History of Westerhope Golf Club
At a meeting held on 1st February 1938 Newburn Urban District Council decided to create a Municipal golf course for use by residents in the urban area. An approach was made on behalf of the Council to the Duke of Northumberland to enquire if the Duke was prepared to sell approximately one hundred acres of land forming part of Chapel House Farm at Walbottle for use as a golf course. The Duke refused!
Negotiations were then commenced with North Walbottle Coal Company Limited which owned Whorlton Grange Farm near Westerhope Village. Here the Council enjoyed more success and on 20th February 1940 it completed the purchase of approximately 105 acres of land and the Whorlton Grange Farmhouse at a cost of £5,000
Golf Professional Sandy Herd who won the Open Championship in 1902, was recruited to design the golf course and it is a tribute to his foresight and knowledge that to this day the layout of Westerhope Golf Course remains substantially the same as his original design.
In April 1940 the Council appointed Jack Makepeace to be Head Greenkeeper and Professional at Westerhope and he supervised the making of the fairways, tees, greens and bunkers on the course. Because of war time restrictions in 1940 only nine holes could be made up and these comprise holes numbered 4 to 12 of the modern course. These holes were formally opened on 21st June 1941 when the driving in ceremony was performed by the senior serving Councillor – Alderman Richard Browell. A match followed between two local professionals J Jarman (Hexham) and G McCue (Ponteland) along with local amateurs G Boswell and S Hardy.
In 1947 work began on an additional 6 holes on land previously reserved for agriculture, These holes opened in 1948 and comprise of holes 1,2,3, 13, 17 and 18th of the present layout. The remaining 3 holes – the present 14,15 and 16th were opened in 1951.