Shortlands Golf Club

A hidden gem in the valley

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Shortlands Golf Club History

Shortlands Golf Club, originally called Beckenham Ladies Golf Club, was founded way back in 1894.

Clara Muriel is believed to have formed the club and she had a handicap score of 10, with her daughter Muriel boasting a handicap of one.

2020 Captain of Shortlands Golf Club, Kevin Rolfe, said their handicaps were a “truly amazing achievement” when you consider what they had to wear and the expected decorum of women in the 19th century.

Corsets were compulsory and hats, which had to be tied round the chin to avoid being blown off by the wind, was also a strict requirement.

Women were also prohibited from following through with a swing to more than shoulder height to avoid attention to their bodies.

The Ladies Golf Club was renamed Shortlands Golf Club in 1919 to welcome both men and women.

It also became one of the first courses in the UK to be permitted to play on Sundays.

A German bomb fell between the third hole and the river in the Second World War, with competitions suspended but the club deciding to continue playing.

The current club house on Ravensbourne Avenue opened in 1973 and in excess of 330 members are currently welcomed.

Mr Rolfe, who will become captain next year, told News Shopper: “We are grateful to still be here.

“Lots of clubs around the area are losing members and going bust. It is sad when you hear that.

“We are still growing and got 40 odd new members last year.”

He believes one of the keys to the success is the club’s nine-hole course.

“People don’t have time to play 18 holes,” Mr Rolfe said. “You can come and play for, five or nine and you don’t have to worry about spending a full day playing golf, particularly people with busy lives.”

Comments from our members

Lovely place. Great function location. Beautiful grounds. Lovely people. I’m having my wedding reception here and the staff have been very helpful.

Having played and been a member of a number of the local clubs over the years, including the “bigger” clubs I recently joined Shortlands Golf Club and couldn’t have a made a better decision. The course is superbly presented and the work on the bunkers really is transforming them from good to great. Its a very friendly club without the airs and graces of some and I have been made to feel both very welcome and in need of more practice!