Famed golf commentator and Sunday Times golf correspondent of 40 years Henry Longhurst once described Hendon as macabre. Set as it was “ amongst the gasometers and graveyards and the red-topped boxes of the speculative builder” such neighbours might well have contrived to promote a macabre impression for a man who lived in a Sussex windmill, but I think Longhurst was having a little fun with his Hendon pals and we should all chuckle along with him.
That graveyard still exists very close by, perhaps it is a timely reminder to the golfer of his own mortality and perhaps also to remind him of the ever-watchful eye of our creator. Be wary the careless barb aimed in that direction after a missed 2-footer, for there is not very far at all to go should fire and brimstone rain down upon any ungrateful golfing sinner.
But enough of that sort of talk. A strategic Colt heritage is still evident at modern-day Hendon and many holes offer a quite interesting puzzle. The long par 5 dogleg 8th (these 3-shot holes are not usually overly interesting) where shot placement is of the utmost importance is one such, and that followed by a thin strip of green on the 9th just a hundred yards away from the tee, but, set at a spiteful diagonal that test one’s cunning and guile in avoiding both the front and back bunkers that guard it.
In 1972, Stuart Murray followed Reg as Club Professional, he was a Scottish Amateur Champion and represented GB& I in the Walker Cup in 1963 at Turnberry. Murray was invited to play at Augusta in 1964, who famously turned the offer down. They were different days back then.
Hendon can also boast former PM Harold Wilson as a member who would often be spotted out early on a Sunday with his loyal police protection officer.
Reason to Play
December 1933, Brer Rabbit of Golf illustrated wrote
Having been a modern-day guest and a visiting competitor at Ashford Manor on many occasions I can only echo the above sentiment and confirm all of the above is still very much the case.
Once again, I can confirm Ashford Manor has been able to perpetuate all of the above into the modern era, the course was originally laid out by Richmond greenkeeper Tom Hogg and it is recorded that Peter Lees of Royal-Mid Surrey GC advised and it is unthinkable that Hilton when acting as Club Secretary and latterly a long-term member was not asked to advise on the design of the golf course and influenced its course architecture. Surrey-esque in nature with pine trees a-plenty signposting the way, a visit to Ashford Manor is always a joy and to be highly recommended in whatever season of the year you may be wanting to visit.
Visitors are most welcome by prior arrangement, a simple call will secure a mutually agreeable tee time.
Tel: 0208 349 5211
Hendon GC History – https://www.hendongolf.com/Page/Custom?pageId=7466
John Morrison – https://www.top100golfcourses.com/architect/john-morrison
Author – Lee Patterson