While on holiday in March two members made an interesting discovery. Browsing along Cannery Row, Monterey and being unable to resist a shop selling golf equipment they wandered into the store of Riley Golf. Immediately inside the door was a poster sized portrait of John Riley, former member of Accrington G. C. in the ’40s and ’50s during which time, in two successive years, he was Lancashire Champion. He left this club in 1961 to emigrate to America where he took employment with Ping. On leaving Ping he formed the company which became Lynx Golf. There he designed The Lynx Master Model. Subsequently he co-founded Pinseeker. During this period he produced and patented the first metal wood, “The Bombshell” -a design and radical technology that has forever changed the game of golf. In 1980 he formed the John Riley Golf Company as a family business which is now carried on by his children following his premature death.
Mr. John Taylor represented Lancashire more than twenty times during the late 50s during which time he won the “Observer” in three successive years. He tells that he lost interest in the game and has not played more than a few times since he was about 30. He asked how the Club’s best players of today compared with the four mentioned in this item. Particularly, he wanted to know about their hitting powers compared with those of Jim Rothwell whom he had seen drive, among others, both the 2nd and 17th greens. Sadly John passed away following a short illness aged 79 in September 2007.
Jim Rothwell was an England International player whose length was clearly phenomenal. His claim to have driven every green except 5, 6 and 16 has been well confirmed over the years. The late James Lord used to tell of the time he saw the 13th driven and a present member saw him drive the 10th. The present 3rd, 13th and 18th back tees were not then in use.In the early 1960s, shortly after Mr. Rothwell’s death, an elderly member told the writer that it had been his ambition to win the scratch trophy. He was a two-handicap player and finally his score was eight shots less than anybody else. He forgot to sign his card. He said, “the following year Rothwell joined (From Enfield G.C.) A long lost honours board revealed that Rothwell won the scratch trophy seventeen times in twenty years.Mr. Reuben Liversage (past Captain and President) told of watching the Open Championship at Hoylake and on arrival saw a large gallery ooh-ing and aah-ing and on joining it found himself watching the man he played golf with twice a week. There was a par four into the wind, that day, and Rothwell was the only man to reach it in two. Sadly, with the silver medal virtually in his pocket he did not play on the final day.
The other three years it was won by R.K. (Dick) Bell, also an English International golfer. He has not yet been contacted but it is hoped he will be found shortly. A former secretary of this Club, in 1946 he won the silver medal in the open championship.
Formerly Accrington Golf Club member, moved onto Clitheroe and turned professional in 2009.Winner of the 2003 Ladies British Open Mid-Amateur Championship. The championship was played at Hoylake (Royal Liverpool). 3 scores were 1st round 81, 2nd round 74 and the 3rd round 74. Sarah won the play off on the 2nd hole after having a birdie at both play off holes. Sarah has since gone from strength to strength and was assistant Pro at Lytham Green Drive GC. In 2013 she won the Titleist assistant of the year award and landed a new head professonal job at Kington GC in Hertfordshire.
Trevor A Foster
Trevor received his 100th cap for Lancashire (a feat never before achieved by any East Lancashire golfer and by only a handful of golfers throughout the whole of Lancashire) is surely the most prolific of all the distinguished golfers of Accrington golf club as his extensive list of achievements show, these include; Accrington Golf Club Champion on no fewer than 15 times, British Open Player 1988, Twice winner British open Regional Qualifier ,Lancashire Open Winner 1986, Semi Finalist English Amateur Championship, Quarter Finalist British Amateur Championship, Over 15 Northern Order of Merit Titles, England Northern Counties Winner, Lancashire Amateur champion 1987 – 1990, Harold Ryden winner 2003, and last but certainly not least as mentioned earlier over 100 representative caps for Lancashire, an achievement that was marked by Accrington golf club bestowing upon Trevor Life membership of the club