Richmond Park Golf Course
|Owned by||The Royal Parks|
|Operated by||Glendale Golf since 2004|
|Designed by||Fred Hawtree|
|Length||5,868 yards (5,366 m)|
|Designed by||Fred Hawtree|
|Length||6,217 yards (5,685 m)|
Richmond Park Golf Course, a public, daily fee golf course comprising two 18-hole courses, is located in Richmond Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and is home to Richmond Park Golf Club.
During and following the First World War there was a growth of provision of sports facilities within Richmond Park granted by the British monarchy. In order to provide golf facilities to "local artisans", unable to afford membership of private clubs, George V commissioned J. H. Taylor, one of the famous "Great Triumvirate" of Braid, Taylor and Vardon, to lay out an 18-hole golf course with architect Fred Hawtree on the eastern side of Richmond Park in the early 1920s.
The golf course was opened in 1923 by Edward, Prince of Wales (who was to become King Edward VIII and, after his abdication, Duke of Windsor). This became known as the "Princes Course". In 1925, following the course's success, a second 18-hole course was added, again designed by Hawtree and inaugurated this time by the Duke of York (later George VI), giving the course its title of the "Dukes Course".
In 1985, Martin Hawtree, grandson of the original architect, was commissioned to undertake a programme of modernisation on the two courses.
The course lies on the boundary of the park to the east of Beverley Brook, between Roehampton and Robin Hood gates, and is in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, bordering on the London Borough of Wandsworth. The Alton Estate, Roehampton, dominates the western skyline.
The course was developed on the former "Great Paddock" of Richmond Park, an area used for feeding deer for the royal hunt. The tree belt in this part of the park was supplemented by additional planting in 1936.
Richmond Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and national nature reserve and has a policy of encouraging biodiversity. One aspect of this is that decaying wood, whether still on the tree or fallen to the ground, is left undisturbed as far as possible to provide natural habitats. One of the local golf course rules is therefore that fallen trees and dead wood must be treated as Immovable Obstructions during the game.
The Princes course lies on the higher ground and is 18-hole, 5,868 yards (5,366 m), par 69, with the 479 yards (438 m), par 5, final hole being the longest.
The Dukes course is 18-hole, 6,217 yards (5,685 m), par 69/68 with the 5th, par 4, 522 yards (477 m), being the longest. It is the lower and flatter of the two courses, crossed by a stream on holes 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 13.
The course also has a 16-bay driving range and a pro shop. A new grass roof clubhouse opened for business in April 2013. Located near Chohole Gate at the south of the course, the facility, which was officially opened in August 2013, adds seven new greens, eight new tees, a new driving range, and new, accessible golf academy. The new clubhouse has very low light and noise emission and the courses incorporate new ponds and other environmental features.
Richmond Park Golf Club
The Priory Golf Club was formed in 1924 by a group of enthusiastic players based at the newly opened "Princes course". The club changed its name to the current Richmond Park Golf Club in 1953. The club continues to play regularly at the course.
- "Public Golf in Richmond Park". Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Baxter Brown, Michael (1985). Richmond Park: The History of a Royal Deer Park. London: R. Hale. p. 150. ISBN 0709021631.
- "Club History". Richmond Park Golf Club. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- McDowall, David (1996). Richmond Park: The Walker's Historical Guide. pp. 121–126. ISBN 095278470X.
- Harrington, Peter (13 November 2004). "2005 Committee Notices – Fallen Trees and Dead Wood". Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Dukes's, Richmond Park". London Golf Courses. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "Sport in the Park". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "Work Commences at Richmond Park's New Golf Clubhouse and Golf Academy". Glendale Golf. Retrieved 12 October 2012.