The golfing boom towards the end of the 19th century spawned many new courses, including Willingdon. The history of our club really begins in 1898 when a group of local worthies, including the Marquess of Willingdon, put together a simple 9-hole layout with a corrugated iron hut as their Clubhouse.
The first course survived seven years or so until 1905, when the legendary J.H. Taylor was commissioned to redesign the layout to a more traditional 18 holes.
Throughout the Edwardian period and into the Roaring Twenties, the Taylor course survived until, in 1925, the celebrated Dr. Alister MacKenzie, architect of the famous Augusta National, was called in to expand the layout and make more sense of the natural features of the land, and it is his course, largely unchanged, that we play today.
Under Dr. MacKenzie’s guidance, a substantially new course emerged in 1925, bearing the particular hallmark of hisgrowing genius, the two tier greens on the 8th, 9th, 12th and 18th holes. With the exception of just three holes, the entire course was remodelled bringing much more of the natural contours into play.
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