Seventy-one years after they graced its greens for the final time, Stoke Park Club has reintroduced its famous painted lobster pots in place of flags to mark out the pin on each hole. Originally influenced by Scottish links courses, where fierce winds ripped apart traditional flags and made a sturdier alternative necessary, the lobster pots featured at Stoke Park (known then as Stoke Poges) from 1908 to 1930.
It was the course designer, the legendary Harry Shapland Colt, who designed Stoke Park’s classic parkland layout in 1908, who introduced them to the club. But up until the recent intervention of estate director Alex Millar, the only club in the world to still use the pots as markers is Merion, a venue for the US Open, its founders inspired by a visit to Stoke Park Club as part of a golfing tour in 1912.
“We decided to reintroduce the lobster pots to return to the traditions of the Corinthians, the founding members of Stoke Park Club,” explains Alex. ” Colt brought them down from the west coast of Scotland where lobster pots were used instead of flags which would rip in the strong winds. Colt liked the idea that a lobster pot wouldn’t give players clues to the direction of the wind, as a flag would, so it’s a tradition that I was keen to bring back. “
Stoke Park Club www.stokeparkclub,com