<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=570152946471707&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

WWII & Hesketh Golf Club established in 1885, designed by George Lowe

Posted by Steven Aguiar on Feb 15, 2021 12:00:00 AM

Yoo, Hoo! - Stalin - USSR - Miss Democracy

Dear readers, during the Second World War, sports in general and Golf in particular played a huge role for the war effort.

Competitions were organized throughout the country to raise funds and other initiatives were taken to support our soldiers fighting for our freedom.

Needless to say that Golf, one of the greatest sports was played across the United States during war time to finance the Red Cross and help the wounded to recover from their trauma fighting abroad.

Thanks to Normandy American Heroes, you are going in the weeks to come, discover how Golf contributed to the war effort during the Second World War through the stories of Officers, Professional Golf Players enlisted in the Army, Prisoners of war playing it in a Stalag (German Prisoner of War Camp)!

But also learning the stories of the different famous Golf Clubs directly or indirectly linked to the Second World War, in which you will have the privilege to play. A privilege only accessible with Normandy American Heroes.

H14 Hitler Trophy Def

Hesketh Golf Club – England

Our journey begins at Southport, England. Since 1885, Hesketh Golf Club has welcomed golf players for their greatest pleasure. It is the eldest golf club of the town.

Built at the end of the nineteenth century its neighbourhood brings us back to Queen Victoria’s time, indeed the club is in the middle of the magnificent Victoria villas.

The Golf Club was a former qualifying venue when the Open was played at nearby Royal Birkdale Golf Club. You will be able to play on the amazing 18 holes of the Club.

The history of the 1885-established Hesketh Golf Club will be incomplete without mentioning Harry and Arnold Bentley.

Digging through the archives of golf history reveals the Bentley Brothers’ aptitude and the folklore surrounding their career while they took on the stage internationally at the cusp of World War 2.

Harry and Arnold Bentley were English amateur champion golfers who were considered as the most famous golfing brothers in England during the first half of the 20th century.

Bernard Bentley recalls that his father and uncle lived across the field from Hesketh Golf Club where they were members of and where they constantly practiced golf. Both brothers were distinguished members of the Hesketh Golf Club and of The R&A – "The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews".

They took part in several well-known competitions at home and abroad. Here, we take a look at some of these tournaments:

1932: Harry Bentley was part of the English team to compete at the inaugural International Golf Championship held at Troon in 1932, where Scotland won.

1936: Harry Bentley won the English Amateur Championship held at the Deal Golf Club. In an afterthought written about the match at The Bystander, Harry was described as “has always been a very good player on and near the greens” but remained restricted physically by his lack of length.

1936: Arnold Bentley with partner Tommy Thirsk won the Olympic Games Golf Exhibition Tournament "Golf Pries der Nationen" taking place in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Perhaps the most notable story from the Bentley Brothers’ golf tournaments comes from this event!

During the game, the Führer Adolf Hitler was advised that the Third Reich was winning at the tournament and drove across from Berlin to present the trophy.

However, the British team, Bentley and Thirsk went on a charge to win by four, with France in second place and Germany back in third place.

Hitler was notified of this and ordered his chauffeur to return immediately and it was left to the President of the German Golf Union, Karl Henkell, to conduct the ceremony.

The prize, the “Hitler Trophy”, dubbed as one of the most controversial prizes of the golf tournaments, was only “brought home” to the Hesketh Golf Club in 2012.

1939: Arnold Bentley won the 15th English Amateur Championship by defeating W. Sutton, three years later after his brother won. It was held at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in May 1939. The Bystander reports that “It was not a great match, for Sutton whose fighting qualities can always be relied upon to make things interesting… Bentley owed much of his success to his accurate iron-play and a flair for getting out of trouble at the right moment – a sure sign of a champion".

Written by Maryann Docuyanan, IAE Caen student on behalf of Normandy American Heroes 

Topics: World War Two, WWII, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Battle of Britain, Gastronomy and cuisine, WWII Golf

About this blog

Normandy American Heroes provides custom World War II tours of Normandy and beyond On our blog, we write about World War II, things to do in Normandy and much more.

Subscribe to email updates

Recent posts

Posts by topic

See All