It’s been nearly 7 years since a bad back caused me to give up a return to golf at Fishwick Hall Golf Club and with it now shut, there’s no way I’ll ever get to experience a club like it.
Being a member for two years after returning to golf after 5 years of absence due to injury, Fishwick was like the golf clubs of my early years learning the game. The bar was just as important as the course, the members more welcoming than any club I’ve ever experienced and the Warsteiner, the perfect cure to a bad game of golf.
Having lived in Preston for about 6 months, I was not only new to the Northern way of life, I didn’t have many pals and also found out I didn’t know what a barmcake was. In an effort to mix with people like me, golf has always been something that’s connected me with others and I looked at the courses near me. There was Preston (too expensive), Ashton (boring), Leyland (not my cup of tea) and then Fishwick, right in the worst area of Preston.
Turning up, I meet the secretary at the time and myself and my friend head out for a game. The course was ok. It was, even with rose tinted glasses. It was also priced well and the subscription of around £600 (If I remember rightly), was a really inviting price. But when it comes to inviting, you’ll never recieve an invite like the one we did finishing our round.
Sat on the tables on the porch, Phil and Neil, two influential members at the time called us over and bought Dan and I a drink. It wasn’t the first of the night and if I remember rightly, we didn’t pay for a drink all night. With Sue the barmaid staying open until we were ready to leave (gone 12pm), we’d learnt quite a few northern phrases and were now members of the golf club.
It didn’t stop there. Fishwick was a club where as soon as the golf had finished, the social began. Golf chat stopped (unless it was banter) and other halves joined us for a night of laughter and enjoyment, shots and cabs home.
This hospitality also extended to visiting clubs with Graham the club’s chef, serving up the best food I’ve ever had in a golf club and teams loving their reception to our club.
It’s a golf club that’ll mean so much to me and I wish I could enjoy it all again. I’ve met close friends from there and have memories that’ll never be matched, however hard I try to find it.
Due to mismanagement, years later the members of Fishwick played their last competition. One in which I missed and was gutted. Creating their own bar, of course, the members put on one of the best send-offs a golf club could ever have.