History of Glen Gorse

History of Glen Gorse
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A Little Slice of History

Glen Gorse Golf Club is steeped in history. Established in 1933, Mr J. E White purchased the club and with the help of friends began laying the foundations of the club. Today, Glen Gorse is a well-established course, highly regarded by its members and visitors.

1933 - 1950

In 1933 Mr J. E. White purchased Woodside Farm with the intention of turning it into a brand new Golf Club. The farm was in poor condition when he purchased it. However, Mr White and his team of helpers, including the Club Captain Mr T. Pollard, were able to get it ready to hold Glen Gorse’s first competition on Christmas day of the same year. The competition consisted of 9 holes, although only seven were then prepared. Hole number and 1 and 3 were played twice.

The course went through many changes in the early years, but by 1938 there were 18 holes in play. The Club progressed slowly but steadily until the outbreak of the war in 1939. Like other sporting clubs the land had to be cultivated to produce food, which meant a significant amount of the land was ploughed. During the war Glen Gorse was made to include mounds on the 1st, 11th, 12th, 17th and 18th fairways to prevent enemy aircraft from landing. 

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After the war it took two to three years for the club to restore all 18 holes. Much of needed reseeding and fairwars relaying.

The club’s first professional was John Squires who was succeeded by Jack Loach until 1946, followed by Henry Coleman. Henry Coleman is still highly regarded by the members at Glen Gorse and is remembered as being a credit to his profession.

1951 - 1958

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McPherson moved to the club in 51 with his wife, daughter and grandchildren. He made a number of changes to the clubhouse and even introduced sheep onto the course. This was an unpopular decision with many of the players as it made the rough unmanageable. Due to ongoing friction and complaints by the club’s members, Mcpherson offered to sell the club to the members in 1955. After failing to generate enough money to purchase the club McPherson offered to lease the club on a seven year basis. A New committee was formed and Club Captain, T. Pollard become club president. 

Eventually, with assistance from Midland Bank, the club was purchased by its members in 1958.

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1958 - 1978

When the club was purchased there were only around 229 members. The club set about recruiting new member and by 1958 they had managed to recruit 365 members and a long waiting list. 

The number of members was capped by the local authority so the club began raising funds through other initiatives. They ran Football Pool which raised a significant amount and a Bring Buy Sale raised enough to buy new curtains and furniture for the common room. 

1959 was hot year and the grounds staff struggled to keep the greens watered. At the time water had to be carted from the clubhouse in a tank. After a geological survey carried out by then club captain F. Timson revealed that it would be possible to supply water to the course through underground pipes, a water storage was built in an excavation near the (hen) 15th green. The club had state-of-the-art pop-up sprinklers and lovely water feature new to the 16th green. 

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In 1972 Glen Gorse purchased just over 8 acres of land from the neighbouring farmer. This allowed the club to extend the 5th hole and introduce a new one (the 6th). The altered course also included the planting of new trees which were strategically placed to give the course more variety.

1980 - Present Day

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In 1980 the Club purchased another 9.5 acres of land from Tom Wheatcroft, increasing the total acreage to 109.686. The additional land at the end of the course led to changing the dog-leg 6th to a straight hole, a new 7th hole and the installation of new ponds between the holes. 

Following the death of Tom Pollard in 1984 a drinking fountain was constructed on the course as a permanent reminder to member of the man who did so much in the foundation and early history of Glen Gorse. 

Throughout the 1980s the club maintained strong associations with County Sport and formed close links with both the Leicester Tigers and Leicestershire County Cricket Club. 

A number of essential renovations took place to the Clubhouse including improvements to the bar area, a new snooker room, ladies changing area and a reception.

Today, Glen Gorse Golf Club remains a members’ club with all members, professionals, club captains and officials pulling together to run it.

We regularly hold open competitions and welcome all visitors to pay our notorious course.

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