History of the Hertfordshire Golf Union
The Union started in 1924 with 10 member clubs. Immediately after the war in 1945, activities were resumed with 29 clubs, joined in 1954 by 13 Artisan Clubs, making a total of 42 clubs. This number of clubs gradually increased through the post war years until the country wide explosion of new golf clubs began in the 1980's, bringing our total membership of clubs today to 65, including 9 Artisan clubs. The individual membership of clubs during this time increased from a lowly 4000 to the present day total of around 22,000.
To meet the needs of this increased membership the number of tournaments and events has risen considerably. There are now 17 major Tournaments plus several other events resulting in considerably more pressure on the County Secretary's office. Fortunately, the Union has developed a very efficient Championship Committee who look after the actual playing of each event, liaising closely with the Secretary to ensure well organised presentable competitions.
Since 1990 there has been an ever-expanding Scratch League, now with 42 clubs divided into 6 divisions, with a regular promotion and relegation system. This league has proven extremely popular and gives members of clubs the opportunity to play competitive team golf at their own level and, more importantly, lets more players feel they are part of the County Union.
In 1974 Hertfordshire reached the English County Finals for the first time, finishing 3rd out of 4. In 1984 it again reached the finals, finishing 4th. In 1985 it finished 2nd and in 1986 won at John O'Gaunt. In 1987 it was 3rd and most recently finished 4th in the finals played at Westward Ho in 1993.
Today the Hertfordshire Golf Union is fortunate that it has a very efficient voluntary working group, with its elected Executive Committee, which works harmoniously on all aspects of administrating golf in the county. Having passed its' 75th Anniversary, and moving towards its' Centenary, it is the Executive Committee's desire that this atmosphere of well run County Amateur Golf be allowed to continue to flourish for the benefit of all.
From the creation of the Union 25 Presidents have been appointed, 3 of whom have been President of the English Golf Union. County Presidents have served varying terms of office from 2 to 17 years (this latter term covered the war years). The tendency over the past 20 years has been to serve for 2 or 3 years and when the County Rules were revised in 1997 a clause was written in permitting the President to serve for a maximum of 3 years.
Since 1924 there have been 16 Secretaries, either appointed or elected, and they have served varying terms in office from 2 to 16 years. For most of this time the Secretary was also the Treasurer but the decision was taken in 1997 to make two separate appointments in order to spread the workload.
Through the years the county has produced:-
Three Walker Cup Captains:-
T A Torrance }
P. B. Lucas. } All from Sandy Lodge Golf Club.
G. A. Hill. }
Four Walker Cup Players:-
B. H. G. Chapman. }
P. M. Townsend. } Both from Porters Park Golf Club.
Tom Lewis in 2011 from Welwyn Garden City.
Callum Shinkwin in 2013 from Moor Park.
Hertfordshire were one of the first counties to introduce comprehensive coaching at boys level, which has resulted in producing many well-known international players at all levels and developing some fine young golfers, amongst them were Peter Townsend, Nick Faldo, Peter Cherry, Andy Clapp, Brian Davis, David Griffiths, Tom Lewis and Callum Shinkwin.