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Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, Rhode St. Genèse. (1923 - 1960)

The Royal Waterloo Golf Club was founded in 1923 as Waterloo Golf Club right in the centre of the battlefields from the Napoleon era around “La Ferme Blaret” at Rhode Saint Genès on land owned by Mr. Lambeau. Initially a rudimentary 9-hole course was laid out. By 1925 a 27-hole golf course designed by Harry Colt was laid out. In the beginning the farmhouse owned by Cesar Blaret served as clubhouse before a new clubhouse in an English cottage style was built on the golf course.

Below is a report on the Belgian Ladies’ Open in July 1927.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Report on the Belgian Ladies' Open 1927.

From The Scotsman Saturday 23rd July 1927. Image © Johnston Press plc.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Course Scorecard.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Course Scorecard.

Above is the scorecard for the old course.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Layout of the course in 1931.

Layout of the golf course in 1931.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Information on the club from 1931.

General information on the club from 1931.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Waterloo Golf Club advert from 1932.

Waterloo Golf Club advert from 1932.

 

In January 1933 Henry Cotton took up the post as club professional at Waterloo Golf Club. When winning his first Open Championship in 1934 he was still attached to Waterloo Golf Club, where he stayed until December 1936.

On July 23rd 1933 a match play took place at Waterloo with Henry Cotton playing Walter Hagen.

The 1934, 1938, 1946 and 1953 editions of the Belgian Open were held at Waterloo, with Henry Cotton winning the first two events, while by Flory van Donck took the latter two titles.

According to the Golfer’s Handbook 1936 the club had 500 members and 27 holes.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Scorecard from 1936 before the "Royal" title.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. Scorecard from 1936 before the "Royal" title.

The above scorecard is from 1936 before the club gained the “Royal” patronage.

 

During WW II the land was confiscated by the occupying German troops.

When Henry Cotton left the club they again secured the services of a well-known professional, this time Jersey-born Aubrey Boomer, who signed on at Waterloo as golf professional in 1938 before leaving to serve in the Royal Navy during WWII. Boomer returned after the war and stayed until 1949, when he was succeeded by Flory van Donck, the famous Belgian Golf professional, who was generally considered to be the best Belgian Golfer, at least in the 20th century. A two time runner-up at the Open (1956 and 1959) he won most continent continental open titles at least once.

Below aerial view of the clubhouse, and Aubrey Boomer becomes professional.

 

Royal Waterloo Golf Club at La Ferme Blaret, St. Genèse. The clubhouse and Aubrey Boomer from April 1939

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Friday 28th April 1939. Image © Illustrated London News Group.

 

In 1952 the club received the Royal patronage and was named Royal Waterloo Golf Club.

In the mid 1950’s the new property owner Miss Marteau, the daughter of Mr. Lambeau, decided not to extend the lease contract, which was to end on December 31st 1960. New land was found at Ohain.In 1957 the club commissioned Fred Hawtree to lay out a 27-hole golf course, which officially opened on January 1st 1961.

Christoph Meister

June 2018.