The Wimbledon Town Golf Club was founded at a meeting held at the Wimbledon Hill Hotel (now the Dog and Fox) on February 20th 1908. Membership was limited to 100 residents of Wimbledon and the entrance fee and annual subscription at one guinea each. The Common course was also being played (as it is now) by London Scottish Golf Club, and a ladies’ golf club that was absorbed by Royal Wimbledon in 1930.
Playing was permitted by the Conservators only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Each player had to employ a caddy, a practice which continued into the 1920’s. In April 1912 the Club moved into part of what is now our present clubhouse in Camp Road.
During the First World War much of the Common was taken over by the War Office. The course was not returned to the clubs until 1922 and negotiations with the War Office for compensation went on well into the 1920’s. In 1919 the South London Golf Club amalgamated with WCGC. Our name became “Wimbledon Common and South London Golf Club” and was simplified to Wimbledon Common Golf Club in 1928.
The 1939-45 war was a huge setback for the club. Many members left for military service and the Common was taken over by the military. The course was largely unplayable. At end of the war the pre-war green keeper, Don Kernick, was re-hired and repairs of wartime damage were slowly made to the course. The government was slow in granting reparations and the financial situation became precarious. Club members themselves helped maintain and improve the clubhouse facilities.
After the austerity period of the late 1940’s, the Club gradually recovered. The green keepers’ hut and trolley shed were moved to the back of the building thereby improving the outside appearance.
In 1976 major additions were made to the clubhouse - most notably to the bar area. Maximum possible drinking space has always been one of the cornerstones of the Club, a tradition unlikely to disappear.
Lady members were first admitted in 2005, and new ladies’ changing rooms were added in 2012. In 2013, a Ladies’ Academy programme began, and has since admitted men. Solheim Captain Karin Koch kicked off National Golf Month at the club in May 2015, recognising how WCGC has grown through ladies’ involvement.
In 2008 the Club celebrated its 100th with a year-long calendar of activities and celebrations. Since then the Club has continued to flourish, recruiting over 60 new members in 2012. The Ladies Section now have a brand new changing room, opened in September 2012 by Gladiator “Jet” Diane Youdale.
Our Club President Jack Miles celebrated his centenary on 10th March 2013. Jack was recognised by the book of Guinness World Records for being the oldest active golf club president in the world. In 2016 Jack was appointed President Emeritus.
The Swing Studio golf performance centre opened on the 15th of March, 2015 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by President Jack Miles, Chairman Ed Harris, Merton councillor Stephen Hammond, and Club Captain Dwight Lindo. Former WCGC Professional Jeff Jukes and former Golf Business Development Coordinator Gary Clements conducted lessons and performance improvement using swing sensor technology.
The Swing Studio was upgraded again in 2019 under Golf Professional Charles Sandison-Woods.
The Karen Owen clock tower was added to the clubhouse roof in 2018. Karen was an early lady member, who served as Lady Captain from 2009 to 2012, and encouraged and inspired lady golfers to take up the game at WCGC. She lost her battle with cancer in 2016. Karen was keen for WCGC to join the ranks of many distinguished golf clubs and display a splendid clubhouse clock to be visible from the first tee to enable members to tee off on time. A very generous legacy in her will made it all possible.
The new golf shop opened its doors to members and visitors on Saturday 3rd August, 2019 with a ceremony lead by club president Tony Carrington. The idea of converting the former snooker room into a golf shop was first pitched in 2009 by former captain and three-time chairman Edward Harris. Ed passed away in 2018 but his vision was realised thanks to the dedicated work of club members including Martin Finn, whose construction team did the build. Ed's widow Maggie Harris cut the ribbon to officially open the shop, in memory of Ed.