Strawberry Hill had a modest beginning over 100 years ago. In 1900 Chiswick Golf Club was sold for development and six Strawberry Hill residents who often played at Chiswick had to find an alternative place to play. No other club was readily available and so they used an area at the rear of one of their homes in Wellesley Road.
The 27 acres were mainly covered by grass and trees with a brook running through and there were stables and grooms quarters in one corner.
They obtained permission from the owners of the land, Freake Estate Company, to play on it until it too was redeveloped. The first course had no bunkers and no greens, so sheep hurdles were used as hazards and holes created in the fairways.
Gradually under the guidance of J H Taylor, a leading professional who was also the first president of the PGA, they transformed the area into a playable nine hole course, and then secured a lease from Freake Estates to use the land as a golf course.
The picture on the left shows J H Taylor with W G Grace, another sporting legend.
In November 1902 contracts were formally signed granting an annual agreement for the use of the land. The land has changed hands several times since then, leading to our current landlords, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
In the early days of 1911 annual subscriptions were two guineas for gentlemen and one guinea for ladies. The caddies charged up to a shilling per round and the professional charged two shillings per hour for lessons.
The club also enjoyed a healthy social life with whist and bridge playing and social evenings.
After a very tight financial period during the second World War, the Golf Club began to flourish again, and was affilliated to the Middlesex County Golf Union in 1946.
Our 50th Anniversary was celebrated in style on 24 July 1950. As well as the triumphal entry of the gentlemen’s and ladies Captains standing in the back of an old car used for drawing the mowers, games of mixed three legged races and wool ball putting competitions were enjoyed, followed by a supper and dancing in the evening.
The fifties were a quiet period, but the Club saw a revival in the sixties when the first men?€?s invitational days were held. By 1969 the number of competitors had to be restricted to 72 due to the high demand! The decade also saw the accommodation improved for the professional and greenkeeper and two new flats and garages secured in an adjacent development.
The Club’s 75th Anniversary was celebrated in 1975, and the picture on the right shows the Captain of 1974, Malcolm Wenham with Doug Sanders, the American golf professional who visited Strawberry Hill that year for a golf demonstration and lunch.
The new clubhouse opened in 1983 and a new constitution was agreed in 1998 confirming equal rights at Strawberry HIll for men and lady members.
A fascinating 100 years was then celebrated over a week in the summer of 2000, culminating in the planting of the centenary oak tree by the mayor between the 1st and 9th fairway.
Since 2010, all members have played from the same friendly and competition tees. The par for the course, stroke indices and standard scratch are different for men and women but there is one course for everyone.