As the name would suggest, the Club is sited on the Trentham Park Estate, along-side Trentham Park and Gardens. The Gardens are currently being re-developed as an outdoor pursuits and specialist retail centre. The famous gardens, designed by Capability Brown and Henry Holland in 1758, and latterly by Sir Charles Barry in the 1840’s are being brought back to their former glory.
The Barry gardens and 4th Trentham Hall were the result of works commenced by the 2nd Duke of Sutherland, George Granville, who was also responsible for the private Golf Course, comprising 5 holes, created in an area then known as Fern Hills.
However with the ever growing Potteries and the nearby River Trent virtually an open sewer, in 1905 the Sutherlands abandoned the Hall and retreated to Scotland. The Hall was demolished after the County Council rejected it as a gift.
After the Duke’s departure the Manager of the Estate decided to extend this course to 18 holes, by creating a further 13 holes on land to the west of Hargreaves Pool. This was completed in 1911 and opened to the general public. The following year it was made a members club, by members paying a yearly subscription direct to the Estate. However it was closed down in 1917-18, most members being in the trenches during the First World War.
When the club was restarted in 1936 and it was decided to leave Fernhill, the new layout meant that some new ground had to be taken in and the course was constructed partly in Trentham Park itself, and partly on the new ground. It was decided to alter the 1st 13 holes to 12, by deleting one of the par 3 holes. This done, the Duke’s 5 holes were retained, with a modification to the last of the 5 holes, and a new hole, the present 17th, was created which also allowed the 18th to become a Par 4, instead of a Par 3 from the side of the present 13th.
The man responsible for the restart was Mr. E B Sharpley, the then Town Clerk of Stoke-on-Trent. He came to an arrangement with the Duke of Sutherland, put up the money, and started the Club as a private venture. When he retired the lease was taken on by Mr Jack Hawthorn, the then Club Captain and later by Mr V Hopwood.
During the second world war in 1940, General De Gaulle and the remnants of the defeated French Army were billeted in the woodlands adjacent to the golf course and the remains of their encampment can still be seen there today.
The Bank of England also relocated its Central Clearing House to the Ballroom in Trentham Gardens and many of the employees became members of the golf club. As a gesture of goodwill they donated a golf trophy “The Central Clearing House Cup “to the club and this is still played for annually by the members.
The members took over the lease in 1955 and thus was born Trentham Park Golf Club as we know it today. In 1980 the club was finally purchased from the Countess of Sutherland
The Clubhouse has an air of friendliness and also that unusual thing – atmosphere. No visitor need ever remain out of place at Trentham Park. For years, the club has had a reputation for the friendliness of its members, and that tradition is as strong today as it ever was.
The Club has produced many fine golfers whose names are well known. Ernest Millward and Geoffrey Marks both former Walker Cup players lived beside the course and as lads played their first golf there. Geoffrey Mills, the well-known Midlands amateur champion and former Staffordshire champion was also a member. The club gives every encouragement to juniors and has produced such well known golfers as David Gilford (Walker Cup, Ryder Cup player and English Amateur Champion), Simon Wakefield, European Tour player, and Sarah Gallagher, the 1996 English Ladies Amateur Stroke Play Champion.
Trentham Park today is a place to play great golf in charming, wooded surroundings. When on the course, it seems impossible that Stoke-on-Trent is just a mile or two away! The course draws golfers from a wide area – proof of the unique characteristics of the Club.
The course has recently had the greens re-designed by Steve Marnoch the international golf course architect. The clubhouse has recently been re-furbished and the food served there is as good as the course.