Tom Dunn 18th green c1898. Victorian cop/strip bunkers in evidence, the clubhouse almost as it remains today.
Stanmore GC, originally a collaboration between local people and Victorian hotel magnate Frederick Gordon of Gordon Hotels Ltd. was originally laid out by prolific golf course designer Tom Dunn of Musselburgh, Wimbledon and Tooting, Stanmore, a hybrid resort and members golf course/club complimenting a new country house hotel at Bentley Priory (latterly Fighter Command during WWII). But after decades of alterations brought about by ball and equipment improvements, and following WWI, the club commissioned Dr. Alister MacKenzie to design a ‘modern’ course in the new strategic style.
Stanmore’s MacKenzie course with the original Tom Dunn course overlaid.
In a letter dated 18-09-1921 Dr. Mackenzie writes to the club his ‘thrifty’ Yorkshire ways apparent.
“As your committee are well aware large sums are often expended in Golf Course Construction work, and it would be possible to spend much more than £1,000 at Stanmore with satisfaction to your members.
On the other hand, my considered opinion is that if £1,000 is expended on the lines I suggest excellent results can be obtained which will be most satisfactory to all concerned”
The completed works came in at only slightly over budget with Mackenzie’s deign fee invoiced at £100.
Modern day Stanmore, as do all Middlesex clubs, represents a modern approach to the game of golf, the club membership reflects the diverse community of golfers who live, work and play their golf in and around London. Members include golfers who grew up under Chairman Mao of the PRC, Africans, Indians, Pakistanis, a goodly number of Irish members, and even a few Scots! all of which makes the clubs annual international hard fought and great fun!
The elevated tee shot from 60 meters above the fairway from the 7th tee is unforgettable.
Over its long history the club has sported many notable personalities including Thomas Blackwell of the Crosse & Blackwell soup empire, Admiral of the Fleet (First Sea lord) Earl Jellicoe, Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding (Battle of Britain), and former club sec. Colonel Godfrey Rampling, winner of the (Jessie Owens) 1936 4x400m Olympic gold medal.
The clubhouse at Stanmore is of an authentic Victorian pavilion style, the modern roofline unmistakable when compared to the opening image above, within it, club steward Daphne Perathamby and caterer Gautham Ella offer an excellent bar and catering service to members and guests.
16th Green, a look of boringly flat to the uninitiated, wild swings for those who know it better.
Reasons to Play
Stanmore is Middlesex Golf’s only example of an Alister MacKenzie designed golf course, and it offers an intriguing and undulating test over its 6,025 yards. The course climbs over the ancient tumular of Belmount, from the summit of which you encounter a vista that stretches from Hampstead Heath in the east to Windsor Castle in the west. The 2nd hole at Stanmore is a forerunner to the 5th ‘Magnolia’ at Augusta National GC. Mackenzie’s use of the terrain mirrors his later work at Augusta, which is a similarly undulating wal k.
5th ANGC (L) & 2nd SGC (R), both of these holes are reverse Road Hole (St. Andrews) replicas, requiring
a dangerous drive close to, or over, bunkers that imitate the railway sheds on the Old Course 17th, thus
setting up a perfect line to the green.
Stanmore welcomes visiting golfers and golf societies, tee times can be booked by calling the pro shop on 0208 954 2599 ext. 1.
16 miles & 55 mins. From Heathrow – 13 miles & 45 mins. From Marble Arch.
Nearest tube, Stanmore – Jubilee Line.
Club Website www.stanmoregolfclub.co.uk
The Alister MacKenzie Society https://alistermackenzie.co.uk
Author - Lee Patterson