The Club has a proud history and tradition and celebrated its centenary in 2009. To mark the occasion we published an 80 page book, illustrated in full colour, with a foreword by Peter Alliss. This gives a great flavour of the Club and copies are available for purchase from the office or in the Pro Shop.
Some extracts from the book are set out below to provide a picture of our Club in its early years.
Exactly why in March 1909 the Arkley Music Society decided that they should form a club to acquire ‘a 27 acre field abutting on Rowley Green’ and that the club should be called Arkley Golf Club is not recorded but that was the start of our club. By the April it had been decided that subscriptions should be Gents - £2.2s.0d and Ladies £1.1s.0d and membership restricted to 100 Gentlemen and 50 Ladies.
The minutes of May 1909 show that it was decided to also lease part of the common, enabling two holes to be played from there until, in 1924, two additional fields were leased increasing the size of the land by 10 acres for a rent of £30.7s.6d.
In 1929, whilst negotiations were taking place to extend the period of the lease, the land was bought by the Barnet Urban District Council and new terms were agreed with them for the next 21 years. The security of this lease encouraged the club to seek the advice of experts to redesign the course. As a result Messrs Hawtree & Taylor and James Braid submitted plans with those of James Braid being accepted. Later Harry Vardon of South Herts Golf Club also advised the committee on improvements, so the course we see today is the result of the three greatest names in golf course design in the 1920s.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, despite repeatedly being under the threat of the land being ploughed-up or used for the grazing of sheep, the course survived with only the fairways being narrowed to enable the harvesting of hay, work done by the Artisans and members. Hard times were felt in the bar during the war years illustrated by a notice which stated that ‘no member can be supplied with more than two single measures of whisky or gin on any Saturday or Sunday’.
Little of dramatic consequence happened at the club in the following years until, in 1975, the light aircraft belonging to the racing driver Graham Hill crashed in thick fog by the second green killing all six occupants; a commemorative plaque is to be found by the side of the green.
In January 1980 came another major drama when, in the early hours of the morning, the club-house mysteriously caught fire and total destruction was only avoided by the prompt action of the resident of Rose Cottage, by the club entrance.. The rebuilt clubhouse was opened in 1981 and in 1986 a further two-story extension was added. By this time subscriptions had increased to £250 for men and £208 for ladies.
Arkley Golf Club remains a friendly, sociable place to be. It has played an important part in its member’s lives and it continues to do so.