Royal Wimbledon Golf Club

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History & Heritage

 
 

1865

Golf is first played ‘formally’ on the common over seven holes.
 

1871

Henry Lamb
The course is extended to 18 holes. The Field states ‘the golfing ground on Wimbledon Common is one of the finest courses in the country equal in extent and superior in number and variety of hazards to St Andrews’.

Henry Lamb wins the Silver Cross at the R&A. (1st prize Spring Meeting scratch medal).
 

1872

Wimbledon Ladies’ Golf Club is formed.
 

1873

Henry Lamb wins both the Royal Medal and the Silver Cross at the R&A.
 

1877

Henry Lamb becomes Honorary Secretary.

Tom Dunn (the Club Professional) challenges the former Open Champion Tom Morris to a match at the Club over 36 holes. Dunn wins 5 and 3.
 

1878

Henry Lamb wins the Royal Medal at the R & A.
 

1879

Henry Lamb
Henry Lamb commences debate with Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lumsden (the President) to remove Lord Elcho’s power of veto. He also proposes a change to the structure of the Club’s committee so that non-Corps members could be 50 % of the committee and could Captain the Club.
 

1881

The civilians claim the name The London Scottish Golf Club and the Corps put inverted commas around ‘London Scottish’ in their name.
 

1882

Laidlaw Purves
The Club moves formally to Camp Cottage on a 21 year lease. Laidlaw Purves is charged with leading a group to ‘apply their minds to the whole of the rules of golf’ as Clubs are individually responsible. A letter is written to The Prince of Wales requesting that he continues as Patron of the Club after its name change. Henry Lamb writes to the Home Office to request that the prefix ‘Royal’ be included in the name.
 

1885

The Club puts its proposal for a national conference on the rules of golf to the R&A.
 

1886

Alexander Patrick of Leven becomes the Professional and is one of several applicants, who include Willie Park Jr. of Musselborough and the Professionals from Hoylake, North Berwick, Southport and Dunbar, reflecting the high esteem in which the Club is held.

J.H. Taylor
In June, J.H.Taylor, an Open Champion and one of 55 applicants, is appointed as the Professional.

Henry Lamb loses the final of the first formal Amateur Championship. The Club is one of the seven original sponsors of this trophy, a fact recorded on the trophy.
 

1887

Henry Lamb and Laidlaw Purves travel to Sandwich to seek land for a course that Club members can play on. The mission is a success and Laidlaw Purves designs and establishes Royal St Georges.
 

1891

Harry Colt wins the Queen Victoria Vase at the R&A.
 

1893

Isette Pearson
Royal Wimbledon Ladies communicate their wish to Laidlaw Purves to establish an Open Championship for Ladies. He presides over a meeting of the 15 leading Ladies’ clubs. This meeting agrees to the formation of the Ladies’ Golf Union and Miss Isette Pearson (a member of the Club) becomes the progenitor.
 

1898

Lena Thomson wins the English Ladies’ Championship.
 

1903

Sir Robert Finlay, Club Captain 1896/97, becomes Captain of the R&A.
 

1905

Brigadier General Sir David Kinloch, who later becomes Captain of the Club, is made Captain of the R&A.
 

1907

Royal Wimbledon begins to construct a new course, designed by Willie Park on 240 acres of Warren farm.

V.A. Pollock wins the Queen Victoria Vase at St Andrews.
 

1910

Bernard Darwin writes in ‘The Golf Courses of the British isles‘, ‘If the Royal Wimbledon member wishes to play on a Sunday, he need nowadays only walk out of the back door of his Club House and he is on his private golf course. A wonderful place is this new Wimbledon course…’.
 

1919

Harry Colt
The Captain (Stephen Fairbairn) commissions Harry Colt to design a new course. Colt’s response is to advise the Club that it is brilliant land for making a golf course.
 

1920

Field Marshall Earl Haig, a member of the Club, is made Captain of the R&A.
 

1921

Roger Wethered
Roger Wethered wins the Royal Medal at the R&A. He makes his first appearance in the Walker Cup. In the Open (as an Amateur) he ties for first place with Jock Hutchinson. He loses the play-off.
 

1922

The Prince of Wales is made Captain of the R&A.
 

1923

Roger Wethered wins the Amateur Championship.
 

1924

course map
Colt’s course is formally opened by the past Captain Colonel G.A. Malcolm. There follows a match with the Oxford & Cambridge golf society which is halved.
 

1927

Ryder Cup
V.A. Pollock wins the Queen Victoria Vase at the R&A.

The Club subscribed to the Golf Illustrated fund 'for the purpose of sending a number of Professionals to America… to compete in the US Open Championship and to take part in the first official bi-annual international "Ryder Cup" match against the American professionals at Worcester, Mass'.
 

1928

The Prince of Wales is made Captain of the Club.
 

1930

The Duke of York, a member of the Club, is made Captain of the R&A.
 

1934

Bernard Darwin
Bernard Darwin, a member of the Club, is made Captain of the R&A.

Roger Wethered wins the Silver Cross at the R&A. He plays in the Walker Cup team for the sixth and final time.
 

1937

Roger Wethered wins the Royal Medal for the third and final time at the R&A.
 

1938

A 60 year lease is granted by Wimbledon Borough Council.
 

1939

Arnold Bentley wins the English Championship at Birkdale.

The Club introduces the team putting competition on the putting green which is described by Henry Longhurst as the best of its kind and Darwin writes, ‘the Wimbledon putting course seems to me, if I may respectfully say so, a model of what a course should be’.
 

1952

A.V.Bridgeland wins the Queen Victoria Vase.
 

1983

Hugh Boyle
Russell Dailey retires as Professional and is replaced by Hugh Boyle who played in the 1967 Ryder Cup, has represented Ireland in International matches and won tournaments at home and abroad.
 

1986

A 300 year lease is secured from the Borough of Merton for £300,000 with a peppercorn rent.
 

2002

Hugh Boyle retires as the Club Professional and is suceeded by David Jones.
 

2004

The sixth hole is redesigned to prevent balls going in to the gardens on the right hand side of this fairway.
 

2009

Club house
Major refurbishments to the Club House are made. The Men's changing rooms are converted from the 'rabbit warren' of small rooms which were probably the original bed rooms to Camp Cottage.
 

2011

The Artisans section is dissolved by agreement with the remaining Artisan members. Extensive work begins on a redesign and reshaping of the first and eighteenth holes. To finance these alterations a bond of £350,000 was raised from the Members.
 

2012

The new first & eighteenth holes are opened at the Spring Meeting.