Flackwell Heath Golf Club
Minchins Farm, Flackwell Heath, was purchased in 1902 by three High Wycombe businessmen, James Peace (gentlemen`s outfitter), Arthur Clarke (solicitor) and Thomas Thurlow (architect).
By 1904 a nine-hole course had been developed to the design of James Sherlock the professional of the Oxford University Club. On the 25th October of that year the Wycombe and Bourne End Golf Club was inaugurated.
The task of planning the second nine holes was given to the Club’s first Professional, John Turner, and these came into play in the spring of 1907. Alterations have been made over the years, some on the advice of Harry Colt in the 1920’s and in 1964 two new holes were designed by the course architect F. W. Hawtree – the present 15th and 16th. There are now ongoing improvements taking place, as recommended by professional golfer and television commentator, Ken Brown.
In the same year as the course was extended Mr. H. Dickinson offered cups for both a ladies` and a gentlemen’s competition with the proviso that the club should become known as the Flackwell Heath Golf Club. This was agreed and ratified at that year’s Annual General Meeting.
Although the club was initially a proprietary club, it was very much member-managed from the outset until 1920. At that time the land and club house were purchased by the members.
With regard to the course itself, the golf correspondent and Walker Cup player, Bernard Darwin (grandson of the naturalist Charles Darwin) described the course in 1923 as being divided into two classes, level holes at the top and hilly ones on the lower slopes and stated that:
"….one admirable feature they have in common, they all have got beautiful greens. The turf is true and velvety, neither too fast nor too slow, and the greens are all gently undulating, never flat to the point of dullness, nor steep to that of unfairness".
We are still justly proud of our greens today.
In 1937 an article in Golf Illustrated observed that, “Flackwell Heath must be counted on the short side but to me that does not matter. I would sooner play an interesting short lay-out than one which relies on yardage for its importance”
A glimpse of a part of our undulating course the can be seen on the south side of the M40, just east of High Wycombe, – do visit us to discover the real pleasure of the course.