Coventry Golf Club was established in 1887, with members playing on a 9-hole course laid out by P. Paxton, the Malvern professional, on Whitley Common. The Coventry Ladies’ Section was founded in 1892, making it one of the earliest ladies’ clubs in the country.
The women had their own playing fields but eventually a 6-hole ladies’ course was built on the common. In 1901, the club’s main course was extended to eighteen holes, using the ladies’ layout and some additional land, but it only remained in play for ten years.
A new property was identified at Finham Park in 1911, with Tom Vardon designing an 18-hole course which his brother Harry subsequently bunkered. James Braid and Harry Vardon then participated in an exhibition match to officially open the course in May 1912.
Six holes were turned over to the War effort for food production during the early 1940s but a Red Cross charity match involving Henry Cotton and a couple of American Ryder Cup players marked the return of golf to the club in June 1945.
Two holes were lost due to the construction of the Kenilworth/Warwick by-pass in the late 1960s, with Fred Hawtree installing two new holes (the current 11th and 12th) on fourteen acres of ground acquired on the other side of the River Sowe.
In the mid-1990s, Fred’s son Martin Hawtree carried out a major renovation of all the bunkers.
Coventry Golf Club has staged Open Championship Regional Qualifying and the course also hosted the PGA Seniors event in 1987, with Neil Coles claiming his third successive title. He would go on to win a fourth championship two years later at West Hill.