Years of history and golfing achievement have been erased at Haste Hill Golf Course in Middlesex after the council that owns the course and clubhouse decided to remove the club’s honours boards.
Haste Hill Golf Club has played its competitions at the Northwood venue since the 1930s, and celebrated the success of its members and commemorated its past captains on a number of honours boards located on the walls of the clubhouse, as is traditional at golf clubs all over the world.
But Hillingdon Council, which owns the clubhouse, removed all 26 of them over the Christmas period following a major renovation of the building. A spokesperson for the council said that the honours boards had been removed to create a more neutral environment that would make it more suitable for hiring out as a venue for private parties and weddings.
“We recently invested more than £250,000 into renovating the clubhouse, which now benefits from an improved bar area, toilets and car parking facilities for all our customers to enjoy,” said the spokesperson. “The golf course and its clubhouse is open to everyone, and the venue is also hired out to the public for events and weddings to increase revenue. Haste Hill Golf Club is a separately organised members group that uses the course, but does not contribute financially to the building or its upkeep, and their 26 wooden honours boards displayed in the function rooms were dissuading people from hiring the venue. The boards were removed during the refurbishment and the council offered to replace them with a digital board instead.”
The club’s membership was officially informed of the council’s decision at an AGM held last month. Many have reacted angrily to the decision to wipe out decades of golfing history in one fell swoop, but all representations to the council have so far had no effect in overturning the decision.
“The club has attempted to explain to the council how important the retention and visibility of these wooden boards are – both to current and past members whose names appear on those boards – but unfortunately, our appeals have fallen on deaf ears,” said John Paterson, president of Haste Hill Golf Club, who has been a member of the club since 1980. “I’m devastated. They’ve taken away the history of our club.”
He added: “Golf clubs up and down the country regularly let their premises for a variety of reasons, and there is little evidence that any club has been asked to remove their boards for a letting. Indeed, it is rare that any club has found the existence of these boards has prevented them from achieving whatever extra income they wanted from letting their premises. In fact, many people choose to host events at golf clubs and other similar establishments because of the history on show.
Haste Hill Golf Course was designed by Harry Colt in 1926, while a club has been in existence since 1930. The current membership stands at 240 – 170 men and 70 women, with ages ranging from eight to 80.