Speaker Matthew Stanworth Manager of Northcliffe Golf Club

Wed, Feb 21st 2024 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Matthew Stanworth the Manager of Northcliffe Golf Club told us a bit about his own history and that of the Golf Club. Speaker Finder David Burrows, Visitors Host, Grace & Banners TBA, Cash Desk & Sergeant at Arms John Watson

In 1886 Shipley Golf Club created a 9-hole course on top meadow with club house. But in 1921 Shipley moved to Beckfoot where their course still is today. However, some members wished to remain at Northcliffe and with the backing of a philanthropic gift from Sir Norman Henry Rae who bought the land the 9-hole course was maintained to be used by people with limited means. He gave the Northcliffe Park to Shipley in trust and gold club in a separate trust to the members.

In 1923 the back 9 holes were built making it an 18-hole course. However, on a Sunday only the back 9 holes could be played.

By 1930 land was bought and the front 9 holes were built. The old front 9 holes were handed over to be incorporated into Northcliffe Park.

Matthew joined the club as a junior member in 2003 aged 13-year-old. After leaving university he started working in the shop at the club and eventually became the professional for the club as well as playing on the PGA circuit. He went on to become only the 11th General Manager of club in 2020 a position he still holds today. The timing of this being most unfortunate as it coincided with Covid, and he had to shut the club down for the duration of the lockdown.

Since becoming manager, he has found himself Jack of many trades having to multi-task. He has 10 full time staff plus part-timers and has to deal with Health & Safety and has organised special training on catastrophic bleeding, the use of chainsaws (for the on many trees on site) and other matters such as CPR. He is now the designated licensee for the premises. He brought catering in house 18 month ago with a Chef who used to work for Rick Stein and Tom Kerridge.

Times are currently tough, and a lot of bills have gone up dramatically. For example, gas and electric now costs an extra £30,000. But members rallied around and finances now OK. They have changed to Limited Company from a members’ club to protect members. There are now 5 directors with defined roles such as greens, finance etc. Also, the new crematorium is bringing in lot of business with 7 funeral teas this week alone.

The club has 420 members, and with 27 golf clubs in Bradford area there is lot of competition. The average age 56 of members is but coming down. Membership fees are £1200 for 12 months plus a £52p.a. meal levy and a £12 subscription to the British Golf Association. Recently the club has installed an indoor golf simulator for training in the club house which allows members to practice playing on some of the best courses in the world.

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