Ilkley Golf Club
Ilkley Golf Club
Club information
Ilkley Golf Club
Coordinates53°55′51″N 1°51′1″W / 53.93083°N 1.85028°W / 53.93083; -1.85028Coordinates: 53°55′51″N 1°51′1″W / 53.93083°N 1.85028°W / 53.93083; -1.85028
LocationIlkley, West Yorkshire, England
EstablishedJune 1890
Total holes18

Ilkley Golf Club is a golf club in North Yorkshire, England, just outside the town of Ilkley in West Yorkshire. It is located about a mile to the northwest of Ilkley and southeast of Addingham. The River Wharfe flows past the course.[1] It was established in 1890.


Greenstaff and their equipment. Tom Vardon at left, c. 1900
Greenstaff and their equipment. Tom Vardon at left, c. 1900
7th hole, c. 1910
7th hole, c. 1910

Ilkley is the oldest club in the West Riding and the third oldest in Yorkshire (Beverly and East Riding Golf Club 1889); a 9-hole course was established on Rombald's Moor at the behest of Ben Hirst and Alfred Potter in June 1890. The location for the original 9-hole course was planned with assistance from George Strath, the club professional at Southport and George Kay, the club professional at Redcar was employed at £1 per week to lay out the course.[2]

In October 1897 the committee negotiated with Myddleton Estate to rent 70 acres of pasture running along the north side of the River Wharfe. Work began on the new course in February 1898 and was completed by July of that year. The course was designed by Alister MacKenzie and Harry Colt and measures 6,262 yards.[3] The old links course on the moor was leased to an Ilkley Tradesmen's group and golf continued to be played there until the Moor Club was wound up in 1947. On 13 April 1907, Harry Vardon and noted golf architect James Braid played an exhibition match to mark the opening of the new clubhouse.[4] In 1921 the course was described as an "excellent links" course.[5] In 1970 many trees were planted around the course, changing its appearance.[4] The club has hosted the competition for the OCCA and West Riding Golf Trophies, the Yorkshire Ladies' Challenge Bowl in 1955 and the British Girls' Open Championship in 1969.[6][7][8][9]

The 19th bar in the Clubhouse has on display one of the golf balls that Alan Shepard took to the Moon on Apollo 14 in 1971. The ball was given by Shephard to Father Paddy Roche who bequeathed it to the club.[10]


A number of professionals started or played at Ilkley, including Harry Vardon, Tom Vardon, Sam Whiting, William Baxter, John Ball, Peter Thomson, Bill Ferguson, Colin Montgomerie, Mark James, and James Hepworth.[3][11][12] Harry Vardon won his first prize as a professional golfer on this course in 1893.[4] Montgomerie met Ferguson at the club when Ferguson was club pro and Montgomerie was just a boy.[13]



  1. ^ Country life. Country Life, Ltd. 2000. p. 82. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  2. ^ Saywell 1990, p.1
  3. ^ a b "Yorkshire – Best in County Golf Courses". Top 100 Golf Courses. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "History". Ilkley Golf Club. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  5. ^ The Electrician. James Gray. 1921. p. 67. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  6. ^ Saywell 1990, p.218
  7. ^ Oil and Colour Chemists' Association (Great Britain) (1971). Journal of the Oil & Colour Chemists' Association. Oil and Colour Chemists' Association. p. 922. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  8. ^ The Estates gazette. 1977. p. 277. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  9. ^ Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors (Great Britain); Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (July 1981). Accountancy. Society of Incorporated Accountants and Auditors. p. 8. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  10. ^ Saywell 1990, p.141
  11. ^ Who's who in British Columbia. Admark. 1940. p. 99. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Golf: Homesick James Hepworth puts family first INTERVIEW". Yorkshire Evening Post. 18 February 2012. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2012 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  13. ^ "Monty joins Ferguson in auld alliance". The Scotsman. 20 August 1998. Archived from the original on 9 April 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2012 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  14. ^ Saywell 1990, p.262

Saywell, J., (1990) A History Of Ilkley Golf Club, Otley, Smith Settle.