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Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. (1893 - WW2)

The club was founded in 1893.

Result of the December 1895 medal; Scratch Medal, J Patterson, 98; Gold, Dr Oakeley, 103-10-93; Silver, Macpherson, 103-12-91.

During April 1896 A B Inglis won both the scratch and gold monthly medals, the silver medal was won by A Goodwin.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. The clubhouse and course.

Clubhouse, Honor Oak and Forest Hill Golf Club. Poole Real Photo Card early 1900s. Authors Collection.

 

The following is from The Golfing And Cycling Illustrated June 10th 1897.

"In only one respect can complaint be reasonably lodged against the officials of the Honor Oak and Forest Hill Golf Club. It is this. They arranged for one week of golf competitions, whereas, judging by the great success which attended their efforts, they ought to have given two. Certainly no club near London has carried out a more interesting programme, and few followers of the game can lay claim to a prettier or more truly sportive green. The old course was as unlike the new as is the time-honoured chalk from the proverbial cheese. The undulations of the present course are thoroughly adapted to the game. Honor Oak's membership is nearing the number which points to an entrance fee for new-comers, and the few remaining vacancies will soon be filled.

Although there would be no difficulty in laying out an 18 hole course on the 80 acres of land that are at the club's disposal, the members are content with nine - wisely believing that a perfect nine-holes course, free from crossings, is preferable to a cramped eighteen. There is only one hole with an iron shot from the tee. The others are full drives, the longest hole being 375 yards. Bogie for the nine-holes is 40. The present course has only been in use for a month, though the club is two years old. If a man go to Honor Oak to play golf, and play it badly, he must blame the magnificent scenery which nature has placed within his vision. For many miles, from Windsor Castle to Burnham Beeches and the Northern Heights, one can see a vast expanse of lovely scenic views.

(Interesting to note from the above that the club had a previous course, which it played on for a couple of years. Location of this course still to be found.)  

Mr John Penn, M.P., whose medal will shortly be competed for in scratch play, is Honorary President of the club, Mr John Hunt being the acting President. Mr A Stenhouse, an old St Andrews player, is Captain. Messrs. Jennings, Tetley, and George Henderson are Vice-Presidents; Mr F C Sewell is Hon. Secretary and Mr C Lock Hon. Treasurer. The eight committeemen are; H Scott-Macpherson (an old Caledonian footballer), J Rickard, J Hummel, J W Breeze, A J Quin, W G Taylor, W S Taylor, J R Thornbury and Dr C E Oakeley.

During the whole of the competition week, which commenced on May 31st, the course was the scene of several interesting encounters. On the morning of June 1st A Thompson, the North Surrey club's professional, and Mr Goodson, of that club beat E Cameron Hitch and F C Sewell by 4 and 3. In the afternoon Mr Penn and Mr Sewell beat Major Kinloch and Dr Oakeley by 2up. On Thursday A Thompson (North Surrey) and T Yeoman (Mid-Herts) played a 36 hole match, in which Yeoman showed that his game had greatly improved since the days when he was professional to the Honor Ok club. On Saturday the "golf week" concluded . Mr E Cameron Hitch was the scratch winner with 89. J G Trotter and F C Sewell tied at 77 net for the Senior Medal, and P Barca with 71 net, won the Junior Prize. The Club Handicap Cup was won by H Scott-Macpherson with 72 net." 

In October 1897 riots ensued after the club decided to fence the course off from the public. It was reported that "There was a very large party at Honor Oak on Sunday afternoon, when the disgraceful proceedings of the previous Sunday would have been repeated but for the arrangements made by the authorities."  

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Views of the surrounding countryside.

Honor Oak course (One Tree Hill) with its splendid views over the surrounding countryside.

 

Result of the December 1898 medal; gold, P Barca 94-13-81; silver W Chinery 105-18-87. The winner of the President’s Badge played on Saturday 10th December was S Chiesman 98-22-76.

Result of the January 1899 medal; gold, G A Pinnock, 89-10-79; silver, S Chiesman, 102-18-84.

Thanks to Dixon Pickup for supplying the medal images below and for the following text - Two medals for the H.O & F.H Golf Club. The first medal is in silver-gilt  hallmarked Birmingham 1904 and probably represents the '1st Class' in the monthly Medal, the plain silver one, Birmingham 1904 perhaps '2nd Class'. Both by W.H.H (William Hair Heseler). I wonder if the tree motif relates to the 'Lone Tree Hill' around which the course extended, or maybe just the 'Oak'.

The tree motif on the medals originates from "Oak of Honor Hill" or "One Tree Hill". The legend is that on 1st May 1602, Elizabeth I picnicked with Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris in the Lewisham area by an oak tree at the summit of a hill. The tree came to be known as the Oak of Honor. The tree surrounded by railings is an oak, and was planted in 1905 as a successor to the historic one.  

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Silver-gilt competition medal.

The silver-gilt Medal.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Plain silver competition medal.

The plain silver Medal.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Illustrated & sporting Dramatic News July 1904.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Illustrated & sporting Dramatic News July 1904.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Illustrated & sporting Dramatic News July 1904.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Illustrated & sporting Dramatic News July 1904.

Above from The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News July 23rd 1904. Images © Illustrated London News Group. Images created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

The following is from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Secretary, C J H Shearn; Captain, G A Pinnock; 150 members; Entrance fee £2/2s and subs £4/4s; Professional, A Tooley; Visitors, 2/- a day and 10/- a week. One of the best nine-hole courses in London. The fourth, fifth and sixth holes are very long. 

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Pre-WW1 postcard.

Pre-WW1 postcard.

 

  Secretary Professional/Greenkeeper
1905/6 C J H Shearn, Redroofs, 76 Underhill Road,  Lordship Lane, London SE. A Tooley (p)
1914 W H Manley. Geo Oke (p) H O Park (g)
1924 Lieutenant Colonel A H Locke VD, Clubhouse Honor Oak Park, London SE H Brown (p)
1930s C J T Dadd. J T Coleman (p) W Belsey (g)
1935-40 C J T Dadd FSI. R A Louvel (p) W Belsey (g)

In 1906 course records were, amateur E Spencer, 75 and professional A Tribble, 72. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a day weekend and Bank Holidays 5/- a day, 10/- a week and 20/- a month.

 

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. The course and pavilion.

The Honor Oak Course and Pavilion by P S & V Lewisham posted in 1907. Authors Collection.

 

The One Tree Hill Cup was played in October 1911 and was won by A V Hunt, 80 net.

In 1914 the membership was 300. Entry fee for gents was £5/5/0. There was no entry fee for ladies. Subs were gents £4/4/0 and ladies £2/2/0. For five day members there was no entry fee, subs were £3/3/0. Lady associate members paid£1/11/6 but were not allowed to play Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

The competition for the Vice Presidents' Shield, foursome, was played in April 1923 and was won by J Lees and H D Habben. Monthly Medal result; Senior - F W C Bowe, 79 net; Junior - H D Habben, 82 net. 

1924, club membership was 250. Course records set by, amateur R S Collins 72 and professional W G Oke 65. These records were the last recorded.

From 1940 to the clubs closure, probably following WW2 membership was about 200. Visitors’ fees on introduction were 2/6 a day, ladies 1/6, weekend and Bank Holiday 5/- a day, 10/- a week and 30/- a month. Five day weekday membership was £4/4/0.

Memories of Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club from Mr J Salmon: “In the late 1930s and throughout the war my father was a member Honor Oak & Forest Hill the entrance to which was in the road named Honor Oak Park in London SE 23. The land was acquired by the local authority in the 1950s. It is still largely open space. Mainly I recall that the ninth hole which was alongside the entrance road the tee was by the clubhouse and you played away from the clubhouse. There was a postage stamp green and the distance was little more than 100yds, several holes in one were achieved at this hole. I recall another short hole played blind over a ridge but as there were few trees on the parkland most holes were straightforward par fours”

Honor Oak & Forest Hill Golf Club, London. Golf course location.

Location of the Honor Oak and Forest Hill course.