A Brief History
Pictured: Arthur Balfour MP
Lime Kiln Farm, Ware was bought by Albert Sandeman of “Port” fame who with Basil Richardson founded East Herts Golf Club which was opened on 9 November 1899. The formal opening was by Arthur Balfour MP for Hertford (1874-85) and later Prime Minister (1902-06).
The original course, which more or less corresponds to the Chadwell Springs course, was designed by J H Taylor who won The Open 5 times! The second 9 holes and redesign of the course was started in 1920 by James Braid – who also won The Open 5 times!
In October 1922, the clubhouse burnt down to the ground, along with all the records, clubs and lockers. The Club was offered the freehold of the course in 1925 by Mr Sandeman but, following the fire, the members were unable to raise the money.
Herbert Garrett bought the land in 1929 and in 1949 offered the course and buildings to the Club – but again the price of £9,500 proved difficult. However, East Herts continued as leaseholders at Chadwell Springs until 1971.
Having to vacate Chadwell Springs, the East Herts members were offered Hamels Park – consisting of 129 acres of virgin parkland. The 1968 Captain, Alf Hayes, along with F S Nicholl, Stan Rippon, Jack Watts, Ray Yorke and Club Secretary Jimmy James formed the Action Committee which on 1 June 1974 moved the Club to Hamels Park.
Pictured: J H Taylor
The course was designed by a committee consisting of John Bennett, Jack Watts and Club Professional David Lewis. The work was overseen by the above members and many volunteers who are still leading lights within the Club.
No-one can play East Herts Golf Club without enjoying the splendour of Hamels Mansion. Hamels Park was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The original Mansion was built in 1580 and the mansion we see today rebuilt in 1834. It has subsequently been magnificently refurbished by Hubert C Leach and Co and was used as their headquarters until 2015.
As with many democratic organisations, progress and change occurs slowly. Some changes were forced upon the Club – such as the effects of Dutch Elm Disease destroying many of the specimen Later, the great storm of 16 October 1987 further ravaged the course. Many bunkers were installed, reshaped or moved and to this day improvement continues to be made involving the construction of new tees, installation of new bunkers, a new short game practice area and improved drainage.