Club History

The establishment of a Lamberhurst golf club in William C Morland’s Court Lodge Park was first announced on 18th June 1885 by Charles Hope. This initiative was supported by the family’s younger son Henry Morland, who gained experience of the game while on Army service in Ceylon, and the 9-hole course was formally opened in September 1890.

At the time there were fewer than ten golf courses in Kent against nearly 150 today. Club membership was limited to fifty and the annual subscription set at 10 shillings (50p).

In the early 1900s one young member was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who described the criss-cross course being maintained by sheep and with postage stamp size greens which were particularly difficult to hit.

During WW1 Court Lodge was requisitioned by the Army and the course closed, after which the Morland estate required that course maintenance and club administration be deferred to local members. The course layout was changed to more conventionally separated holes; in 1924 Hubert "Curly" Prowse was appointed the first Club Professional and Henry Cotton and other Professionals visited to play in exhibition matches. After Curly came 13th in the Open Championship at Prince's in 1932, he left to join the Pro circuit in the Midlands. On Saturday 7th April 1933 a proper clubhouse was established overlooking the present 15th tee.

The course was again taken over by the Army for the duration of WW2, after which the Professional, Ernie Southerden, and his assistant John Jarvis undertook the mammoth task of restoring the course. In 1947 Ernie 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 as Professional for the next twenty years.

By 1960 the membership had reached 200 and not only was the 9-hole course at saturation point, but the old ‘pavilion' 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 work was organised by club captain David Browning, employing Golf Course architect Frank Pennink to design the new layout and John Jarvis as Head Greenkeeper for the work. 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, with Peter Mitchell second, both later to feature strongly on the European Senior Tour. Pro-Ams have been organised in most years since and are regarded by Kent PGA as one of the foremost meetings in the County.

Today the club has around 600 members who play a full part in all Kent competitions and organisations and matches against other clubs, while the Club maintains a considerable programme of internal competitions and social activities.

The course features the proximity of the old manor house and Saxon church and various magnificent views looking down on the village rooftops and across the Weald. Most holes have memorable characteristics and are a challenge to the best golfers. The ground staff and management work tirelessly to maintain the course in the best possible condition and one newspaper dubbed Lamberhurst “the Augusta of Kent”. 

Club Timeline

  • 1885 – The formation of the golf club is announced by Charles Hope.
  • 1890 - A 9-hole course is opened and membership applications invited. There were only five other courses in Kent. Membership restricted to 50.
  • 1919 - The course is re-designed and responsibility for its upkeep passed to village residents.
  • 1924 - H. Prowse (Curly) appointed as the first professional.
  • 1926 - Henry Morland succeeds his brother Charles as President.
  • 1928 - Henry Cotton plays an exhibition match at Lamberhurst G.C. The Ladies’ Section holds its first recorded meeting.
  • 1932 - Curly Prowse comes 13th in the Open at Princes won by Gene Sarazen.
  • 1933 - The first Clubhouse is opened.
  • 1934 - William Morland becomes President (for 45 years).
  • 1936 - Ernie Southerden succeeds Curly 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 Ryder Cup player Sam King in an exhibition match.
  • 1950 – Ernie Southerden comes 20th in The Open at Muirfield and is recruited to New Zealand; Curly Prowse returns as professional.
  • 1964 - Membership reaches 390, considered the limit for a nine-hole course.
  • 1968 - The present clubhouse is opened and the course altered to suit the new location.
  • 1970 - Curly 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 with an exhibition match involving Christy O' Connor Snr. and Christy O' Connor Jnr.
  • 1982 - Mike Travers appointed professional and course manager.
  • 1983 - Mike Travers organises the first Pro-Am together with the Kent PGA.
  • 1985 – A course record of 70 was set during the annual Pro-Am by a young professional from Cranbrook GC, named Brian Impett.
  • 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. Brian Impett, then from Gillingham GC, shot 75 and Jamie Spence 79.
  • 1995 – Purchase of lease over 45 acres of the course south of River Teise.
  • 1998 – Brian Impett appointed professional taking over from Mike Travers.
  • 2003 – Lamberhurst team won the Perman Shield Scratch Knock-Out.
  • 2005 – Initiation of Teise Trophy annual open for lowest handicaps. Opening of Lamberhurst By-Pass.
  • 2011 – Sharon Port sets ladies’ amateur course record of 75 gross, 70 nett.
  • 2012 – Installation of new irrigation system to all tees and greens.
  • 2015 – Celebration of 125th anniversary, and first annual match with Burghley Park GC. Purchase of lease over remaining 25 acres of the course south of River Teise.
  • 2017 – Joshua Bristow (Canterbury GC) set a new amateur course record of 66.
  • 2018 – Paul Nessling set a new Professional course record of 65.
  • 2019 – Court Lodge is sold after 286 years of Morland family occupation.