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.


Nick Faldo with the Haig Trophy

Cormac Sharvin

Cormac Sharvin

Roll of Honour

1906News of the World Matchplay ChampioshipAlex Herd
1913Ladies Open English ChampionshipMrs F.W. Brown
1925Daily Mail Golf TournamentCharles Johns
1935English Amateur ChampionshipJ. Woolam
1947Lotus ChampionshipNorman Von Nida
1953England v Canada Ladies InternationalEngland
1957Dunlop MastersEric Brown
1959Brabazon TrophyDoug Sewell
1961Dunlop Golf TournamentKel Nagle
1964English Amateur ChampionshipDavid Marsh
1968Sumrie Golf TournamentBrian Huggett
1970John Player ClassicChristy O'Connor
1975Brabazon TrophySandy Lyle
1976English Ladies Amateur ChampionshipLynne Harrold
1977PGA Club Professional ChampionshipDavid Hush
1978Ladies British Open Amateur ChampionshipEdwina Kennedy
1982The Haig (Tournament Players Championship)Nick Faldo
1983Brabazon TrophyCharles Banks
1987British Youth Amateur ChampionshipJames Cook
1989English Ladies Strokeplay ChampionshipSara Robinson
1992Brabazon TrophyIgnacio Garrido
1994Ladies British Senior ChampionshipDiane Williams
1996English Amateur ChampionshipShaun Webster
2000English Mid AmateurFrancois Illoux
2002Midland OpenGary Wolstenholme
2004English Amateur ChampionshipJames Heath
2007Jacques Legise TrophyGB & I
2012Boys Amateur ChampionshipMatthew Fitzpatrick
2015Brabazon TrophyCormac Sharvin
2017Final Open QualifyingJoe Dean, Mark Foster and Laurie Canter
2018  Final Open QualifyingAshton Turner, Oliver Wilson and Rhys Enoch
2019Final Open Qualfying Andrew Wilsnon, Thomas Thurlowey(a), Ashton Turner
2021Final Open QualifyingJonathan Thompson, Daniel Hillier, Richard Mansell
2022Final Open QualifyingBarclay Brown (a), Richard Mansell, Oliver Farr, Marco Penge
Christy O’Connor winning the John Player Classic
Christy O’Connor winning the John Player Classic

Our past professional Brian Waites playing in the 1983 Ryder Cup

 Brabazon Trophy to Sandy Lyle
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


The Professionals

Tom Williamson

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

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.


Discover the amazing heritage of Hollinwell

Introduction »

The Club »

Tournaments and Professionals »

The Course and Architects »

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