Tournaments and Professionals
In 1970 Hollinwell gained international recognition when it hosted the John Player Classic and attracted some of the top professional golfers of the time. Christy O'Connor Snr won the tournament collecting the £25,000 prize money which then, was the highest ever prize money for a professional golf tournament.
There have been many other top professional and amateur events hosted here including:
- In 1982 the European Tour’s top professionals played for The Tournament Players Championship sponsored by Haig Whisky - Nick Faldo won.
- The Brabazon Trophy for a record equalling 5 times, most recently in 2015 when Cormac Sharvin of Ireland won. Other past Brabazon winners here include Sandy Lyle, Ignacio Garrido and the club’s own member Charles Banks.
- R&A events such as the Boys Amateur Championship in 2012 won by Matthew Fitzpatrick and a long history of Regional Qualifying for the Open Championship.
- In 2017 the club hosted the R&A’s Final Qualifying for the Open Championship for the first time. Joe Dean and Mark Foster tied for the lead on 10 under par, joined at Royal Birkdale by Laurie Canter who sealed his place via a playoff. Joe Dean's second round score of 64 was a new professional course record, equalling that of John Bland in the 1982 Haig.
- In 2022 the club hosted the R&A's Final Qualifying for the Open Championship for a fifth and final time. With four spaces available, Barclay Brown (a), Richard Mansell, Oliver Farr, Marco Penge all qualified for the 150th Open Championship. Hollinwell has now passed on the privilege of hosting the Final Qualifying to the next host.
Roll of Honour
|1906||News of the World Matchplay Champioship||Alex Herd|
|1913||Ladies Open English Championship||Mrs F.W. Brown|
|1925||Daily Mail Golf Tournament||Charles Johns|
|1935||English Amateur Championship||J. Woolam|
|1947||Lotus Championship||Norman Von Nida|
|1953||England v Canada Ladies International||England|
|1957||Dunlop Masters||Eric Brown|
|1959||Brabazon Trophy||Doug Sewell|
|1961||Dunlop Golf Tournament||Kel Nagle|
|1964||English Amateur Championship||David Marsh|
|1968||Sumrie Golf Tournament||Brian Huggett|
|1970||John Player Classic||Christy O'Connor|
|1975||Brabazon Trophy||Sandy Lyle|
|1976||English Ladies Amateur Championship||Lynne Harrold|
|1977||PGA Club Professional Championship||David Hush|
|1978||Ladies British Open Amateur Championship||Edwina Kennedy|
|1982||The Haig (Tournament Players Championship)||Nick Faldo|
|1983||Brabazon Trophy||Charles Banks|
|1987||British Youth Amateur Championship||James Cook|
|1989||English Ladies Strokeplay Championship||Sara Robinson|
|1992||Brabazon Trophy||Ignacio Garrido|
|1994||Ladies British Senior Championship||Diane Williams|
|1996||English Amateur Championship||Shaun Webster|
|2000||English Mid Amateur||Francois Illoux|
|2002||Midland Open||Gary Wolstenholme|
|2004||English Amateur Championship||James Heath|
|2007||Jacques Legise Trophy||GB & I|
|2012||Boys Amateur Championship||Matthew Fitzpatrick|
|2015||Brabazon Trophy||Cormac Sharvin|
|2017||Final Open Qualifying||Joe Dean, Mark Foster and Laurie Canter|
|2018||Final Open Qualifying||Ashton Turner, Oliver Wilson and Rhys Enoch|
|2019||Final Open Qualfying||Andrew Wilsnon, Thomas Thurlowey(a), Ashton Turner|
|2021||Final Open Qualifying||Jonathan Thompson, Daniel Hillier, Richard Mansell|
|2022||Final Open Qualifying||Barclay Brown (a), Richard Mansell, Oliver Farr, Marco Penge|
Christy O’Connor winning the John Player Classic
Our past professional Brian Waites playing in the 1983 Ryder Cup
Mr G.E.O.Walker (The President) presents the Brabazon Trophy to Sandy Lyle
The 1983 Ryder Cup Europe Team
Back row: Nick Faldo, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Tony Jacklin (Captain), Bernard Gallacher, Seve Ballesteros, Jose-Maria Canizares
Front row: Gordon Brand, Ken Brown, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer, Paul Way, Brian Waites
Tom Williamson’s career as greenkeeper, professional and club maker at Hollinwell spanned more than half a century from 1896 until his death in 1950. By serving for 54 years, a tremendous record for a club professional only one year less than Jack Rowe at Royal Ashdown Forest.
His first introduction to golf was as a boy when he came across the previously mentioned Mr Harris playing golf at Bulwell. He saw Mr Harris hit a ball and ran after it and returned it to him, only to be reprimanded, and made to replace the ball exactly where he had collected it from. Soon after that he caddied for him and they became lifelong friends.
Though he had an early introduction to golf, he wanted to work on the railways like his father but he failed his eye test and instead headed for North Berwick to learn club making at J H Hutchison’s shop, which later went on to become Ben Sayers. During the first world war, he combined his work as the club’s professional with working in a munition’s factory.
He played in his first open championship in 1897 at Hoylake and went on to set another world record by playing in the open for fifty years between 1897 and 1947 except when it wasn’t held in the war years, finishing 4th at Prestwick in 1914. He was in the top ten on six occasions. He also designed over fifty golf courses and with his brother Hugh they were the first to number irons.
He was a regular foursomes partner for the great Harry Vardon and also played a number of exhibition matches. In 1933 he partnered A G Beck of Sherwood Forest against the Open Champion Densmore "Denny" Shute and the great Walter Hagen. The latter were the golf stars of the day and it would have been equivalent to Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka coming to play at Hollinwell today!
As a teacher he was very proud to teach one of the World's greatest lady amateur golfers Miss Enid Wilson from the age of 14. She went on to win the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in three consecutive years.
The famous Nottinghamshire and England cricketer Harold Larwood was born in nearby Kirkby in Ashfield and for a while caddied at Hollinwell as a boy. He was dismissed by Tom Williamson though for bad behaviour!
An in-depth review of Tom Williamson is available at hollinwellhistory.co.uk
Brian Waites was the professional at Hollinwell between 1969 and 1998.
He is best known for being the last club professional to play in the Ryder Cup. This
was in 1983 and at 43 years old he was also the oldest player to be selected for the first time.
He turned professional in 1957 and played on the European Tour through most of
the 1970s and 1980s. He was in his prime between 1978 and 1984, ranking
between 10th and 22nd on the Order of Merit in each of those seven years. He won the Nottinghamshire Championship seven times, the Notts Professional Strokeplay Championship seven times and the Notts Professional Matchplay Championship five times.
In his last round of the John Player Classic at Hollinwell in October 1970 he equalled the course record with a round of 68. In 1978 he won the Tournament Players Championship. He made the cut in nine Open Championships and represented England in the World Cup in 1980, 1982 and 1983.
In 1990 he became a Senior and in 1990 and 1991 he won the PGA Senior Championship. In1992 he joined the European Seniors Tour and had a successful career at that level, winning four tournaments and making the top ten on the Order of Merit four times. He was the first man to play 100 tournaments on the European Seniors Tour. All together he had 32 professional wins.
For his achievements the Club made him an Honorary Life Member.