This is a transcription of a conversation Ian and Liz Borrow had with Graham Lawrence on 28 November 2005 plus additions by Liz in October 2008.
Ian Borrow’s memories
I started as a junior in Waterlooville in 1946 aged six and my first contact with Corhampton was when at the age of fifteen we started going over for the odd match. We used to go with our parents along for a game. In the 50’s Waterlooville had a total of 80 members as a nine hole course. It was like one big house party. Waterlooville and Corhampton have always had a good relationship with one another. About 12 of us and some hangers on would travel to Corhampton. I remember seeing the photograph of the old clubhouse. All the food would have been provided by the lady members. At Waterlooville we had a pro (Daysh) and a steward. Corhampton may also have had a steward. These matches at Corhampton went well on into the evening. I remember when it got dark we would drive our cars onto the course near the first tee and shine the headlamps down the fairway. There would be some crazy golf played after you’d had your tea.
My father, S E Borrow, was very friendly with Horace Clarke and ‘Val’ Valentine. They were very much involved in the Hampshire Alliance. The three were a terrible trio and used to stay up all hours of the night. Val Valentine was the lodger of Daphne Jacobs.
As a junior I used to play in all the Junior competitions. In 1957 I was Hampshire Junior champion. I won it at Winchester. I was runner up at Hockley the previous year. I had a handicap of four then. I broke a finger playing rugby and never played any better golf after that but I’ve had a handicap of between 4 and 8 ever since.
I left the area and returned in my early thirties in 1972. We bought a house in Meonstoke. Liz and I decided we’d join Corhampton. We went up there and to have a game. We met Bob Abercrombie who had just finished the eighteenth. We went over to him and asked him if we could join. We accompanied Bob to his office. Bob dragged someone out of the bar to second us. Within ten minutes we were members of Corhampton. There were no interviews and I don’t remember paying a joining fee. It was an eighteen hole course by then.
In 1979 it had changed dramatically from the fifties. In the thirties Waterlooville had a membership of well over a hundred but after the war it went down to about eighty. It was like a tennis club – much more of a social activity than it is now with so many more members. At Waterlooville Daysh was pro and green keeper. My father used to provide a lot of help on the course as did other members. It was probably similar at Corhampton. In the sixties and seventies there used to be a lot of rough at Corhampton. The greens used to be like the fairways are today. The care of the course was not there. You gang mowed the fairways and did not worry about the weeds. On the greens you had to whack your ball.
The huge difference came when the popularity of the golf increased and more members joined. It was a close knit community before the expansion.
Liz Borrow’s memories
I first played golf from the age of 6 and through my school days in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. My mother was county champion of Bedfordshire. I would never have played again if I had not met Ian. We moved to Meonstoke in 1972, and joined the golf club in 1979. Having not played since I was 18 my first four cards brought me in a handicap of 24. Daphne Jacobs marked one card, which included a 15 and 13. I was as keen as mustard. The handicap came down rapidly as I played in everything and by 1984 I was single and have remained so ever since. I especially played with Sue Pyle ( then Sue Harris wife of the pro). We went all over the county playing in open meetings and national events where our handicaps had to remain low in order to qualify. As the section grew stronger we decided to re enter the Stoneham Cup ( the county inter club knockout) and it is still avidly supported. The mixed competitions were greatly supported. The Rose Bowl was used as an invitation by a lady to a man, and the men were always waiting to be invited to play. I often played with Ken Gattrall. When I first joined Corhampton, the ladies’ section was fairly small. The ladies honorary secretary used to get her membership paid as she ran the ladies section. She printed the forms for open meetings, sent them out, organised the day and generally dealt with all the correspondence. Obviously the postage, paper, printing had to be paid for somehow and entries to county competitions. The ladies ran all the mixed competitions very well. At Christmas, the ladies ran a party which largely consisted of a very big raffle, food and dancing. There could be forty or so prizes and they would be laid out in the room and everybody would buy huge numbers of tickets. There was almost a black market to obtain a ticket for the evening. We all dressed up in our finery. I can still see Alan and Joan Haigh, John and Stella Wright, Wally and Chris Pinhorn, John and Sue Harris, Peter and Anne Reeves, John Manson all sitting with great wadges of tickets. Stella always seemed to win! The raffle raised a lot of money and that was how the ladies section was funded every year. Then the ladies paid a smaller subscription than the men of about £20-£40. It is a strange thing that we were far more involved in the club in those days.
I was Captain in 1989 and sat on the club committee together with the ladies secretary. Everybody had a voice in how the club was run. When the management committee came in the ladies lost their voice in the club as the committee had no representation from the ladies section unlike the men’s section that had the Captain and Vice Captain. This was a retrograde step in my view. In my year we decided to have ladies’ outing in a coach, and went to Marlborough Golf Club. We had a great time and made a lot of noise. At the time the men’s committee were meeting there and the captain popped his head round the door to see what was going on. He was amazed to see a society of lady golfers and promptly offered to put up a trophy to be played for annually between the Marlborough ladies and Corhampton ladies – the Syd Whant Trophy – it is still played for today.
The year Bert Keene and I were Captain we seemed to have lots of fancy dress parties – somebody on the social committee must have been keen! We were kings and queens, vicars and tarts, 1940s etc. Bert was the most wonderful Captain who went to the course every day. We played lots of mixed events together and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
The ladies course has changed a lot in my time. Over the years the standard scratch has gone up and down with the new holes. The present 16th used to be a par 5 for us and there was a hawthorn on the right short of the bunker that was a bother for the drive. There used to be a very good yew tree on the left of the fairway on the present 10th that made for a difficult drive. On the second there was an annoying hawthorn on the right in front of our tee. There was a bunker on the back of the 10th to catch balls – much better than the present rough and path. Unfortunately over the years all these extra hazards were eradicated. The most difficult bunker on the course was the left green side on the old seventeenth (now the practice bunker). There was a terrific bunker in front of the present 6th that many people couldn’t get out of so it was taken out – oh dear! Of course the two recent bunker changes on the 4th and 5th have also made the course easier. It is not the challenge it used to be. But, the ladies changing rooms have doubled in size and are fantastic compared to the corridor we had before. We took over what used to be the club secretary’s office.
The year after I had been Captain I was invited to join the Hampshire Ladies County committee in 1990. Two years later I became the Hampshire representative on the south east national committee. In 1992 I became Vice Captain of Hampshire and in 1994 & 5 Captain. In1995 Hampshire won the English Ladies County Finals at Bristol (for the third time in three years) – I was so proud to receive the team trophy. The following year I was manager of the England under 21 European Team Championships, to Chris Stirling Captain, in Nairn, Scotland – another very proud moment. (Rebecca Hudson & Georgina Simpson was two of the team). I then spent three years on the Southern Vets Committee, and a further three years, with two other Hampshire golfers, researching and writing the 100 year history of Hampshire Ladies County golf. Finally, I was honoured to become President of the county from 2003-6, and then given honorary membership of it. I didn’t have so much time to play at Corhampton!
Liz Borrow’s Photographs
1989 – Kings & Queens evening
Dave Richards, Lorraine Richards, Margaret MacDonald, Tony MacDonald, Yvonne Willet.
Ladies Captain Day
Ladies Captain’s Day – June 1989
Jojo Buchanan, Anne Elliot, Liz Borrow (Captain), Betty Johnston
Ladies Captain Day
Ladies Captain’s Day – Prizewinners – June 1989
Back Row: Sue Flesher, Liz Borrow (Captain), Maisie Meadus, Joan Haigh, Val Flint, Beryl Wood, Freda Wilson,
Front Row: Denise Starkie, Helen Keefe, Val Wrate (now Taylor), Elizabeth Ralls
Ladies Captain Day
Ladies Captain’s Day – June 1989
Back Row: Pete Markwick, Liz Borrow, Jim Johnston, Jim Yeates, Geoff Palmer.
Front Row: Len Butt, Jack Flint, Bert Keefe (Club Captain)
1989 – Winners and runners up of the Leslie Ralls Trophy
Left to Right: Ian Borrow, Nora Butt, Dave Searle, Liz Borrow