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Eltham Golf Club, Greater London. (1892 - 1923)

Founded 1892 when the professional was William Robertson Reith.


Eltham Golf Club, London. On the links of the Elatham Golf Club.


Eltham Golf Club, London. On the Links of the Eltham Golf Club 1892.

From the Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News Thursday 18th February 1892. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


Eltham Golf Club. Vardon and Braid match at Eltham.

Vardon versus Braid match at Eltham, probably early 1900s . Authors Collection.


Result of a bogey competition held on Saturday 15th July 1893; Arnold D Blythe, 2down; Stikeman, Bampfylde, Priday and H Paine all finished 4down.

August 1893 monthly medal; W H Richardson, 79-2-77; E H Absolom, 91-13-78; W A Adam, 103-20-83; C W Harrison, 95-11-84; G A Meredith, 94-10-84; W Macarthur, 97-13-84.

September 1893 bogey result; H Richardson and Mr Leonard both 1 down; C Frean, 2 down; C Chaloner, Mr Smith and W A Adam, 5 down.

Result of the monthly bogey competition played on Saturday 19th November 1893; C Frean and G Burling tied for first place on 4down; A Hicks, 5down; Dr McCombie and W F Whetstone, 7down; W S Richardson and H Paine jun, 8 down; P F G Lord, 9down.

Result of the monthly medal played on Saturday 16th December 1893; A Poynder, 97-15-82; A S Johnston(e), 84-1-83; R H Hedderwick, 94-9-85; R E Peake, 104-18-86; E H Absolom, 99-13-86; W McArthur, 97-11-86.

Result of the March 1894 bogey played in splendid weather; H T Selby and A Marshall tied at 2down; C Frian, 3down; A S Wills and J Edge Partington, 4down; G Spurling, Hammond Payne, W Mc Arthur and A Lindley, 5down; E M Protheroe, A Poynder and H Hicks, 6down.

Result of the June 1894 medal; C Frean, 91-13-78; G Spurling, 92-12-80; A A S Johnstone, 83+1-84; H Paine, 95-10-85; A B Hutchings, 96-11-85; R S Charles, 100-15-85; E H Absolom, 99-13-86; F B Ireland, 87 scratch; W H Richardson, 88-1-87; W Macarthur, 97-10-87; A E Poland, 102-15-87.

In December 1894 the monthly medal was won by Mr A N Joshua with a score of 85-4-81. There were 40 entrants. Result of the December monthly bogey; H A Laird, all square; A S Johnston, 3dn; R H Hedderwick, 4dn; J Edge Partington, 4dn.

Taylor versus Kirkaldy played at Eltham on Saturday 29th June 1895. J H Taylor, the Open Champion, and Andrew Kirkaldy played a match in front of 1,000 spectators. Scores as follows, Kirkaldy went out in 36 and home in 38 for a total of 74. Taylor scored 37 and 40 for a 77. Kirkaldy won the match 2&1.     

Result of the July bogey 1895; A Spurling, 7up.

Eighty members entered the February 1896 bogey which resulted in a tie between A S Johnston, W Marthur and W Morris jun, all 1 down.

In the May bogey in 1896 there were 110 entries, the winner was G Anderson 3up.


Eltham Golf Club, London. Eltham Club Button.

Eltham Golf Club button. Image courtesy of Dixon Pickup.


Thanks to Golf Heritage @LdnGolfHistory for their help in compiling the following from 1897.

From Golfing and Cycling Illustrated June 1897 - Eltham Golf Club - By R A Foster. "The entrance is by a gravelled carriage drive, for the house of Eltham Golf Club was one of the stately homes of England in its day. When golfers talk on the advantages of playing golf in perfect seclusion Eltham is commonly instanced as their ideal. Hence it is that, notwithstanding the considerable fee of ten guineas to enter and five guineas per annum, the membership is restricted, and there is always a reserve list of applicants.

On our arrival we are taken in hand by Reith, the professional ground-keeper and clubmaker. An importation from Musselburgh, famous for turf and links, Reith plays little nowadays, but plays that little well. He does not "fash his heid" about excelling among professional brother Scots in championships.

Before we trip over the course he leads the way towards the stables, three horses and Jack the donkey, whose calling in life it is to keep the greens in order."  


Eltham Golf Club, London. The clubhouse.

The Eltham Clubhouse.


Eltham Golf Club, London. R A Collingwood, secretary and treasurer.

R A Collingwood, secretary and treasurer.


Eltham Golf Club, London. Eltham bunkers.

Eltham Bunkers.


Eltham Golf Club, London. The seventeenth green.

The Seventeenth hole.


Eltham Golf Club, London. Jack "the greenkeeper."

Jack the working donkey.


"The teeing ground of the first hole and the flag on the eighteenth are in full view of the ladies who sipafternoon tea on the undulating lawn in front of the porch. Right and left are saucer bunkers and a good approach is necessary to carry the bunker to the green. By the card the hole is done in four. Brilliant exponents of the game will want the second hole in three, and may as often get it as not. Wending your was through a wood at the other side of the house, perhaps the best three sporting are come upon. The ladies' links - a nine hole course - are also in this park.  

Two bunkers, some distance apart in tandem, challenge the driver to bring all he knows to bear. A tree or two here may spoil a drive that deserved better fortune; that is the evil to often wrought by trees. Hazards should, of course, be on the ground, not in the air; but it would be an act of vandalism to cut them down. Twenty yards or so from the fourth tee a bank of cup formation arrests the topper and imposes a heavy penalty. But for that well-laid trap, a very un-golf-like drive might run far enough when the grass is fine and dry. Further on, a pond lies just in the right place to gobble up the topper's ball. The fifth hole offers a good opportunity for redeeming your average. An iron shot will suffice for the green, pulling or over-driving may spell ruin.

Passing the sixth seventh and eighth holes as fours and a five, the ninth requires some careful  work, with bunkers to the right and left, and a tall, unkempt edge, whose roots strike into a dry ditch, with demoralising complications. The tenth hole ranks next to the redoubtable seventeenth in sporting qualities, and "five" is something to be thankful for, it is ridiculously easy to approach into a bunker.

The sixteenth hole, though one of the shortest, the green is efficiently guarded by a nasty scrub-grown miniature tarn - which pike might inhabit. The seventeenth is the hill of difficulty. On its slopes many fair scores have gone hopelessly to the bad. Its five hundred yards extent asks for the perfect manipulation of the club, the brassie, and the iron to make a "five" pretty certain. There is no cause for fear in the last hole; that is if you lift a boxwood hedge in front of the house.

The record for the course is ascribed to Walter Toogood, who got round in 70 in 1895. Mr A S Johnston established a later record of 74, the course having been materially altered.

Mr Collingwood, the hon. secretary, well known in the golfing world as one of the founders of the Portrush Club, took us over the house Its interior decorations, Netherlands tapestry, and exquisitely quaint carving so captivated the artist that we all but missed the last train. It is a superb house, and architects persistently clamour at the gates. The club pays £800 per annum to the Crown for it, having taken a 25 years' lease.

The Eltham officials are; John Penn M.P., president; A S Johnston, captain; R A Collingwood, hon. treasurer and secretary.

Parliamentary members are; Col. McCalmont, Mr Dunbar, P Barton Q.C., the Earl of Donoughmore, Col.Sanderson and H W Forster."  

Results of the autumn meeting held in October 1897; F S Ireland won the scratch prize with a score of 84; the Challenge Cup was won by J Brook Smith with 80net.

In the January 1898 bogey there was a tie between W H Richardson and E Pinkerton on 1down.

In April 1898 in a Parliamentary Golf Tournament tie held at Eltham Mr A J Balfour beat Col Sanderson MP 5 and 4.

In the May 1898 bogey Mr Brook Smith won with a score of 3up.

In December 1898 the monthly medal was won by W Grace 89-9-80.

In January 1899 the monthly bogey was won by L H Browning with a score of 3down,

The February 1899 medal was won by H Willis Wood, 81net

The spring meeting was held in June 1899. A G Johnstone won the gold scratch medal with a score of 80. Mr A Sales won the handicap Challenge Cup, 75net.

In September the monthly bogey there was a tie for first place between P A Newton and A D Jameson both were 4up.

In the final of the Singer Tournament in June 1900 N W Richardson beat G T Elliot by 1hole.

Result of a match played at Peppard Golf Club (now defunct) against Eltham Golf Club on Saturday 22nd March 1902.

Peppard Golf Club   Eltham Golf Club  
Mr Taylor 1 Mr Banning 0
Mr Peppard 1 Mr Munsie 0
Mr Dicks 1 Mr Terrie 0
Mr Lely 0 Mr Davies 1
Mr Crisp 0 Mr Oliver 0
Mr Brakespear 1 Mr Terry 0
Mr Woodgate 0 Mr Brown 1
Mr Davies 1 Mr Willis 0
Taylor & Palmer 0 Banning & Munsie 1
Dicks & Lely 1 Terry & Davies 0
Crisp & Davies 0 Oliver & Willis 1
Brakespear & Woodgate 0 Terrie & Brown 1
  6   5

The following is taken from the 1905 Nisbet's Golf Yearbook; Instituted 1892; Membership limited to 300; Hon. secretary - R A Collingwood, Club House, Eltham; Captain, W H Pannell; Entrance fee £10/10s and subs £5/5s; 18-holes; professional, W R Reith; Green-keeper, E Henley; professional record - H Vardon, 74. The course of 18-holes, has a total length of 5,230 yards. The putting greens are large, whilst the hazards consist of sand bunkers, a hedge, a pond, and dry ditches.

Also listed was the Eltham Ladies Golf Club; Membership of 150; Hon. secretary - Miss Absolom, Hillside, Eltham; Captain, Mrs Burnam; Entrance fee £1/1s and subs £1/6s; 9-holes; amateur record - Mrs Edwards, 64; Visitors' fees (on introduction), 1/- a day and 2s/6d a week. A short course but well kept. There is a good clubhouse.

It seems, from above, that the ladies' club had their own course, this needs to be confirmed. 


Eltham Golf Club, London. From The Bystander February 1905.


Eltham Golf Club, London. From The Bystander February 1905.

From The Bystander February 15th 1905. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


In 1923 Blackheath Golf Club, founded 1608 and reputed to be the oldest club in England, needed to move from the Heath. The club moved to and amalgamated with Eltham Golf Club and the Eltham club disappeared, the club became Royal Blackheath.