This club is famous for... Denham's shot from the clubhouse

Moortown is famous for hosting the Ryder Cup but Nigel Denham's magical moment is just as special

Ever seen the film Tin Cup?

There’s a brilliant scene where the hero, Roy McEvoy, plays an outlandish shot from inside the clubhouse.

He goes through the windows, over a lake and knocks a pelican off its perch – all with a hooded iron.

It proves the catalyst as he gets the girl and goes on to shoot a record-breaking US Open round the very next day.

But that’s just in the movies…

Except at one Yorkshire club, the script had already been played out – more than 20 years before the film hit cinema screens in 1996.

Our lead actor was Nigel Denham.

The successful Calderdale businessman was pretty good with a golf club in his hands as well and was playing in the English Amateur in 1974 at Moortown.

The Leeds course is famous for hosting the 1929 Ryder Cup but Denham’s heroics have gained him a place in club folklore.

Denham’s delight

Approaching the 18th, he hit a flier which rocketed over the green.

It struck a path, cleared the stairway and bounded through an open door and into the clubhouse.

Back then, it was considered part of the course – not out of bounds like at so many others – and so he could play his ball.

With the bar full of golfers who had completed their rounds, Denham located his ball under a table.


Incredibly, he could see the flag and chairs and tables were hurriedly cleared away.

He opened the clubhouse window and set himself for a strange up and down.

Those watching cheered as Denham not only cleared the window with his chip but struck it to 12 feet.

The applause grew even louder when he subsequently drained the putt for par.

42 years later, it’s a shot they still talk about at Moortown.

It was such an odd occurrence the moment was even considered, and eventually sanctioned, by the R&A.

Denham, the youngest president of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs in 1997 aged 48, played 78 county games.

He died in 2012.

Read more

Click here for the full ‘This Club Is Famous For’ archive

Previous article
Next article