On 5th August 1908, in the parish schoolroom of nearby Walmsley Church, a meeting was held to explore the possibilities of forming a golf club in the district. The local vicar, Reverend Atkinson, chaired the meeting and the company secretary of nearby Slaters Bleachworks, Mr. J. Higginson, was appointed secretary. Prominent local individuals such as Colonel Slater and Colonel Hesketh pledged their support for the idea and after two further meetings Dunscar Golf Club was founded.
Plans quickly got under way after Mr. G. Lowe, professional at St. Anne’s Golf Club, had completed a survey concluding that the land available was suitable for laying out an 18-hole golf course.
It was initially decided that a 9-hole course would be constructed and that the entrance fee for men would be 2 guineas plus a membership fee of the same amount – ladies would pay 1 guinea entrance fee and an annual subscription of 10 shillings and 6 pence. By Christmas 1908 membership had risen to 41 males and 31 ladies and in the following May a pavilion was erected. It was a year later when a new clubhouse was built.
The course opened officially in 1909 and plans to extend it to a full 18-holes were shelved because of the First World War. It was not until after that that the 18-hole course finally emerged.
Since those heady days, Dunscar Golf Club has made steady progress with many people laying the foundations for the first-class facilities now enjoyed. Among them were the late George Knowles who was Captain 1914-18 and President 1946-56 and others.
Over the years many alterations have taken place. A further development of the clubhouse took place in 1964, and in 1971 the current locker rooms were added together with an extension for the lounge. In 2007 the club extended the lounge creating a spacious retreat, called the ‘Centenary lounge’, with extensive views across the stunning 1st and 18th holes.
The club has come a long way since then and now has has more than 500 members across a wide demographic range. Dunscar remains one of Bolton’s best-kept secrets located in stunning scenery always presenting a challenge to the scratch players, along with an unending series of problems for handicap golfers – and yet to both a very enjoyable and entertaining place to play the game of golf.