The ownership structure of Fulwell Golf Course stems from Government action during the 1930’s to secure and protect land as public open space or “green belt” in an environment of a fast expanding London metropolis. It is important to understand this aspect of the Club’s history as it underpins the success of the Club and its place in the local community.
In 1934 the then Teddington Council indicated its intention, under the green belt scheme, to compulsory purchase the land for recreational purposes at the termination of the lease in 1941.With the power of the London County Council and Middlesex County Council involved in the purchase consortium, it looked as if the Club’s future was in the balance.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, the inner course was part laid out to agriculture, under instruction from the War Agriculture Committee. The Club was significantly affected by these pressures and suffered a 50% reduction in its membership revenue. The Council reduced the Club’s rent as a consequence and the Club in return agreed to open up the remaining holes of the inner course to the public. This approach set the scene for the future.
Following the War, the promised reinstatement of the golf course by Middlesex County Council included the commissioning of renowned golf course architect, John S. F. Morrison (left), to design an 18 hole course made up of eight of the original “outer” layout and ten new holes from the land previously occupied by the “inner” ladies course, to form the course we know and enjoy today. Morrison was the junior partner of the practice of golf course architects (Colt, Alison and Morrison Ltd), created by Harry Shapland Colt, whose designs are prolific in Surrey and the home counties and famous throughout the World.
The Club’s lease was renewed for a further 21 years when the new course opened in 1958 and the former holes at the furthest point from the Clubhouse (the former “outer” holes from 7 to 15) were relinquished for “recreational purposes”. Originally, this land was earmarked for provision of an open-air swimming pool, gymnasium, café, tennis courts, bowling green, hockey and football pitches, half a Century prior to the construction of the present day Amida Health Club.
Development costs were, however, considered prohibitive and eventually in 1975 this land was reinstated as a golf course, utilising the original “Fulwell” holes for a public play and pay facility known as Twickenham 9 hole Golf Course.
In 1980 the Greater London Council, who had taken over the freehold from Middlesex County Council, passed it on to Richmond upon Thames Council and negotiations with the Club resulted in a new 999 year lease being agreed in 1986 which consolidated the public play that had originated at Fulwell during the 2nd World War. Allowing local residents the opportunity to play the course during midweek early mornings and evening upon the purchase of a reduced green fee.
The Fulwell Golf Club Clubhouse
In 1940 the Home Guard were given permission to use the golf course for practice
Harry Shapland Colt