Herbert Fowler

Full Name
William Herbert Fowler
Year of Birth
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 in the West Country. 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.”

Unlike most of his peers, he did not attend university and his post-school education appears to have consisted of several tours to foreign countries, visiting Germany, France and Australia. In December 1878, he joined the newly established firm of Fox Bros. Fowler & Co. Bank, relocating to Taunton in Somerset.

Soon after arriving there, he took up horse riding and became a member of both the local gun club and archery club. He was also made a Justice of the Peace then served for six years as a town councillor before his election as Mayor of Taunton in 1892. Two years earlier, he had married Ethel Mary Brand, daughter of a wealthy merchant and chairman of the National Telephone Company.

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. In that same match, he took a “hat-trick” of three wickets in consecutive balls and claimed four wickets in three overs for eight runs. When it was...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Herbert Fowler


35th Yorkshire - Best in Area

Founded in 1895 as Dore Golf Club, the undulating parkland course in play today at Abbeydale Golf Club is a Golden Age Herbert Fowler creation, set within the medieval Beauchief Estate on the southwestern outskirts of Sheffield.


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Beau Desert

2nd Staffordshire - Best in Area 52nd 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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Berkshire (Blue)

3rd Berkshire - Best in Area 33rd England Ranking 82nd Britain & Ireland Ranking

The Blue course at the Berkshire Golf Club is the Red’s more conventional and slightly shorter sister. A more standard four par 3s, three par 5s and eleven par 4s make up the configuration for this delightful par 71 course.


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1st Worcestershire - Best in Area 76th 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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26th 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.


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Bull Bay

5th North Wales - Best in Area 13th 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.


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Herbert Fowler Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Brian Ward Courses Played 26
2 Ed Battye Courses Played 25
= Steven Hulse Courses Played 25
4 Tim Elliott Courses Played 22
5 Michael Verity Courses Played 20
6 Keith Baxter Courses Played 19
= Malcolm Baker Courses Played 19
= Steve Williams Courses Played 19
= Andy Newmarch Courses Played 19
10 Brian Stapleton Courses Played 18