Is this Yorkshire’s oldest golf trophy?

Professional Stewart Fraser with the cup.
Professional Stewart Fraser with the cup.

Beverley and East Riding Golf Club has unearthed another remarkable piece of golfing history.

During a stocktake of the club’s trophy cupboard, newly-appointed professional Stewart Fraser and club manager Richard Reynolds, came across what they believe to be the oldest open golf trophy in Yorkshire.

The impressive piece of silverware is called simply The Challenge Cup and it was first played for in April 1893 – four years after the club was founded on the Westwood course just outside the town of Beverley.

Clubs from all over Yorkshire were invited to send teams of four amateur players - professionals were specifically excluded - to the event, the winners being the team with the lowest total score.

For some unknown reason, the last recorded competition took place in 1970 – but now there are plans to revive the event next Spring. “It will be a great way to get the new season going,” said Richard Reynolds. “The club is very proud of its history and this will be a brilliant way to celebrate our rich heritage.”

The first winners of the trophy were a team from Huddersfield Golf Club. AL Woodhead, FE Woodhead, AE Learoyd, and F Lumsden recorded an aggregate score of 372 over the tricky Westwood course.

The home club was successful the following year with a distinguished-sounding team of the Rev JF Pease, HJ Whittle, Captain Maunsell and E Hodgson scoring 363.

The Rev Pease had the best score with an 82!

Beverley is also the last name on the trophy in 1970, the winning team being made up of G Ash, FB Walters, A Oxtoby and RP Cherry.

Oxtoby shot an impressive 70 on a course which may not have been too different from the one members and visitors enjoy today.

Beverley claims to be the oldest golf club in Yorkshire despite Cleveland Golf Club in Redcar, actually being founded two years earlier. But Cleveland’s location in Yorkshire is somewhat negated by their Durham county postcode.

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