Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club

The Royal Blackheath Golf Club

Court Road,

Eltham, London SE9 5AF

  • Office

    +44 (0)20 8850 1795
  • Pro shop

    +44 (0)20 8850 1795
  • Fax

    +44 (0)20 8859 0150
  • Golf pro

    Matt Johns (Head Professional)

About the course

  • The Course:

    18 holes. Tree-lined & open parkland. Gently undulating terrain - easy to walk.

  • Surroundings:

    Woodland and residential.

  • Designer:

    Current layout designed by James Braid (1928).
Back
tees
Club
tees
Front
tees
Yards
6219
5890
5420
Par
70
69
71
SSS or slope
70
69
71

Location

Latitude:

51.445395

Longitude:

0.055355

How to get there:

10 miles SE of central London

From Clifton’s Roundabout (where the A205 South Circular road crosses the A20) take the A20 direction Sidcup / Dover / M20. After 1.3 mls turn left at the Royal Tavern pub into Court Road, direction Eltham. After o.4 mls turn right into golf club.

The Royal Blackheath Golf Club

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.

Est. 1608

The Royal Blackheath Golf Club: Located close to the heart of London, Royal Blackheath is the oldest golf club in England .... by a large margin. It also lays claim to being the world's oldest golf club (see our Did You Know section below). The course is laid out in quiet parkland, in the grounds of the former Royal Palace of Eltham. Royal Blackheath's clubhouse, although not the palace itself (which stands just across Court Rd), is a neighbouring stately mansion, which dates from 1664. The mansion house was built for Sir John Shaw, banker to King Charles II, and now serves the golf club's members very handsomely.

Within a relatively flat and garden-like setting, James Braid's skilful design work is clear to see. The layout contains many excellent golf holes, opening with a long par-4 that takes you down and away from the back of the palatial clubhouse, to which you'll return at the short-par-4 18th. The front-nine loop closes, and the back-nine starts at the front of the mansion house. The interwoven nines take their turns on the course's perimeter and in the layout's centre. Not overly long by modern-day standards, the layout offers several shortish par-4s and 5s, which big hitters can capitalise on, provided accuracy from the tee is maintained. The relatively small greens are usually maintained in excellent condition, as is the bunkering.

There is a wonderful subtlety about much of this layout, pleasing on the eye, but not without its dangers and demands. Course records here are seldom broken. The par-4 18th for example, brings you back to the imposing clubhouse, requiring a well-flighted, semi-blind approach shot over a hedge - just one of many memorable holes.
List of courses: Around London
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club
  • Photo of The Royal Blackheath Golf Club

Visitors

Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays; no outside visitors on weekends.

Must book in advance. Handicap required.

Green fees

Visitor fee, 18-holes in high season (April thru' Sept): £60 (weekdays only).
Cash or UK cheque only. Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].

Other information

Players generally walk this course.

Practice facilities

Good

Did you know?

Royal Blackheath lays claim to being the world's oldest golf club, with a founding date of 1608. In 1603 James VI of Scotland acceded to the English throne (as James I). Members of his court who travelled south with him, started playing their beloved game of golf on Black Heath. This venerable old golf club contends that the golfers in James's entourage constituted a "golf club or society."

There appears to be no documentary evidence to support Blackheath's 1608 establishment date, and no explanation why this date was selected rather than 1603. No other existing golf club claims to date from the 1600s, let alone the early-1600s. Various artefacts would seem to prove Blackheath existed as early as 1745, while the authoritative Edinburgh Almanac states Blackheath was established "prior to 1745."

There are two other claimants as the world's oldest golf club. The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (now at Muirfield) was established in 1744, while Royal Burgess give their foundation year as 1735.

When James I's court took up residence at the Royal Palace in Greenwich (the site of today’s Old Royal Naval College), they started playing golf on Black Heath, just south of the Palace grounds. The golfers originally played a 15-hole round (three circuits of a 5-hole course). After 1843, the course was extended to seven holes, creating a 21-hole round. Royal Blackheath moved to its current location in 1923, merging in the process with Eltham Golf Club (est. 1892). Queen Victoria conferred the Royal title on Blackheath GC in 1847 (or possibly 1848/49). The club motto remains Vi et Arte (Strength and Skill).

Where2Stay

  • Bardon Lodge3-star

    15-17 Stratheden Road, Blackheath, London SE3 7TH

    +44 (0)208 853 7000

    Visit website
    • Golf at this hotel:

      No

    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Royal Blackheath

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Chingford; Kingswood; The Addington; Selsdon Park.

  • Marriott Bexleyheath4-star

    1 Broadway, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7JZ

    +44 (0)208 298 1000

    Visit website
    • Golf at this hotel:

      No

    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Royal Blackheath

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Thorndon Park; Abridge; Chingford; The Addington; Selsdon Park; London GC.

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