Chislehurst - Kent - England

Chislehurst Golf Club,
Camden Place,
Camden Park Road,
BR7 5HJ,

  • + 44 (0) 2084 676798

The grounds on which the course was designed were purchased by the Willett family from the Nathaniel Strode estate in 1890. The intention was to build over around 125 acres, but the Chislehurst Commons Conservators blocked this and eventually agreed to a course being constructed on approximately half the planned acreage.

Tom Dunn was appointed as the architect and he created a 9-hole course on property which was officially opened on 21 July 1894 by the Rt. Hon. A.J. Balfour.

During those first few years it was a proprietary club, owned by the Willetts. However, there was a move to establish a members’ owned club and a scheme was put together to buy back the clubhouse and the course.

At the time that the purchase was agreed with the Willets, Easton Devonshire designed an 18-hole course which involved the purchase of another 4 acres of land. The new layout was opened in June 1900, again by Mr Balfour.

James Braid was then called in to upgrade the layout as indicated in the following edited extract which is taken from James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses by John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming:

“In early 1914 Braid travelled down to south-east London to the now leafy suburbs of Chislehurst. His brief was to ‘alter’ the course. It was, and is, an unusual course. Nisbet, 1911, refers to it as ‘very picturesquely situated’ and ‘carefully laid out’ but ‘unfortunately too short for modern long driving’, before praising it as ‘an excellent test of golf’.

Braid lengthened holes 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 15 and 18, put in five new greens, and added over sixty bunkers. Hawtree, from nearby Sundridge Park, did the construction. On 23rd June 1914 he opened the altered course with Tom Ball who beat him by 8 strokes, 73:65, before they combined in the afternoon to beat Jones, the club professional, and Ross 3&2.”

The eighteen holes are laid out on an extraordinarily compact property extending to only around sixty acres. Amazingly, two good-sized par fives (at the 1st and 14th) and a couple of long par fours (in excess of 400 yards) are somehow squeezed into this confined tract.

There are back-to-back par threes on the outward half at the 7th and 8th and this arrangement of successive short holes is repeated on the inward half at the 12th and 13th. As if that wasn’t enough quirk, there are old-fashioned crossover fairways at holes 1 and 16 and holes 8 and 11.

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Description: Featuring back-to-back par threes on both nines, the small but perfectly formed layout at Chislehurst Golf Club is an old-fashioned Tom Dunn design that dates back to 1894. Rating: 4.5 out of 10 Reviews: 2
Joseph Franklin

Thoroughly enjoyed playing this course for the first time recently. Definitely has an intriguing layout, and if like myself Par 3s are the weakest part of your game there are plenty of challenges to be found. Playing in early February the course was in excellent condition, surely thanks to the Chislehurst chalk the course is based on. There were a couple of bunkers and tee boxes out of action that were being worked on, but other than that there was little sign of it being a winter round.

A nice variety of holes also provides what you might find as a very 'scoreable' final 5 holes, so save hope in case you're not having the best day up until that point...

And to top it all off this is one of the nicest clubhouses I've been in for a long time, with all club staff being very friendly. In particular the pro in the shop couldn't do enough to make sure we were fully prepped before heading out as first timers, which was greatly appreciated.

March 03, 2022
7 / 10
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Rob Gibson

How this course ranks in the top 30 in Kent is beyond me. Clubhouse is lovely? History? But as a golf course it’s an absolute farce. Birchwood is 5000 times better, Pedham is better, even Southern Valley is better!

There is no way 18 holes should be fit into this land, many many holes play over and across each other, it’s par 66, it’s borderline dangerous. Honestly it’s just dreadful! The 9 holes at Sidcup Golf Club (which only has 1 cross over point on holes) are far far better.


February 24, 2022
2 / 10
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