As you wander through the historic Nevill Golf Club in Tunbridge Wells, you're treading a path shaped by some of the most influential figures in golf. Established in 1914, this members-only parkland course offers an 18-hole journey through a century of golfing legacy.
The course's origins are modest, beginning as a nine-hole layout crafted by Willie Park Junior, the esteemed architect of the Sunningdale Old Course. Park's design laid the foundation for what would become a remarkable golfing venue. The subsequent expansion of the course was entrusted to James Braid, a name synonymous with iconic courses like Carnoustie and Ballybunion. Braid's vision included creating what was then one of the longest holes in the area at 550 yards, reflecting his trademark enthusiasm for challenging and innovative designs.
Nevill Golf Club's history intertwines with the narratives of other golfing luminaries. Harry Colt, known for his collaborations with Braid, contributed to the course's design in the 1920s, infusing his unique style into its contours. The club's resilience was tested during the Second World War when parts of the course were commandeered by the War Office. Post-war, compensation funds facilitated significant redesign and rebuilding efforts, further enriching the course's character.
A pivotal moment came in 1965 when three-time Open Champion and former Ryder Cup captain Henry Cotton was commissioned to redesign and extend the course. Cotton's revisions form the backbone of the modern layout, blending historical elements with contemporary challenges. This layout not only honours its past but also offers a dynamic experience for today's golfers.
The Nevill Golf Club is more than just a golf course; it's a living museum of golfing history. Each hole narrates a story of innovation, resilience, and passion, woven by the masters of golf course architecture. The clubhouse, with its welcoming bar, restaurant, and event spaces, adds to the club's charm, making it an ideal venue for weddings, celebrations, and golfing events.
Under the guidance of Director of Golf Andrew Jones and Professional Elliott Owens, the club continues to evolve. The Pro Shop, offering tuition and repairs, ensures that members' needs are met with the same attention to detail that shaped the course.