HISTORY saturates the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, “a club of firsts” according to its secretary David Cromie.
And with a eye to the future the world famous course – which started life as the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club, set on the shores of the Dee – is a historic location in a sport which takes its past seriously.
With its 150th anniversary due in 2019, the club has ambitions to cement its place in the ever competitive arena for staging major tournaments.
As it prepares to stage for the first time theWomen’s British Open this summer, Mr Cromie – secretary since 2008 – is tasked with ensuring the smooth running of the club and seeing its continued development as a major force in world golf.
After 23 years in the Army, Mr Cromie moved into golf management, and had previously been the secretary of Coombe Hill Golf Club in London.
Originally from the small town of Newcastle in County Down, he has been playing golf for many years and captained the Army as well as a Combined Services team on a tour to Australia in the mid 1990s.
Explaining his transition into golf club management, he said: “I have a very close background with golf and it seemed like a natural progression.”
As secretary of the Hoylake club, Mr Cromie has not only to oversee the club and maintain an “outstanding golf course”, but work closely with Wirral Council and the R&A to ensure one of golf’s biggest international events, the Open, meets expectations when it returns in 2014.
“Primarily we are a members club and we’re here to look after the members. But we also have a responsibility to our heritage and ensuring The Royal Liverpool Golf Club maintains a very high place within the world of golf, being the most historical club in England.
“Still today coming into work the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up because of the history.
“There is no club in England that has the history Royal Liverpool Golf Club has. It is a club of firsts. The first amateur championship, the first ever international golf match was played here – England against Scotland in 1902 – and the first ever match between American and Great Britain was played here in 1921 which was the fore runner of the Walker Cup.”
The idea for the famous green jackets presented to the winners of the Augusta Masters is also believed to have been inspired by the captain’s red jackets at the Royal Liverpool.
Mr Cromie said: “It’s our 150th anniversary in 2019 and we are very hopeful of having the Walker Cup back here which is another big event for the area. But these things can only happen with the will of the members, the will of the local community who are very much part of it, and we have a great relationship with Wirral Borough Council and with the R&A and other golfing bodies.