Heritage

The Club was founded in 1903

The course was opened for play in May 1904, with an exhibition match between the legendary Triumvirate of Harry Vardon, J.H.Taylor and James Braid. Braid had already become the Club's professional and was to remain in that capacity until his death in 1950.

The course was laid out by W. Herbert Fowler, a leading amateur golfer. It was his first golf course venture and he went on to become one of the leading golf course architects of his era, both in the U.K. and America.

It is a tribute to his genius that he created one of the finest examples of heathland golf, which so closely resembles the traditional seaside links courses, out of a jungle of heather, gorse and bracken. Likewise, it is a testament of his creativity that, what became known as, the Old course is still, today, ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the world.

The first nine holes of the New course were opened in 1907, with the full 18 holes being opened in 1913. Also designed by Fowler, this course, in many ways, is even more of a testament to the genius of Fowler. It remains almost entirely as it was when it was opened for play. As such, some consider it to be Fowler's Forgotten Masterpiece. It features in the top 100 courses of the U.K.

The Old course has hosted nearly 90 major amateur and professional championships in its illustrious history, including the 1981 Ryder Cup, 5 European Opens and 23 News of the World Matchplay Championships (then only second in importance to the Open Championship and always with a bigger prize fund). The list also includes such prestigious amateur events as the English Amateur and the English Open Amateur Stroke-Play  Championships, the British and English Ladies' Amateur Championships, the British Seniors' Open Amateur championship and the British Mid-Amateur Championship, as well as no fewer than 24 Golf Illustrated Gold Vase tournaments.

More recently, the Club has introduced the South of England Open Amateur Championship and is also proud to host the the U.S. Open European Qualifying event.

Truly one of the best tests of inland golf, Walton Heath also has the unique distinction of being the only English Club to have had a reigning Monarch as Captain, when the Prince of Wales became King during his Captaincy in 1935/6.

The photo history highlights some of the notable occasions at Walton Heath. The other articles are extracts from the club's centenary book Heather and Heaven. We trust you enjoy an insight into the history of the club.