Bert Batley, born in Great Yarmouth in 1881, was the youngest of three golfing brothers and began his career at the long defunct Oakham club in Rutland in 1899. In that year he played and won a match for a purse financed by the Oakham members against Ashley Davey, another Norfolk golfer who was professional at Kettering. His elder brother Benjamin may have been his assistant as he is listed as a golf club maker with Bert as golf professional, both lodging with Sarah Wright at New Street in Oakham.
He was recruited to lay out the new course at Thorpe Hall (Southend) in 1906 and he became the club’s first professional when it opened the following year. He remained there until 1924 when it was announced his eldest brother James was taking over his duties. Bert moved to Chigwell in central London and opened the new course in October 1925 playing with J H Taylor against Harry Vardon and Charles Whitcombe. He seems to have remained there until August 1929 when Bert Hodson took over as professional although he had moved out of the “Golf House” to his own house, “The Fairways” by October 1927.
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