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This club is famous

This club is famous for… the day Bobby Jones came to visit

Did the great Bobby Jones find inspiration for what is now one of golf's most famous holes at a timeless West Midlands layout?
 

Is Blackwell’s 13th the blueprint for one of golf’s most famous holes? Is it just a coincidence it appears to bear more than a passing resemblance to the 12th at Augusta National?

Bobby Jones visited the West Midlands course during his Grand Slam year of 1930.

He definitely played Blackwell’s superb par 3 before going on to design his golfing oasis in Georgia with Dr Alister MacKenzie.

In playing Blackwell, Jones was fulfilling a promise made to Dr Bill Tweddell at the 1928 Walker Cup, in Chicago, when they were opposing captains.

Jones won the day then, and in quite comprehensive fashion too. The USA’s 11-1 victory at the Chicago Golf Club is tied for the most one-sided in the competition’s long history.

Jones was in formidable touch in Wheaton – winning his singles match by an almost ridiculous 13 & 12. Tweddle found things much tougher, losing both his games.

this club is famous

But a day after Jones collected the Claret Jug when the won the Open at Hoylake, he arrived at Blackwell and played with Tweddell, Stanley Lunt and Eric Fiddian.

He is said to have loved the course – and especially the 13th.

Steve Piercy, Blackwell chairman of greens, said: “If you look at the design of this hole and the design of the 12th [at Augusta], they are very similar. Who knows whether the one influenced the other, or not?

“A pal of mine once spoke to Fiddian (who is seen on the far right of the picture above). They were in the bar and he was very old and he was asked ‘what do you remember of that day when you played against Jones?’ He replied: ‘He never bought me a drink’.”

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

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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