The 17th green at Ealing overlooked by St. Mary’s Perivale, c12th Century
The peace and tranquillity of the golf course at Ealing belie its urban location, and by circumnavigating a medieval church established circa the 12th Century (the smallest place of worship in the County), Ealing evokes a thoroughly pastoral atmosphere whilst existing in the midst of one of the busiest business districts in the Metropolis. Inaugurated in 1898 by three local businessmen the club originally named Castle Bar GC (a nod to which still exists in the modern club crest), Ealing would subsequently convert to a member-owned society under the banner of ‘Ealing Golf Club’. Harry Colt renowned for his work at Portrush, St. Georges Hill and Sunningdale to name but 3, would follow James Braid in redesigning the course in 1926. The intriguing routing Colt installed on what is a compact piece of land is a testament to Colts skill as one of the game’s most respected golf course architects.
Harry Colt’s 1926 course plan. Holes later renumbered to accommodate a modern clubhouse to the North.
The eastern end of the course was a little altered by the stationing of an anti-aircraft battery during WWII (most notably around the raised 3rd and 5th tees, with the army base now repurposed as the greenkeeping compound). But most of Colt’s twists and turns along the banks of the River Brent still remain, and with two holes rarely using wind in the same way, this twisting and turning of holes coupled with Colt’s use of the Brent makes for a puzzle that Harry Colt was eminently erudite in identifying.
The 4th green, almost surrounded by the River Brent, is one of EGC’s signature holes
One of the club’s past chairmen, Mr H. B. Randolph, was also Chairman of Wilkinson Sword and unsurprisingly a ceremonial sword is played for in one of EGC’s most important tournaments. Heavyweight boxer Sir Henry Cooper was a long-term member, his portrait hangs in the clubhouse, and still today sports, TV and entertainment personalities can be seen enjoying the relaxed and understated atmosphere that pervades this club.
Ricky Willison, Ealing’s club professional of some 30 years is sure to offer a welcoming first contact to any visitor. Ricky a past Walker Cup player is a home-grown boy and a respected member of the Middlesex Golf community, not to mention the Director of Golf at ECG. Few are more golf knowledgeable.
The clubhouse at Ealing reflects the relaxed atmosphere that pervades the club with summertime drinks on the lawn a most agreeable post-round warm-down, and if you are lucky enough to be the guest of a member a very agreeable lunch is sure to be offered before you take to the course.
Reasons to Play
Ealing is Harry Colt showing what is possible on 18 holes sited on a compact low 80’s acreage. Today it is famed for the speed and smoothness of its greens, and the overall condition and presentation of the course, under the supervision of BIGGA Master Greenkeeper Greg Evans and Course Manager Wes Lenihan. Combined with a warm welcome and friendly atmosphere, you have a difficult to beat mix that offers an entirely enjoyable golfing experience.
Amongst the course’s interesting features is the 8th green, a Biarritz ‘chasm’ type as first laid down at the club of the same name by Willie Dunn Jr. A large swale runs laterally across the central portion of the green with two plateaus sited front and back. Hit the wrong plateau with the flag on the opposite side and a truly interesting putt is in the offing. C.B. Macdonald used this green feature on his American courses at the Chicago Golf Club and his Mid-Ocean Club in Bermuda. So, whilst I understand the Biarritz at EGC was created by fortunate happenstance, it is a credit to the club that they embraced accidental good fortune by keeping such a uniquely interesting putting surface.
The 8th at Ealing – Middlesex Golf’s only Biarritz style green.
Visitors are welcome at Ealing and can book via the pro shop 020 8997 0937
11 miles & 30 minutes from Heathrow and 9 miles and 30 minutes from Marble Arch.
Nearest tube Perivale – Central Line
Club Website https://www.ealinggolfclub.com
Harry S. Colt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Colt
Author - Lee Patterson