There have been many players at Bromborough with significant achievements in the game of golf over the years. They are listed in chronological order:
Ernest Hassall 1885 - 1974
After helping his father to layout the original 9 hole course, Ernest Hassall rapidly became an outstanding golfer. In 1905 at the age of 20 he won the first of four Captain’s Prizes and became a regular Cheshire County player. He was a semi-finalist in the Irish Open Championship in 1919 when he lost to a young Tommy Armour on the 19th hole and made his debut for England against Scotland at Royal Cinque Ports GC, at Deal in 1923. England selection on a regular basis followed in 1924 and 1925.
He played to a very good standard throughout his long golfing career, was elected as Captain of BGC in 1950 and at the age of 87 was awarded the honour of hitting the first shot to the new 10th hole that was opened in 1972 - pictured below:
Gladys Ravenscroft 1888 - 1960
Gladys Ravenscroft was born in Rock Ferry in 1888 and played her early golf at Formby before joining Bromborough where she received expert tuition from Fred Robson - see below. She was a member of Bromborough Golf Club during her remarkably long career as a county player and England International. Gladys’ finest golfing achievements included victory in the British Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Turnberry in 1912 and then, in the following year, became the first English player to win the United States Women’s Championship, held at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware. In 1914 she collected the Silver Medal in the British Ladies’ Amateur Championship. She also won the Cheshire Ladies Championship in 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1921, 1926 and 1928, finishing as runner-up in 1927, 1936, 1948 and 1949. She represented England in International matches in 1911-14 and again after WW1 in 1920,21,25 and 1930.
In 1911, at the age of 23, she was made Lady Captain at Bromborough, was elected again in 1920 and 1921, served a fourth term in 1929 and finally again in 1949. In 1912 to mark her win at Turnberry she was made the Club's first Life Member.
In 1915, Gladys married Lieutenant Alfred Temple Dobell in a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. Her daughter, Elizabeth, known as "Bah", also enjoyed a long and successful golf career and her family, the Nottingham's, donated the Clock Tower on the new Clubhouse as a memorial to her.
Having played golf for a number of years at Hoylake she was influential in the campaign to allow lady members and forward tees. She was an obvious choice to be their first Lady Captain in 1958 although, at that time, the ladies’ club was known as Hilbre Ladies’ Golf Club, before later becoming the Royal Liverpool Ladies’ Golf Club. Her portrait is still displayed in the BGC Clubhouse:
Fred Robson 1885 - 1952
Fred Robson was born at Shotton, on the Welsh Bank of the River Dee, on the 25th of April, 1885. He was one of five brothers who practised their golf on an area of sea turf that is nowadays the site of Connah’s Quay Power Station. In 1901 Fred was employed as a caddy at the newly-opened Chester Golf Club. He became proficient at the art of clubmaking under the tuition of John Hughes, the Professional at Chester Golf Club whilst he was an Assistant there.
He was a professional at Bromborough between 1908 and 1910 when he was tempted to move to West Surrey for financial considerations. Fred Robson’s teaching ability was already apparent during his early days and one of his pupils was Gladys Ravenscroft, see above. Her unorthodox putting technique was the result of Robson’s advice; she faced the hole from behind the ball with her right foot parallel to the line of the putt, with the toe of her left foot turned towards the ball.
Robson’s appointment as Professional at Bromborough in 1908 coincided with his arrival on the big-time golfing scene. He achieved eighteenth place at the Open of that year, held at Prestwick and went on to achieve 5 top 10 finishes securing his place in the Great Britain Ryder Cup teams of 1927, 1929 (winners) and 1931. His best result in The Open was tied for 2nd, 6 shots behind the legendary Bobby Jones at St Andrews in 1927. He had 3 tournament wins as a Professional.
Fred Robson played in the first professionals’ match against the USA, the forerunner of the Ryder Cup, at Wentworth on the 4th and 5th June 1926. In his singles match he comfortably beat Cyril Walker by 5/4, and won his foursomes in partnership with Edward Ray. Great Britain were victorious by the colossal margin of 13½–1½. Selection for the inaugural Ryder Cup team followed in 1927.
Later he became official coach to the Walker Cup Team in both 1947 and 1949.
According to Darwin, many golfers of the post-war generation regarded him as ‘so famous a coach that they forgot what a fine golfer he was. Team appearances:
England–Scotland Professional Match (representing England): 1909 (winners), 1910 (winners)
Coronation Match (representing the Professionals): 1911 (winners)
Great Britain vs USA (representing Great Britain): 1926 (winners)
Ryder Cup (representing Great Britain): 1927, 1929 (winners), 1931
Fred Robson during the Ryder Cup at Moortown Golf Club in West Yorkshire, April 1929. Standing, centre, is Gene Sarazen (1902 - 1999) of the USA. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
To read a fuller history of Fred - click here
Gordon Edwards 1932 - 2014
Gordon joined as a Junior in 1949 having been taught initially by his parents who were members of Heswall GC. He was proposed for membership by fellow New Ferry shopkeeper, Basil Sefton and his game improved dramatically with lessons from the Professionals at Heswall and Vic Harries of Leasowe GC. By the early `50s he was playing for Cheshire Colts and made his full Cheshire debut in 1956. In 1957 he was a semi-finalist in the Cheshire Championship and played off scratch for the first time. In a long and distinguished County career he represented Cheshire more than 150 times a number which would have been far greater had he been available for the matches that took place on a Saturday.
During the 1960’s he was at the peak of his powers, playing off +2 claiming victory in the County Stroke Play Championship 3 times , once winning by 11 shots and four times Cheshire Match-Play Champion, with 22 years between the first time as Champion and the last. He acquired legendary status at Bromborough through sheer weight of victories in Club Competitions; his name appears on Honours Boards around the Club as a winner of Major Competitions 55 times, including the Captain’s Prize on 6 occasions. He was also a key member of the Bromborough Scratch Team who, in 1971, won the County Team Championship for the first time since its inception in 1921. That feat was repeated in 1987.
Nationally, he became English Seniors Champion three times, was instrumental in forming the Cheshire Seniors Team and was a founder member of England’s Seniors team . Abroad, Gordon had national success in Portugal, Spain, Australia and in the European Seniors Championship. For many years he was the Bromborough Course Record holder with a score of 67 playing off scratch.
His contribution to Bromborough GC and golf generally was much more than being an excellent player. He was County Captain, a Cheshire Golf Union Executive member and Cheshire’s English Golf Union representative. As Chairman of Greens at BGC he was a driving force for the course to rise first to county level then to be finally seen as worthy of holding important national competitions. The Club History section on this site details the vital role he played in the redesign of the Course in the early 70’s, leaving a formidable legacy in the form of the new 9th, 10th and 11th holes.
Appointed as an assessor for the expert panel that made recommendations for the SSS for courses in Cheshire he cast his expert eye over many courses across the county. A Men’s Outfitter by trade his commitment to golf was indicated by opening a shop under the trading name “Plus One”, his handicap at the time.
Gordon was a reserved and quiet individual but a fearsome competitor with many claims to fame including getting a birdie on his first hole back after a hip replacement operation. In 1972 competing in the Summer Meeting he shot a gross 29 on the front 9, phenomenal scoring even on the shortened course prior to the new holes being brought into play. He also got a mention from Nick Faldo in his book, “Life Swings” concerning their match in the Amateur Championship of 1974 when an immature Faldo prevailed.
He showed keen interest in Junior Golf and donated a Trophy awarded to the winner of the Junior Knockout. Being able to see Paul Waring accept the English Amateur Matchplay trophy in 2005 from The President of The English Golf Union at Bromborough gave him great satisfaction. Since 2016, as a memorial to his golfing achievements at BGC, the Club hosts a prestige event, the Gordon Edwards Senior Open, a 36 hole Scratch Competition held over 2 days and competed for by the best over-55 golfers in the Region.
The longevity of his golfing career, over so many decades and to the highest standard, made for a wonderful epitaph from Alisdair Mackay, General Manager of BGC, 2009 - 2019:
”We will never see the like of him again”.
Gordon Edwards holding the English Seniors Open Golf Championship Trophy in 1988
Phil Jones 1946 -
Emerging as a real talent in the 1970’s was J Phil Jones. Taught the game by his father as a Junior at Upton by Chester he moved to Bromborough and having honed his skills to the highest levels became a formidable opponent. He represented Cheshire an incredible 121 times, was Cheshire Champion in 1987, won the inaugural Bromborough Bowl in 1983, came 4th in the England Seniors Championship in 2002, was appointed Captain of the Welsh Seniors and then became their Selector & Coach. He was also the Junior Manager for Cheshire and became a Vice President of the County.
During a long and incredibly successful golfing career he won many of the Major Competitions at BGC. Captain in 2005 he was proud to present the England Amateur Championship Trophy to Bromborough’s own Paul Waring, a young player he had helped develop through the Cheshire County Boys’ Development System.
Caroline Berry 1959 -
Born into a family where both parents were active golfers, Caroline was encouraged to start playing at the age of 7 at Workington GC under the tutelage of the unfortunately named Professional, George Shanks. In her early teens she favoured Hockey and Tennis but then at 16 devoted more time to golf and got her first handicap; 32. After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Biochemistry she started work at Unilever Research in 1980 and joined the Golf Society there, playing a number of courses on the Wirral before realising that Wirral Ladies was the only club on the Wirral to offer working women the opportunity to play their competitive golf on a Saturday. At that time the Professional there was John Heggarty, before his move to Royal Liverpool and benefitting from regular lessons with him in her first year further reduced her handicap from 13 to 6 then got down to 4.
In 1987 she married Simon Marron, a member of Bromborough Golf Club and switched her membership as a result of Bromborough introducing an alternative day for Ladies’ Competitions on a Sunday in 1989. Tragically Simon was killed in a car accident in 1993 and Caroline threw herself into her golf as a method of coping with her loss. She played for Cheshire from 1996 until 2008 reaching the Cheshire final on a number of occasions without quite managing to win. The highlight of her golfing career was winning The English Ladies Strokeplay in 2001 at Stoneham and then representing England in the Hellenic Trophy.
Caroline became a Senior in 2009 and in 2010 won the English Senior Ladies Championship, winning this trophy again in 2019. She married Geoff Berry (the professional at Bromborough since 1991) in 2002 and he was able to share in her victory in 2019 as both coach and an extremely effective caddy. She represented the English Senior Ladies Team at the European Senior Women’s Championship winning bronze, silver and finally a gold medal in 2019. She has also played in The Senior Women’s Home Internationals for England.
Caroline has played for Cheshire Senior Women from 2009 to date helping Cheshire win The Richardson Trophy on many occasions. She has won the Northern Senior Women’s Championship on six occasions and as such has played for the North of England since 2009.
Caroline was County Training Officer for five years and was Junior Organiser at Bromborough for twelve years moving to Child Welfare Officer having been nominated as Cheshire Senior Ladies Captain in 2022.
Aside from being Bromborough’s most accomplished female golfer in the post WWII period, she has championed the cause of Lady golfers at her home course and elsewhere. She was and remains, a driving force for Bromborough’s adoption of an active “Get into Golf” campaign for Ladies which encourages novices to take up the game and develop their skills. A committed mentor to golfing colleagues whatever their ability level and an assiduous practicer and learner, Caroline is a great Ambassador for Bromborough Golf Club and has contributed significantly to the organisation and many of its members' enjoyment of the game.
Paul Waring 1985 -
Arguably the best golfer to have been a member of Bromborough, joining as a Junior from Brackenwood GC having been coached in the rudiments of the game by Ian Higby at Prenton Driving Range. As a naturally talented amateur golfer he made rapid progress through the Cheshire Junior Development System and in 2001 won the English Boys u-16 Championship, The Hazards Salver at The Carris Trophy and became the National Public Golf Courses Champion. At 17 he was a member of the winning England Boys team at the World Championships in Japan and went on to represent GB&I against the Rest of the World in Switzerland. He helped GB&I to wins in the Jacques Leglise Trophy against Continental Europe in 2002 and the following year Captained the team to victory at Lahinch GC, Ireland. 2003 saw him win the Bromborough Bowl with a record low aggregate score of 137, including a share of the new Amateur Course record of 65. Another victory was secured in the English Amateur Championship held at Bromborough in 2005, following which he was made a Life Member. Having narrowly failed selection for the Walker Cup he earned his European Tour card at Q School in 2007 after having qualified for The Open Championship in that year. At The Open of 2008 at Royal Birkdale he finished 19th. A succession of injuries held back his subsequent career but he finished tied for third place in the 2013 Portugal Masters and the 2015 Maybank Malaysian Open. In February 2017 he had his highest finish on the tour when he was runner-up in the Joburg Open. This event was one of the Open Qualifying Series events for the 2017 Open Championship and he gained an entry for the first time since 2008. In April of that year there was a third place finish, just one shot adrift of the play-off, in the Trophée Hassan II. His maiden Tour victory finally and deservedly arrived on his 200th appearance in 2018 at the Nordea Masters, Gothenburg.
He played his first US Open in 2018 and in 2019 broke into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time getting to a career high 66th in the world. Whilst not having a win in that season he qualified for the Race to Dubai top 30 which enabled qualification to play in his first WGC event the HSBC CHAMPIONS in Shanghai, finishing 8th, as well as direct entry into the 2020 Open Championship. The OWGR Top 100 also qualified him to play in the 2020 USPGA Championship.
Living locally he frequents the club regularly and is a great ambassador for BGC, supporting various events and being the principal sponsor of the Wirral Junior Championship.
If you would like to see other players covered in this section you should email their name and your brief reasons for their inclusion to:
Representation or Competition success at National level is the normal benchmark for inclusion.