The Club was founded in 1906 and a 9-hole course, designed by Willie Park Jnr twice a winner of the Open Championship, was formally opened at 1130am on 13th October 1906 by the drive in of the 7th Earl of Buckinghamshire, the Club’s first President. This took place on what is now the 7th hole which at that time was the par three 1st adjacent to the original clubhouse, a delightful Charles II farmhouse.

The original 9 holes, leased from the Chequers Estate, were
redesigned in 1924 by the well-known course architect H.S. Colt to more or less the current design including the addition of bunkers, none having been included in the original design.

In 1930 52 acres of land were purchased on the north side of the Wendover to Princes Risborough road enabling a further 9 holes to be added. These were opened in 1933 to the design of James Braid, 5 times Open winner and at that time the Professional at Walton Heath GC.  Ellesborough Golf Club Ltd was incorporated at that time to be the freehold owners of the land. Interestingly it wasn’t until 1960 that the land on which the original 9 holes stand was purchased from the Chequers Estate.

The course, located on the Chiltern Escarpment, is dominated by Coombe Hill on which stands the monument erected after the Boer War to honour the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.  The monument is the highest point for many miles around and the local adage to ‘putt towards the monument’ is invariably sound advice.

Eventually the original clubhouse became too small to accommodate increasing membership so it was sold as a private house, which it still is, after the present clubhouse was opened in 1965.

Because of the Club’s historic association with Chequers, Honorary Membership is enjoyed by the Prime Minister of the day and courtesy of the course extended to any of his guests staying at Chequers. A recent visitor is former US
President Bill Clinton. In earlier days both Clement Atlee and Harold Wilson regularly played the course and both became members after their Premiership ended.

Many PGA professionals have played at Ellesborough but Open Winners Henry Cotton, Alf Pagham, Max Faulkner and Greg Norman are most notable.

The Club enjoyed a successful Centenary year in 2006 culminating in a re-enactment of the original drive in by the current Earl of Buckinghamshire and a dinner attended by many distinguished guestes, including the Captain of the R&A, Mr Michael Lunt.

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02.06.2024 06:16
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