WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
The idea of a golf course on our current land was solely due to Mr A H Lisner, who was the lessee of the Waffrons Farm, which lies within the boundaries of the current course. He was keen to get the prospect of a new Surrey golf club underway as soon as possible, as new courses were springing up locally, including Claygate Common Golf Club on land nearby.
Lisner placed an advert in the Surrey Comet announcing a meeting to be held at The Southampton Hotel in Surbiton on 29 March 1895. Mr Bulmer Howell was elected Captain, a provisional Committee formed, and seventy members signed up.
Our first clubhouse built in 1895
Our second clubhouse built in 1912
THE WAFFRONS GOLF CLUB
The Waffrons Golf Club, as it was first known, was instituted in April 1895 and the course of nine holes was ready for play on 18 May 1895. The fact the course was ready so quickly was due to the Richie’s, tenants of Lisner at The Waffrons, who had already laid out a rudimentary course for use by their family. Tom Dunn, the renowned Professional at Tooting Bec Golf Club and one of Britain’s foremost golf architects, made the most of this when designing the new course.
The official opening of the Club was on Saturday, 8 June 1895 with an 18-hole competition with 18 participants. James Wild with a net score of 78 (gross 94), had the honour of being the Club’s first competition winner.
A CHANGE OF NAME
At the Club’s second AGM in May 1896, Lisner reported that he had acquired 40 acres of meadow at the Claygate end of the course and it was proposed to extend the course to 18 holes which would be in play by October. Members voted to change the Club name from The Waffrons to Surbiton Golf Club because “...so few people know where The Waffrons is...” Or perhaps because the majority of the 130 members, who paid a subscription of 3 Guineas a year, lived in Surbiton.
Advertisements from local shops, 1913
Our third clubhouse built in 1921
OUR HISTORY OF CLUBHOUSES
Our first clubhouse was comprised of a single storey wooden structure, fronted by a verandah and roofed with corrugated metal sheets. It served the Club until 1912 when it was burnt to the ground.
Our second clubhouse was a more imposing, substantial building, still largely built of wood with brick foundations and a chimney. This clubhouse was in its turn destroyed by fire in 1921.
Our third clubhouse was a vastly superior affair, built in brick, partly stucco rendered with a thatched roof. Ten years later it too was largely destroyed by fire in 1931 when the roof was set alight by a spark from one of its three chimneys.
Our fourth clubhouse, which is the one we have today, followed the footprint of the previous one, only this time with a tiled roof!