmhouse to the left of which was a Stable block (Green keepers Shed) and immediately in front to the farmhouse was a large barn (The Car Park). In 1915 the Club applied for and was granted planning permission to construct a wooden extension to the farmhouse that was to be used as the clubhouse with the farmhouse then becoming the stewards quarters.
The barn was used as the men's changing rooms and was equipped with an indoor driving net. The net however not unlike the barn roof contained more than the odd hole. Any member foolish enough to strike his ball into the net with unbridled ferocity quickly came to realise the error of his ways. He also encountered a potentially painful and dangerous problem.
His fiercely struck golf ball quickly adopted all the properties of a high-speed unguided missile. The ball would penetrate the net, strike the wall of the barn and proceeded to ricochet around the room at an alarming rate. Any golfer not quick on his feet that failed to avoid a meeting with his own ball sustained a painful and embarrassing injury.
The long-suffering male members even had to share their changing facilities with the odd rat or two. Imagine if you will, dawn on a cold winter's day in the gloom of the old barn, coming face to face with a rat. Doesn't it set your nerve ends jangling in alarm?
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