OUR HISTORY

1907-1912

John Frederic Abercromby

John Frederic Abercromby (‘Aber’) was a member of London’s stock exchange and, with a handicap of +6, had a reputation as an exceptional golfer. In 1907, he was tasked with building a golf course to rival the three new courses in the area – Woking, Walton Heath and Sunningdale. With no previous design or construction experience, he retained the services of golf course architect, Willie Park Jnr – Worplesdon Golf Club opened in 1908.

Shortly after came his second commission, with the construction of Coombe Hill in 1911. Abercromby again used Willie Park Jnr, but this time took on more of the design work himself.

By 1913, the high circles of London were becoming frustrated with how overrun golf courses had become around the City. Abercromby set out to answer this problem, by building a private club on the outskirts of town. Even though Aber was becoming an architect in his own right, he enlisted the help of the day’s best known golf course architect, Harry Colt.

1907-1912

John Frederic Abercromby

By 1913, the high circles of London were becoming frustrated with how overrun golf courses had become around the City. John Frederic Abercromby (‘Aber’) set out to answer this problem, by building a private club on the outskirts of town. Even though Aber was becoming an architect in his own right, he enlisted the help of the day’s best known golf course architect, Harry Colt.

1913

Addington Golf Club Syndicate incorporated.

Addington Golf Club Syndicate incorporated. Share capital £1,000 in £1 shares. The top signatory for the syndicate was JF Abercromby.

1914

Harry Colt

Harry Colt inspecting the newly constructed 13th hole.

1914

Bernard Darwin

Bernard Darwin wrote: 20 years ago, a golf architect would never have chosen the heavily wooded hill for the course, and its construction was a massive undertaking, employing 500 navvies to clear 1500 trees and 700 barrow loads of stones.

Bernard Darwin wrote: 20 years ago, a golf architect would never have chosen the heavily wooded hill for the course, and its construction was a massive undertaking, employing 500 navvies to clear 1500 trees and 700 barrow loads of stones.

1914-1918

The Great War

Formal opening of the golf course was postponed due to the Great War. The course was played occasionally by Abercromby and his close friends, but otherwise remained closed.

1919

Club formed and course officially opened.

The Addington Golf Club was formed and the course officially opened on 18th October 1919. JF Abercromby was Chairman from 1919, until his death in 1935.

1922

Fowler, Abercromby, Simpson & Croome

While they had collaborated informally up to this point, the four architects officially formed a partnership with the founding of their firm, FAS&C. The Addington was listed as their headquarters.

Today FAS&C are one of the two prominent Golden Age design firms. The second would be that of Colt, Mackenzie, Alison & Morisson. To this day, The Addington is the only known collaboration between the two schools of architecture.

While they had collaborated informally up to this point, the four architects officially formed a partnership with the founding of their firm, FAS&C. The Addington was listed as their headquarters.

1922

Bernard Darwin

“The ideal which all great golf architects set before them in laying out a course is to reproduce as closely as far as possible the best features of links and to adapt them to inland conditions. Mr Abercromby has achieved this here.”

1930

US Walker Cup Team

Bobby Jones and the US Walker Cup Team practice on the New Course at The Addington before heading to Royal St George’s.

1934

Fred Robson

Fred Robson appointed as Head Professional. He had an illustrious playing career, having finished second to Bobby Jones in The Open at St Andrews in 1927 and representing Great Britain in three Ryder Cups. He went on to become a revered club maker and sought-after teacher

1935

Death of JF Abercromby.

1936-1939

Average number of members was over 800, with over a quarter being ladies. The Addington had become one of the three most favored clubs in the environs of London. “You could count those who did not come in their Rolls Royces on the fingers of one hand.”

1937

King George VI

King George VI grants royal patronage. The Club was informally known as Royal Addington as it was where the Royals played.

*Clipping from Belfast Newsletter, 26 November 1937

1944

Housing Shortage

Following its military occupation, the New Course was taken by the government for development, to alleviate the housing shortage following the war. After a protracted battle, it was officially sold by a Compulsory Purchase Order in 1945 for £100,000.

1952

Clubhouse Fire

The clubhouse at The Addington had been designed by the same architects who designed the Royal stand at Ascot. It was known as the finest “nineteenth hole” in the country. On 2nd February 1952, it was totally destroyed by a devastating fire. Despite major efforts from local fire services, all the clubs records and trophies were lost.

On 2nd February 1952, it was totally destroyed by a devastating fire. Despite major efforts from local fire services, all the clubs records and trophies were lost.

1952

King George VI Dies

Four days after the loss of the clubhouse, the club’s Royal Patron, King George VI, died.

1958 – 2005

New Ownership

By 1958, a majority of the club’s ownership had been amassed by one individual, Jack Bennett. Following his death in 1963, his shares were passed to his daughter, Moira, who owned the club until her death in 2005. The Bennett family saw The Addington as Aber’s masterpiece. They protected the course from committees seeking to make alterations. This noble endeavour allowed the encroachment of trees and undergrowth; taking place over several decades and invisible to the naked eye.

By the early 2000s, the course was virtually forgotten – unrecognisable to what it had once been.  Fortunately, the lack of alterations meant the entropy had been mostly superficial. Beneath the growth of bushes and trees, lay perhaps the most uniquely well-preserved Golden Age design in the world. 

By 1958, a majority of the club’s ownership had been amassed by Jack Bennett. Following his death in 1963, his shares were passed to his daughter, Moira, who owned the club until her death in 2005. By the early 2000s, the course was virtually forgotten. Beneath the overgrowth, lay perhaps the most uniquely well-preserved Golden Age design in the world.

2020

Restoration

Ryan Noades takes over as Managing Director, appoints Clayton, DeVries & Pont as golf course architects. The Noades family approve their plan and embark on a mission to restore the course and club as London’s premium course and club.