Royal Birkdale Golf Club

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Course Status

*Course Open* GUR and No Play Zones in effect (see hard card) Updated: 6th Jun 2024

Heritage Update

We have a very pro-active and enthusiastic Heritage Committee who are working to protect and celebrate the rich history of Royal Birkdale G.C. We thought members would like to know of recent developments and future plans we are involved in :-

Library Space

The Library shelving unit is established in the Mixed Lounge . There is an impressive selection of golfing books going back over a number of years . Please feel free to spend a happy hour browsing the collection whilst sipping your favourite beverage . We are looking for any recent golf instructional books you may have finished with to add to the ways you can find the answer to that little problem with your swing that requires attention !

Clubs belonging to Past Winners of Opens at RBGC

We have been giving much consideration on how to make the display of Winners’ golf clubs more attractive and informative . The first challenge was to complete the collection . Congratulations to committee member Alan Brough who contacted the son of Lee Trevino’s 1971 Open Caddy and secured a selection of Lee’s clubs and other memorabilia . We intend to mount a feature of this find in the near future . We are in the process of obtaining a Peter Thompson club that will be arriving soon. We are working with Glasshaus Displays to mount permanent displays of these clubs with interactive visual units that will tell the stories of our champions and their clubs .

The Trevino Clubs have been given to the club by Bill Aitchison, who is the son of Willie Aitchison, a famous caddy, who caddied for Lee whenever he visited the UK.

Lee had travelled to the UK to take part in The Open, but the airline lost his clubs, so Lee had to get some new clubs from the tented village. He took them to Bobby Halsall’s Pro Shop to be customised, adding lead tape, and grinding down some edges until he was happy with them. Lee’s original clubs were found during the Open, but he continued to play with his new set and won the by a shot from the iconic Mr Lu.  Post Open Lee reverted back to using his original set, so Willie Aitchison took possession of these clubs. Unfortunately, Willie is no longer with us, but his son, Bill, has generously donated them to our Club with his best wishes.

He has also given us the following items:-

  • A Lee Trevino Ball

  • 2 caddy bibs from the 1992 open at Muirfield

  • A hat that was given to Willie Aitchison by Mr Lu, and was worn by Willie on the final day of the Open

  • A club which is a prototype of the 1st Approved by Lee for mass production of the John Letters clubs casted from the irons given by Bill

Recent acquisitions

Margery Preston has mounted her collection of Bunty Stephens” medals and these will be displayed in the Clubhouse . There is a new framed collection of newspaper and magazine articles about Bunty .

We also were given the original competition results sheet from the 1946 Amateur Golf Championship won by Jimmy Bruen ( The typeface used looks identical to the one we use for Captain’s Prizes )

Future ideas

We are beginning to work with Dr. Buchanan from Liverpool University’s Archivism department with a view to permanently and probably digitally archiving our collection .

We are keen to build up an Oral History record from members of their stories about life at our club and Open memories . Please contact Alan Brough if you are interested .

We hope this article is informative and we are always interested to hear from members . The Committee are :- Martin Ainsworth ( Chair) ; Mary Schofield ; Margery Preston ; Alan Brough and Wendy Hewitt .

Martin Ainsworth - Chair of Heritage

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