Club History

The Club was founded in 1935 in anticipation of the course being opened in 1936.

St Albans Council purchased the Hall and surrounding land in 1935 for the purpose of opening a restaurant and a public golf course.  J H Taylor, five times Open Champion and the first Englishman to win the Open, was engaged to design the course.  It was very likely that Samuel Ryder, of Ryder Cup fame and past Councillor and Mayor of St Albans, was instrumental in persuading the Council to hire Mr. Taylor since the two appeared to know each other well.  J H Taylor captained the winning Ryder Cup team in 1933. The 18 hole course Taylor designed was widely considered as one of the finest municipal courses in the south of England

A temporary Committee was formed during the latter part of 1936 when play began on the course.  The first recorded Committee meeting took place on 20th December 1936 when among other things approval was given to join the Hertfordshire Golf Union for the sum of two guineas.

At the first Annual General Meeting when 45 Members and season ticket holders attended, a letter from the Mayor expressing his willingness to be President of the Club was read out and accepted with “acclamation”. Until the Mayoralty decided at the end of 2012 to reduce the number of Honorary Presidencies in the district, the incumbent Mayor of the City and District of St. Albans has always been the President of the Club.

Over the years, the Golf Club was provided with a variety of rooms in Batchwood Hall which served the needs of a growing Club.  Records show that in the pre-war years there was a significant Ladies section evidenced by requests to the Council to provide a dressing table and stool for the Ladies’ room and a resolution to allow Ladies to receive full handicap difference when they played against men in knockout competitions.

The Golf Club resided in Batchwood Hall until the late 1980s when the Tennis Centre was built and plans were laid to convert the Hall into a nightclub.  The Golf Club leased some land next to the Tennis Centre and the Membership raised funds to build their own Club House. Alas, in August 2011 the Golf & Tennis Centre, the Golf Club House and the Bowls Club were completely destroyed by a huge fire believed to have been started deliberately by arsonists. A new Club House is expected to be completed in mid-August 2013

In 2001 the Club moved towards “Equal Opportunity” status by removing any gender or age differentiation, choosing instead categories defined by the days of the week Members wished to play; essentially Members choose to be midweek or weekend players but maintain equal voting rights.

The Club and Batchwood Golf Course have always been ‘stepping stones’ in the careers of Hertfordshire golfers.  Notable golfers who started their golf at Batchwood include Peter Townsend who represented Great Britain in both the Walker Cup and the Ryder Cup.  David Tapping, European Tour professional who was placed fifth in the Madeira Open, seventh in the Irish Open and had lowest score on the Saturday at the Open all in the same year; Carl Duke who gained England amateur honours in the early 1990s and, more recently, Luke Colgate who has represented England School Boys and  was unbeaten in the County team that won the final of the English Boys Championship. The course record is held by Luke with a 65.

As an active member of the National Association of Public Golf Courses, the Club regularly participates in national team competitions winning the Men’s’ event in 1986, the Mixed event in 1998 and 2005 with the Ladies achieving runner up position in 2004. The men’s Seniors were runners up in 2010.