How it began
When the club was founded, Donald Rowbottom of the Arndale Co. which had recently completed its centre in Nelson was invited to become the initial President, Lloyd Carradice was elected Captain and Don Granfield of the former Leeds Road sub Post Office became Vice Captain. Gordon Sedgwick, a staff employee of Joseph Lucas was Treasurer and Harry Pickup who also had strong connections with the local bowling league became Secretary, a position he held for many years. The tale is told that when some of his former bowling colleagues asked why he was now spending far more time on the golf course, he replied that he had become too old for bowls!
Other original Committee members included Tom Ramsbottom, a mathematics lecturer at Nelson College and Alan Stiff who owned the provisions store in Bakerhouse Road at the corner of Trent Road.
Ron Bates, a Barclays Bank employee, whose back garden overlooked the 1st tee also joined the committee, the following year. In 1971 Gordon Sedgwick was elected Vice Captain and Derek Pickles took over as Treasurer until he himself became Vice Captain in 1974, having been proposed by Ron Bates.
Unfortunately, only two weeks before taking up his Captaincy Ron was promoted within the company which involved a move to Morecambe and Gordon Sedgwick became Captain for a second time in three years.
In the mid sixties, Lloyd Carradice, Nelson’s Borough Treasurer, persuaded the local councillors that the provision of a local municipal golf course would be a long term asset towards promoting future leisure activities in the area.
With increasing television coverage over the years and the emergence of several outstanding golfers such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nickolas, golf was increasing in popularity.
The council owned land situated on the left hand side of upper Barkerhouse Road, which extended eastwards to Southfield Lane and northwards almost to the Colne boundary, occupied mainly by tenant farmers with some allotments and dog boarding kennels.
Some of the land became available for development and 9 holes was constructed northwards from Barkerhouse Road to Townhouse School. A derelict barn situated directly above the current 6th green was converted into a substantial shelter. The whole area was virtually devoid of trees which initially caused several problems when the course opened in 1968.
Several tees positioned adjacent to the back garden fences of Linkside Avenue properties caused concern to residents, as sliced drives from players, many new to the game, landed in their gardens. Some trees were planted around these regions but took years to mature.
Two years after the course was opened the tenant farming the Little Gib Hill land retired. This included an area behind Boulsworth Crescent extending northwards to the Colne boundary, sufficient in total for another 9 holes.
The original 9 holes had become a successful venture therefore work began on the construction of a second 9 holes, but was held up due to the development company having financial problems and also because in 1974 Pendle District Council came into being along with its resultant management and financial reorganisation. However several greens had already been constructed and it gave them chance to mature.
Ultimately work was completed and the full 18 holes opened for play in the summer of 1976, one of the driest on record, which caused additional problems due to the lack of adequate water and the clay content of the soil as cracks appeared almost big enough to swallow up a golf ball. Water bowsers worked hard to protect the greens and the course suffered no permanent damage.