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Club History

Golf was first played at Chapel Lane, Great Barr in 1935 when the owner of Calthorpe Golf Club, Frank Mills, moved the club from Rocky Lane, Great Barr. Mills obtained a 25 year lease from the landowner, farmer Joe York.

The course in those days was quite basic and consisted of a number of fields each surrounded by Hawthorne hedges. In spite of the sheep which still grazed the fields golf was played, although some greens were wired off to protect them. Access to the next tee sometimes required climbing over stiles or going through gateways in the hedges.

Play continued in this way until 1960 when Calthorpe Golf Club was threatened with closure due to the Landlord insisting that the lease would only be renewed to a limited liability company. The members held a meeting at the original Scott Arms public house. This led to the formation of Great Barr Golfers Limited which was incorporated on the 13th of April 1961. Great Barr Golf Club was formed and officially opened on 23rd September 1961.

The new Club and landlord worked very well together and membership rapidly increased to 277 at the end of the first year. The main priorities were to improve facilities for the members both on and off the course. A large proportion of the Hawthorne hedges were removed and the landlord agreed to remove the sheep from the course. Water was also piped to the greens to replace the tank loaded on a trailer being pulled across the course by a tractor. This was upgraded to an automatic sprinkler system in 1966.

In 1967 a new prefabricated concrete Gents locker room was erected adjacent to the timber built club rooms. This building housed around 300 lockers, showers, toilet facilities, trolley store and a small professional’s shop overlooking the course.

On the 1st May 1972 talks from the previous 2 years came to fruition when Mr. York agreed to sell 103 acres of land housing the course and Club buildings for £70,000.

Immediately after the renowned Course Architect, Hawtree was commissioned, his recommendations to lengthen the course and rearrange it to make it safer were put in to practice. The new layout with a length of 6,146 yards opened in the summer of 1973. This was further increased in 1975 to 6,351 yards when a 50 year lease was obtained on the land which now encompasses the 1st green, 2nd hole, 3rd and 18th tees and the practice area. Also in 1975 a brick built Clubhouse was constructed alongside the timber clubrooms to provide a lounge, dining room, committee room and secretary’s office.

The course was further improved in 1980 when Course Architect, Hamilton-Stutt was consulted. However it was not until 1983 when further land was purchased that the current course layout was finalised.

In 1988 the original timber club rooms were finally replaced by a brick building housing the snooker room, Ladies locker room and what is now known as the Calthorpe Lounge. The final development of the Clubhouse was finally carried out in 1992 when the prefabricated Gents locker room was replaced with a much larger complex linked to the main Clubhouse building. This also provided the raised terrace which overlooks the course.