KEIGHLEY Golf Club has a long history but it is proving that it is also changing with the times.

Established in 1904, the course presents a good challenge for its estimated 450 members.

A spokesperson at Keighley Golf Club said: "We have a strong history of competitive golf in Yorkshire and Bradford.

"We're one of the main golf clubs in the Bradford district and we host Yorkshire events.

"The course is a par 69 which is well respected and presents a challenge for golfers.

"The course has changed a few times since 1904 and is a lot more tree lined after the planting 25 years ago.

Andrew Rhodes, professional at Keighley Golf Club, said: "We planted some trees about 25 years and that was a significant development. The course has become a lot tougher.

"The greens have also been in a good place over the last few years and we're always trying to improve drainage, considering we're flanked by a river and a canal."

Although the Aire Valley course has had periodic flooding, a different kind of 'flood' occurred after the first Covid lockdown.

A club spokesman said: "One of the good things about the pandemic is that people found golf again.

"It's like the floodgates opened after the first lockdown. We had a lot more visitors and memberships.

Andrew said: "Golf was one of the first sports people could play after lockdown.

It was a good way to encourage people to come back.

We had a lot of enquires, even from people who were new to the game who wanted to give it a go."

Andrew said there is a lot of history at Keighley Golf Club, which was established in 1904.

However, he said that Keighley is very much thinking about golf in modern times.

"We're one of the the first golf clubs to support full equality for women and men.

"We fully support men and ladies playing together and we strive to achieve this.

"We also want to change perceptions from the outside about things like excessive dress codes.

"Time change and we must embrace this. We see golf as a game for all.

"We want to get away from people seeing golf as elitist.

"We want the game to be open to all family members and all members are equals.

Keighley Golf Club has two men's teams, a scratch team with handicaps from eight to 15 and a Rabbits team with players who have handicaps of 16 and above.

Keighley also has a ladies scratch team, A and a B teams and a ladies evening league team.

The club is also trying to increase the number of juniors who play golf and it has recently taken on an assistant professional, Calum Hey, who will be working to develop and coach juniors and other new beginners.

Andrew, who was appointed as the professional at Keighley Golf in 2004, has been at the club since 1996, previously serving as the assistant professional.

With 25 years at Keighley, Andrew said: "Keighley Golf Club is ever-changing and we're always trying to move with the times.

"With the introduction of equality, we get away from misconceptions."

And while ripped jeans and T-shirts are still not allowed, Andrew said: "It's great for young people to learn the etiquette and then transfer these to life skills in the world."

He said as a course throughout its history it has not changed a lot.

On the club website, is says: "This hidden gem, awarded a Silver medal by Golf Monthly, nestles in the picturesque Aire Valley less than an hour away from the business centres of Leeds and Bradford.

The beautiful parkland course has developed over the last 100 years into a true test of golf. Well-defined fairways and superb greens are complemented by mature and recently planted trees that provide definition for every hole.

"A round at Keighley Golf Club offers a challenge for the most accomplished golfer but one that the club golfer can also face without being overpowered."