Club History

Parklangley Golf Club was inaugurated on Saturday 28th May 1910 as a privately owned club created to attract membership from the rapidly developing Park Langley estate. The subs were 5 Guineas for full playing members whilst lady associates were charged 2 Guineas. It was nine years later that the club name was changed to Langley Park.
The course was laid out on the Langley Park estate which itself has records back to the first century AD, and in the language of the time was known as Langlanleage meaning Long Pasture. This descriptive title is of some significance to the later design and creation of a golf course on such an inviting landscape.

The Golf House and Original Clubhouse
The emerging club had a ready made clubhouse - The Langley Mansion, one of the most historic and oldest buildings in Beckenham, and sited behind what is now the 3rd green. The manor had been the residence of many owners of Langley Park, including at that time the Goodhart Family, but had been unoccupied since 1903. Renovation and extension soon converted the old mansion into a fine clubhouse, but unfortunately 3 years later in 1913 the whole building was completely destroyed by fire.

Today's clubhouse stands in a more convenient and accessible location, and was opened in 1913. It was built in the style of an extended bungalow and overlooks the 18th green and lake. 

The new course layout

In 1910 the Open was won by James Braid but a fellow member of the Great Triumvirate J H Taylor already had his name on the Claret Jug 5 times. Taylor was already known as a great golf course designer and he was engaged to convert a portion of the Langley Park estate into a golf course. In the early part of the twentieth century golf course designers strove to adapt their designs to the natural geographical pattern of the land, and as Taylor himself said of Langley Park "The ground lends itself very well to the game. I have no hesitation in saying the course will afford an excellent test of golf" - and he was correct!

Professional golf

In 1926 the Club appointed a young Henry Cotton as a full professional, his first such position. He was 19 years old. It would have been commonplace to put a new man on probation, but not young Henry. He himself actually gave the Club six months to prove itself suitable for his thoughts and plans - in the end he stayed for seven years.
Henry went on to win three Open Championships and build an international reputation as one of the world's top golfers. He gave much credit for his success to Langley Park, writing in his book "This Game of Golf " that "The Club Committee were most encouraging to me and I certainly tried not to let them down. They always encouraged me in every way they could from the moment I joined them".
Henry was granted Honorary Membership in 1963, and his last visit was in 1986 to attend a lunch given in his honour. He died aged 80 in December 1987 just ten days before he was awarded a Knighthood to become Sir Henry Cotton

Sir Henry Cotton

A great picture from 1933. Having secured his next professional post at Royal Waterloo GC, Henry shows his successor W T Twine the Langley Park layout.

A Henry Cotton signature putter circa 1930

Wooden headed putters were produced up to the end of the 19th century but it was only a matter of time before putters would also start to be made with metal heads. These type of putters began to enter the scene after 1900. The heads were all shapes, including round, square, pointed, mallet and hammer styles and even faces to allow the air to pass through. In fact many designs on the market today were actually tried over 100 years ago, so like fashion it is just a matter of time before a revamp of an old design reappears on the market place.

There are other examples of Langley Park golf clubs that can be viewed in the clubhouse.

The modern day course

Over the years the course has been redesigned several times, often dictated by nature or technology. Both World Wars caused restructuring, but for at least 40 years the configuration of the course, not the length of the holes, has remained virtually unchanged.
In the thirties, changes did take place, but it was in the twenties that the course was turned "upside down" with the then 1st becoming today's 4th and the 18th became the 3rd.
Today the course sits in 120 acres with 9 holes each side of Red Lodge Road. It measures 6453 yards from the White tees with only one Par 5 on the men's card, with a tough par of 69. The fairways thread their way through flat, woodland parkland and is noted for its excellent greens as well as its long par 4's, eight of which are over 400 yards in length. The par 3 18th has a picturesque lake stretching almost from tee to green. Although the course itself appears to be flat, the ground is constantly rising and falling in gentle folds and undulations, and all the greens contain borrows in some degree.
Over the years extensive drainage and irrigation work has been carried out, and new pathways added. A new lake with fountain was added to the 12th hole and a comprehensive woodland management plan carried out to improve air and light penetration to greens and tees.

The Open Championship

Langley Park Golf Club is proud to have been selected as a qualifying venue for the Open Championships, proving it's worth as a true test of golf. It has produced many fine golfers over the years, including Peter Hedges (Walker Cup), Toby Shannon (British Boys Champion), Roger Chapman (English Amateur Champion), Sarah German (English and British International) and George Jackson (British One Armed Champion).
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