Club History

This initiative was supported by the family’s younger son Henry Morland, who gained experience of the game while on Army service in Ceylon, and the 9-hole course was formally opened in September 1890.

At the time there were fewer than ten golf courses in Kent against nearly 150 today. Club membership was limited to fifty and the annual subscription set at 10 shillings (50p).

In the early 1900s one young member was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who described the criss-cross course being maintained by sheep and with postage stamp size greens which were particularly difficult to hit.

During WW1 Court Lodge was requisitioned by the Army and the course closed, after which the Morland estate required that course maintenance and club administration be deferred to local members. The course layout was changed to more conventionally separated holes; in 1924 Hubert "Curly" Prowse was appointed the first Club Professional and Henry Cotton and other Professionals visited to play in exhibition matches. After Curly came 13th in the Open Championship at Prince's in 1932, he left to join the Pro circuit in the Midlands. On Saturday 7th April 1933 a proper clubhouse was established overlooking the present 15th tee.

The course was again taken over by the Army for the duration of WW2, after which the Professional, Ernie Southerden, and his assistant John Jarvis undertook the mammoth task of restoring the course. In 1947 Ernie beat the local Ryder Cup player Sam King in an exhibition match at Lamberhurst, much to the delight of the members. When Ernie emigrated in 1950, Curly Prowse returned as Professional for the next twenty years.

By 1960 the membership had reached 200 and not only was the 9-hole course at saturation point, but the old ‘pavilion' now inadequate. On the 10th February 1968 a new Club House was opened on its present site, then in early 1970's adjacent farmland was acquired on leases from the Hussey and McAlpine families in order to extend the course. The work was organised by club captain David Browning, employing Golf Course architect Frank Pennink to design the new layout and John Jarvis as Head Greenkeeper for the work. On 24th May 1976, Christy O'Connor Snr and Christy Jnr together with Tegwen Perkins and Carole Redford played an exhibition match to celebrate the official opening of the new 18 holes.

The first Pro-Am was played in 1983 and was won by Bob Cameron, with Peter Mitchell second, both later to feature strongly on the European Senior Tour. Pro-Ams have been organised in most years since and are regarded by Kent PGA as one of the foremost meetings in the County.

Today the club has around 600 members who play a full part in all Kent competitions and organisations and matches against other clubs, while the Club maintains a considerable programme of internal competitions and social activities.

The course features the proximity of the old manor house and Saxon church and various magnificent views looking down on the village rooftops and across the Weald. Most holes have memorable characteristics and are a challenge to the best golfers. The ground staff and management work tirelessly to maintain the course in the best possible condition and one newspaper dubbed Lamberhurst “the Augusta of Kent”.

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