What’s In A Name?

Members and visitors must wonder from time to time why the holes at Alresford are so called. Some names, of course, are pretty obvious but most do require an explanation. So here goes…

1 Scotts’

Until renamed in 2020 to recognise the great contribution of Malcolm and the Scott family to Alresford Golf Club, this hole was called “Tichborne” as we are in the parish, after all. A nod to the family who came over with the Conqueror and owned the land around for nine centuries. The Tichborne Estate sold us 85 acres in 1969 and leased another 20 to allow us to “go 18” in 1993.

2 Searles

Twice a Captain of AGC and a veterinary surgeon in the town. Geoff Searles virtually saved the club from extinction in the lean years after WWII.

3 Pitch

Residents of and visitors to Tichborne House played cricket on this broad, flat expanse. (The hoi polloi also had their own pitch, further north on the ground now taken by the by-pass).

4 Don’t Dally!

Especially when the wind is from the south. (The name Pooh Corner was also considered for this one but rejected on the grounds of taste).

5 Appledown

The track that skirts the eastern boundary of the course is known as Appledown Lane. It eventually meets Cheriton Lane near the battlefield site.

6 Youngs

A mark of respect and affection for the family who farmed this field and provided many Captains, champions and club officers over half a century.

7 Hassock’s

The entire left side of this long hole is bounded by Hassock’s Copse, though it is actually a 40-acre wood.

8 Plateau

No explanation required – but it could just as easily have been called “Water Jump,” for that depression in the fairway 150 yards from the tee dates to when this was the town’s racecourse. It was much deeper then.

9 Caddies’ Oak

That big tree 200 yards up on the right was where young bag carriers would hide to avoid stingy p(l)ayers.

10 Boniface

Bill Boniface combined the three roles of pro, greenkeeper and publican. His HQ was The Cricketers, the clubhouse from 1911 to 1953

11 All Aboard!

The old railway carriage that was the clubhouse from 1953 to 1969 was sited just about where the 11th tee now stands.

12 Spike

Common name for a workhouse, which was close by in Tichborne Down. Inmates were said to be “spiked” on the system, with no escape. Later a hospital for mentally-handicapped men, it was developed for housing in the late 1980s.

13 Cricks

Local name for The Cricketers, which was formerly in The Links, on the corner of Sun Lane and Tichborne Down. This was the clubhouse from 1890, when AGC was founded. until 1910.

14 Hedges

Tribute to Bob Hedges, long-serving (1953-1973) hon. sec. of AGC. The hole is also fringed and backed by hedges.

15 Cloister

The Grand National winner of 1893 was trained over these fields and stabled at Bishop’s Sutton.

16 President

Tribute to 1992 English Golf Union President, David Harrison. who lived in The Links for many years and was wont to walk this hole of an evening accompanied by a big, boisterous black Lab called “Seve.”

17 Bolton’s Folly

Albert Bolton, a long-forgotten pro/greenkeeper, built a bunker to catch a pulled second shot (and thereafter was its principal visitor). Now gone, the hazard was not far from the big bunker left and short of the modern green.

18 Bombhole

No explanation needed, though, sadly, the pit by the green was not caused by a fleeing Heinkel lightening its load in 1940. Almost certainly, it was dug for chalk to build houses or make into quicklime. There was another “bombhole” just short and right of the 11th green, where the bunker now is, but it was filled in in 1976.