Port Sunlight’s lost golf course

With Wirral and Merseyside’s many beautiful and world-renowned golf courses, it’s easy to forget that Port Sunlight once it had its very own golf course.

The Port Sunlight golf course was located on land now occupied by the Unilever Research & Development Port Sunlight Laboratory complex on Bromborough Road. Opened in August 1930 on part of what was then known as the Edgeworth Estate, the new sports amenity was open to both men and women. 

The 8-hole course had been designed by Alexander ‘Sandy’ Herd, winner of the 1902 British Open which was held coincidentally at Hoylake. Herd was also the club professional at Moor Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire. The 1st Lord Leverhulme had purchased Moor Park in 1919 as an investment and it was opened as a golf club in 1923.

In June 1931, Port Sunlight Golf Club was formed and Mr W. Worrall became the first Club Captain and Chairman. Two converted railway coaches served as the first club house, but in 1934 a large purpose-built wooden pavilion replaced these.

Already enlarged by the addition of a new ninth hole in 1932, the course was further extended towards the end of the 1940s through the acquisition of land on the other side of the railway line. This was financed through loans from members while material assistance was provided by the firm. Members also contributed many hours of voluntary labour to see the project through.

A further boost for the Club came in 1953 when a new club house was handed over as a gift from Lever Brothers. However, in the early 1970s a new road development proposal and Lever Brothers’ need for new land for company purposes brought an end to the Port Sunlight Golf Course. A new replacement course was built on Unilever land at Eastham and the Eastham Lodge Golf Club was formed. After Port Sunlight Golf Club ceased to exist in 1974, its members transferred to Eastham.

Reproduced with kind permission of Unilever plc and group companies
Reproduced with kind permission of Unilever plc and group companies