In 1890 Colonel Henry Morland built the first nine hole Lamberhurst Golf Course in the park of his family's manor house Court Lodge.
At the time there were less than ten golf courses in Kent against nearly 150 today. The membership was limited to fifty, the annual subscription was set at 10 shillings (50p). One of the regular visitors to the course in those early days was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who described the course being maintained by sheep and with postage stamp size greens which were particularly difficult to hit.
Court Lodge was requisitioned by the Army during WW1 with the course closed, after which in 1920 the Squire requested that course maintenance be carried out by local tradesmen. Soon afterwards Hubert "Curly" Prowse was appointed the first Club Professional and in 1928 Henry Cotton played in an exhibition match with him at Lamberhurst. In 1932 Curly came 13th in the Open Championship played at Prince's (won by Gene Sarazen) after which he left Lamberhurst to join the Pro Tour. On Saturday 7th April 1933 the members opened their ‘pavilion', located near the present 15th tee.
The course was again taken over by the Army for the duration of the Second World War so that in 1946 the Professional and Groundsman, Ernie Southerden together with his assistant John Jarvis had the mammoth task of restoring the course. In the following year Ernie Southerden 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 to Lamberhurst as Professional for the next twenty years.
By 1960 the membership had reached 200 and not only was the nine hole course at saturation point, but the old ‘pavilion' was 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 Golf Course architect Frank Pennink (famous for his designs at Vilamoura (old), Royal Liverpool, Formby, and Vale do Lobo) was contracted to design the new layout and John Jarvis the Head Greenkeeper set to work to construct the extension to the course. 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, now of the European Senior Tour, with Peter Mitchell, also now playing on the European Seniors Tour, in second.
Today the course is in the best condition it has ever been in its history and it still retains the magnificent views first appreciated by Henry Morland over 120 years ago.
On the 22nd of August 1890 the Kent & Sussex Courier reported that:
... by the exertion of Major Moorland a Golf Club had been formed at Lamberhurst and the links are to be, by kind permission of W.C Morland esquire, in Court Lodge Park, a large part of the park being well adapted for the game.
By the following month the initial rules of the club were established.
Rules Of The Lamberhurst Golf Club September 1890
- The committee of the club shall consist of not less than six - the President, Vice President, Captain, Treasurer, Honorary Secretary and three or more ordinary Members, to be elected annually at the First General Meeting of the Club in each year. The general management of the Club shall be vested in the committee, three to FORM a quorum.
- The Honorary Secretary shall keep a correct record of all proceedings of the Club at all Ordinary, Extra and Committee Meetings; shall call the Meetings of the Club; and take charge generally of all books, papers, records and Property belonging thereto.
- Each member may introduce a Friend, non-resident in the parish, to play on the links, for one day only in any calendar month- the Secretary to be informed of it; or he may introduce such Friend as a temporary Member on payment of Half a Crown per month.
- An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held as early in the year as possible on some day to be fixed by the committee.
- The Annual subscription shall be Ten Shillings, and, in addition, an Entrance fee of Five Shillings for Playing Members.
- The election of Members shall be by the Committee of the Club
- The Annual Subscription shall be due on January 1st, and Members not having paid their Subscription by April 1st shall cease to be Members of the Club, after having received due notice from the Secretary.
- The Entrance Fees and Subscriptions shall be paid not later than a month after election, and no member shall be allowed to play on the Links until such Fees and Subscriptions have been paid.
- It shall be competent for three-fourths of the Members present at a General Meeting, and at which not less than ten Members shall be present, to expel any Member who may have wilfully acted contrary to the Rules and Constitution of the Club, and who, on remonstrance from the Committee, shall continue so to act, or otherwise render himself obnoxious to the other Members, provided always that previous special notice shall have been given to such Member that such conduct would be brought before the Meeting.
- Every Saturday shall be considered Special Play-day, but the Servant of the Club will be ready to place the Flags, Etc; during the other lawful days of the week.
- Members must be particularly careful when playing to avoid hitting or sending their balls near as to frighten anyone walking or riding on the course.
- It shall be competent for the committee to alter, add to, or extend the rules of the club.
- The number of Members shall be limited to fifty.
Officers appointed and a Committee established:
|Patron||W. C. Morland Esq.|
|President||Mr. E. W Hussey|
|Vice President||Major H. C. Morland|
|Hon. Secretary||Rev. D. James|
|Other Committee Members|
Mr. F C Simpson; Rev. F W Champneys; Lieut-Col. F W Burr; Mr M Horan; Miss Grant; Miss Hussey; Miss Thorneycroft; Miss A Thorneycroft.
Annual Subscription = Ten Shillings
Entry Fee = Five Shillings
It is the duty of every golfer to replace, or see replaced, any portion of turf which may have been cut out in the act of playing
- 1890 - A 9-hole course is laid out by Henry Morland and Lamberhurst Golf Club is founded; at the time there were only five other courses in Kent. Membership restricted to 50.
- 1923 - The course is re-designed and local businessmen take responsibility for the course.
- 1924 - H. Prowse (Curley) appointed as the first professional at Lamberhurst. G. C1926 Henry Morland succeeds his brother as President.
- 1928 - Henry Cotton plays an exhibition match at Lamberhurst G. C. The first recorded meeting of the Ladies section.
- 1932 - Curley Prowse comes 13th in the Open Championship at Princes won by Gene Sarazen.
- 1933 - The Pavilion is opened (The first Clubhouse).
- 1934 - William Morland becomes Presdent (for 45 years).
- 1936 - Ernie Southerden succeeds Curley Prowse as Professional.
- 1940 - Course closed due to the War and is used as a munitions depot.
- 1946 - John Jarvis appointed head green keeper to restore the course.
- 1947 - Course re-opens following the War and Ernie Southerden defeats Sam King the Ryder Cup player in an exhibition match.
- 1950 - Curley Prowse returns to succeed Ernie Southerden as professional.
- 1964 - Membership reaches 390, for a nine-hole course this is considered the limit.
- 1968 - The present Clubhouse is opened and the course altered to suit the new location.
- 1970 - Curley Prowse retires and is succeeded by Geoff Norton. Membership now stands at 535. An 18-hole course is required.
- 1976 - A new 18-hole course is opened (after considerable effort on the part of David Browning) with an exhibition match involving Christy O' Connor Snr. And Christy O' Connor Jnr.
- 1979 - Stanley Blow becomes president.
- 1982 - Mike Travers appointed professional and course manager.
- 1983 - Mike Travers organises the first Pro-Am together with the Kent PGA.
- 1990 - The Club celebrates its centenary with a festival of golf. The Pro-Am is won by J Hoskison from West Surrey G. C. with a score of 67 (a new course record) from Paul Way - 69. A young professional named Brian Impett from Gillingham shoots 75 and Jamie Spence 79.