The Bentley Brothers

Wed 17th August 2016 at 12.50 - 14.00

Bernard Bentley tells of his father and uncle who were great amateur golfers in the 1930s

This week’s talk was given by Bernard Bentley who graduated from St Andrews University and then retired as lecturer in the Spanish Department of the University where he worked for some 40 years.  His talk was about the ‘Bentley Brothers’ , Harry and Arnold, who were his Father and Uncle. They became English Amateur champions and internationalist golfers and together were probably the most famous golfing brothers in England during the first half of the 20th century taking part in many competitions both at home and abroad including the Walker Cup teams. Living across the field from Hesketh Golf Club, of which they were members, the pair constantly practised in the field which stood them in good stead for getting out of the rough !  They were also members of the R & A. Arnold deserves special mention for being one of the two man team that triumphed for Britain at a parallel competition which was run alongside the 1936 Olympic Games. When Hitler was advised that Germany were winning by three holes he set off to present the trophy himself at Baden Baden.  However before he got there he learned that Britain was now four holes ahead.  At this point he was decidedly unimpressed that the Germans could not demonstrate their superiority and turned around leaving Henkell, President of the German Golf Union to conduct the ceremony. Arnold had previously won the German Amateur Championship on several occasions and on winning the trophy had always left it in Germany.  Following his winning the 1939 championship with the outbreak of war looking imminent he chose to take the trophy home.  He also requested, and received, a letter confirming that he could do so and that he would return the trophy at some convenient future date. That trophy is now in the Hesketh Golf Club. Bernard does not have the same golfing skills as his Father and Uncle but their trophies can be seen on display in the Golf Museum in St Andrews. Bruce Alexander gave the vote of thanks for a most informative talk.

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