How Merchants’ encouraged my love of golf
I was brought up in Hightown, a very small place ten miles outside Liverpool and joined Merchant Taylors’ Schools in 1931, when I was 11 years old.
I played golf from about the age of 14. At that time our Chemistry Master, Dr Duncan, used to play every Wednesday afternoon with a pupil called Ronnie White who later became British amateur champion.
In Hightown we played regularly during school holidays at Formby Ladies Golf Club where we had a concession to play all day for a shilling (10p!). In the summer we often played three rounds a day finishing in moonlight. (Oh to be young again…) One of my pals that I played with did an albatross once when we were about 15 years old!
My career consisted of a Higher School Certificate, followed by a degree in Electrical Engineering at Liverpool University. The Second World War broke out after the first year of a three year Course and we were told by the War Office official to finish our Course as trained engineers would be necessary to rebuild the country after the war. I carried on for my Master’s Degree and gained a two year Apprenticeship at the English Electric Company in Stafford.
After the war my work took me to the London area and I lived in Essex. I joined Romford GC and played there until my eyesight failed. My wife was also keen and we often played together. My daughter is very good and played for Gloucestershire some years ago. She still plays off a handicap of six – so I suppose you would call us a “golfing family”.
My ambition at the time was to play every golf course in the country – because of the difficulty of playing new courses – but of course that was obviously not possible. I got my handicap down to nine and my wife played off 15.
If anyone is serious about starting to play golf, I suggest they have proper lessons from a good professional, and don’t worry about bad shots – it is the next one that matters. It is good to be able to play golf.
I will always be grateful for the education given to me by Merchant Taylors’ Schools.
Sadly my career took me too far from my old school to allow me to participate in school activities, particularly the golf, but one can’t have everything!
My chemistry master was a nice chap but I never reached a standard to play with him.
J Malcolm Worthington (1931-38)
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