too much strain on his driver shaft. The shaft snapped on the 11th
tee and the clubhead swung round and hit him on the back of the
head. He was temporarily stunned, but was able to continue using a
spare driver he had in his bag as a precaution. He was probably
anticipating the event as a number of such breakages were taking
place at that time involving clubs with the new ‘Limber’ shaft. This
was an experimental True Temper design, which was very whippy and
had very little thickness under the grip. (Shaft breakages were
fairly common in the thirties. Henry Cotton broke a shaft on his way
to winning the Dunlop Southport in 1931-see the Echo cartoon).
Padgham won a tournament in which bamboo shafts were used.
Poppy Wingate entered again, but scratched and women were seldom to be seen in men’s tournaments in Britain again until they began to appear in local PGA events in recent years, but there was a PGA tournament that, for one year, was a mixed foursomes event – the 1950 Penfold Tournament. 36-hole medal qualifying took place at Little Aston and Sutton Coldfield, after which the top 32 professionals and Ladies went into a draw. The strong pairing of Henry Cotton and Miss Jeanne Bisgood, the Curtis Cup player from Parkstone, went out in the first round. In the final Sam King and Miss A. Barrett played Norman Sutton and The Hon Mrs Adrian (Joan) Gee from the Chevin club, fifteen times the Derbyshire champion and winner of that year’s English Women’s championship. With the aid of two stymies laid by the pro the winners by one hole were, as one record book put it, “Norman Sutton - and ‘a certain Mrs Gee”!
The winner of that 1938 Dunlop Southport Tournament was Don Curtis from Queen’s Park, Bournemouth, a big hitter who had won the long driving championship at the 1923 Open with a distance of 278 yards, a very long drive with the equipment they were using then. (Long driving contests were a feature of the Championship in those days). The day after the tournament finished Hesketh officially opened six new holes to replace the six lost due to expiry of a lease and Percy Alliss joined Formby pro Harry Busson, brother of Jack from Pannal, in a match with two local amateurs, Arnold Bentley and Sam Robinson. Open Champion Henry Cotton and the other Bentley brother Harry, a member of the Walker Cup team, played the new course on their return from St Andrews. That October the club announced that the Dunlop Southport could not be held at Hesketh, at least until the course had settled down. When Birkdale also withdrew for 1939, leaving only Hillside, the event was cancelled. They were not to know that tournament golf in Britain would be suspended the following year and that the tournament would not take place for the next seven years.
Harry Bentley was one of a group of prominent amateurs, including Henry Longhurst, who travelled around the continent in the thirties on a golfing ‘Grand Tour’ with the redoubtable ‘General’ Critchley, who entertained them royally in his famous ‘caravan’. The group won many of the national championships between them and that year Critchley beat Bentley to take the Belgian Amateur and also won the Dutch. Bentley successfully defended the German Amateur title for his third victory in the event and was to complete his hat trick the following year in the last pre-war championship. The Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, of which he was a member, also included L.G.Crawley, who had already tasted success on the Old Course when he won the ‘Silver Cross’ in the May Medal. L. G., who played in four Walker Cup teams, won five events in 1938 and averaged 72.5 for twenty-six rounds of stroke play. Another member of the squad was the exciting 18-year-old Irishman Jimmy Bruen. He was making his debut and Bentley was playing in his last match. Both played in three Walker Cups and would undoubtedly have been selected for several more but for the loss of four matches due to the war. Encouraged by the presence of Henry Cotton, who practised with the team, they beat the Americans for the first time since the Walker Cup was founded in 1922.
L. G. played for the last time when the Walker Cup resumed at St. Andrews in 1947. The Americans took the Cup back and after that it was to become known as the ‘Walkover Cup’, as they continued to dominate the contests until the last years of the century. Now, at the time of writing, the home team have won the exciting and historic 2003 match at Ganton to lift the Trophy for the third consecutive time, making it four wins from the last five matches. GB&I had won more times in the past eight years than in the first seventy-three years of Walker Cup history.(The USA won the cup back in 2005 at the Chicago Golf Club - by a single point, and retained it in 2007 at Royal Co Down and 2009 at Merion)