Jul 16th, 2016
Richmond Golf Club buys Sudbrook Mansion
Secures future of the club
Words: James Greenwood
The historic and spectacular Sudbrook Mansion, along with Sudbrook Park, have been bought by The Richmond Golf Club in London.
The 300-year-old early Georgian building has been the golf club’s clubhouse for the last 125 years, but it has only now purchased its freehold from The Crown Estate.
As part of the deal, for an undisclosed sum, the club has bought the freehold of the park as well, which is where the course is based.
A spokesman for the club says this guarantees “current and future members a lasting future at our stunning parkland home” and the move is “the most significant development in our 125-year history.”
An overwhelming majority of members voted in favour of buying the freehold when the club first met to discuss the possible purchase at an extraordinary general meeting in June last year.
Around 300 members voluntarily subscribed to a loan note scheme to finance the purchase, which was finalised almost 125 years to the day after golf was first played at Sudbrook Park, in April 1891.
David Hill, the chair of The Richmond Golf Club at the time of the deal in March, said: “This is undoubtedly the most significant development in our 125-year history.
“At a time when some other clubs are closing, selling land or changing the rights of their members, we are delighted that the future of the club is now even more safe and secure and our members will be able to play golf here for as long as they wish to do so.
“What is most pleasing is the way that it has all been done. We raised the money to finance the purchase, not from institutions, but from as wide a base of the club’s members as possible. Moreover, under the new arrangements, all members will continue to hold an equal stake, regardless of their contribution to the financing of the acquisition.
“We have been careful to ensure that the changes needed to support the purchase will maintain the unique character and ethos of the club that are so cherished by our members. Potential new members should not be put off – they will be welcome to, but will not be expected or compelled to, participate in the loan note scheme.
“All members should all be very proud of what we have achieved together.”
The club, set in parkland adjoining Richmond Park and Ham Common, is steeped in history, with politicians and royalty including the future King George VI (captain in 1924) among its early members.