Golf in London will have listings of all the golf courses, golf ranges, pitch and putt courses, and crazy golf courses within Greater London, and in time, within all the home counties.
London holds a special place in the development of golf. For although golf’s formative years were played out on Scottish links, it owes its phenomenal growth and popular appeal to London where:
- at Blackheath, members continue to belong the one of the oldest surviving golf clubs in the world
- many newly formed clubs built courses during the 1890s, to serve the world’s first golf boom
- in the suburbs and surrounding area, golf architects honed their craft and developed in the heath, forest, and parks the world’s first inland courses to rival the seaside links
- the Great Triumvirate: J H Taylor (Royal Mid-Surrey), Harry Vardon (South Herts), and James Braid (Romford) chose to serve as golf professionals
- J H Taylor founded the Professional Golfer’s Association, and with Fred Hawtree founded the National Association of Public Golf Clubs
- the first inland links-style course was created at Sandy Lodge
- the first automated and floodlit driving range in Europe was built at Finchley
- the Corporation of London purchased the golf course at Chingford, which became the first municipal golf course
- one of England’s greatest golfers, Henry Cotton, learnt to play golf with his brother at Aquarius Golf Club
- John Jacobs helped to found the European Tour and the Tour now bases its operation at Wentworth
- the first attempt at live televised golf was filmed at Coombe Hill.
- an experimental laboratory for golf course design was fostered at Woking Golf Club
The golf courses in this area include: heathland, woodland, parkland, meadowland, and (for want of a better word) urban courses. Golf course designers commissioned to lay out these courses have used dynamite to blow up stubborn tree roots, studied geological surveys to find conditions similar to links, worked in sympathy with the landscape designed mansion parks, and developed unpromising heath to create masterpieces which have stood the test of time.
So it’s unsurprising, with this wealth of history and world-firsts, that this website is far from being the first attempt to publish on subject of Golf in London. There have been many, over a period of almost 100 years, including:
- Josiah Newman (1913) Newman’s Guide to London Golf: Being a concise guide to the recognised golf club within 25 miles of Charing Cross.
- Alexander Gross (c.1920) 30 Miles Round London. Geographica. (A fold out map which plotted all the ‘Golf links in area of 30 miles round london’)
- Unknown (1937) 50 Miles of Golf Around London. Whitefriars Press Ltd
- Tom Scott (1952) 50 Miles of Golf Round London. Herbert Jenkins Ltd.
- Tom Scott (1975) Sixty Miles of Golf Around London. Barrie & Jenkins Ltd.
- Peter Wren-Hilton (1994) The 1995 Betula Guide to Golf around London. Betula Publishing.
- Roger Kidd Twenty Five Miles of Golf Around London. Kidds Golf Guides.
- Roger Kidd (2009) Fifty Miles of Golf Around London. Kidds Golf Guides.