Herbert Fowler

Full Name
William Herbert Fowler
Year of Birth
1856
Year of Death
1941 (aged 85)
Place Born
Edmonton, London, England
Place Died
Walton Heath, London, England

In Walton Heath Golf Club’s centenary publication, author Phil Pilley writes: “Imagine the scene as Fowler – Norfolk knickerbockered, tall on his horse, generously moustached – begins his survey and searches for hidden merits in the wilderness that may help him achieve his ambition..."

The son of a barrister, Fowler was born in north London and educated at Rottingdean then Grove House School, Tottenham before becoming a partner in a private bank. Bernard Darwin described him as ”an erratic genius… perhaps the most daring and original of all golfing architects and gifted with an inspired eye for the possibility of a golfing country.”

He excelled at cricket, playing first class matches for Essex, Somerset and MCC. His batting record was 905 runs in 49 innings at an average of 18.46 and his record as a bowler was 23 wickets at an average of 22.65 runs so he was certainly a useful player.

Standing 6’ 3½” tall and weighing 15 stone, he was a big hitter and is reputed to have powered the ball more than 150 yards over the old Lord’s pavilion whilst playing for Somerset against the MCC in 1882.

Fowler was introduced to golf at Royal North Devon when visiting nearby Bideford on banking business in 1879 and he became a club member – winning the Prince of Wales Medal two years after joining – but cricket remained his number one sporting pursuit, along with hunting and shooting in the off season.

When his cricketing days were over, Fowler took golf a lot more seriously. He practiced assiduously at Westward Ho!, quickly getting down to scratch, and before long he was a member of the R&A and serving on its Greens Committee. He placed 26th in the Open of 1900, reached the last 16 of the Amateur Championship and by 1908 was playing off a handicap of plus 2.

On the domestic front, Fowler was forced to sell his house in Taunton but he remained in debt to his brother-in-law, Sir Henry Cosmo Bonsor, who just happened to hold the rights to some land at...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Herbert Fowler

Beau Desert

2nd Staffordshire - Best in Area 55th England Ranking

One of the many treats at Beau Desert Golf Club is that you play most holes in splendid isolation; you can lose yourself in the trees here. Additionally, the holes are varied and memorable.

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Blackwell

1st Worcestershire - Best in Area 89th England Ranking

Six times an Open Championship Regional Qualifying course, Blackwell Golf Club is the quintessential English gem and has a proud history dating back to 1893.

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Bradford

25th Yorkshire - Best in Area

The course at Bradford Golf Club, known locally as Hawksworth, was laid out over high ground to the west of Guiseley by Herbert Fowler in 1923 where golfers are treated to wonderful views across Baildon and Rombald Moors.

Bull Bay

6th North Wales - Best in Area 15th Wales Ranking

Bull Bay Golf Club is the most northerly course in Wales and was designed by the esteemed architect, Herbert Fowler...

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Cooden Beach

13th Sussex - Best in Area

Fickle sea breezes and a clever Herbert Fowler design combine to make Cooden Beach Golf Club a thoroughly engaging experience. Prepare for a fun golfing challenge and a perhaps a birdie or two.

Cowdray Park

18th Sussex - Best in Area

Originally designed by Herbert Fowler and J. F. Abercromby, the course at Cowdray Park is set in a massive 16,500-acre estate where golfers enjoy wonderful views across the South Downs National Park.

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