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Finchley Golf Course Barnet
   

Finchley Golf Course

Finchley Golf Course and Clubhouse (Nether Court), September 2000. Photo S Williams

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Finchley Golf Course is in the former grounds of Nether Court, built in 1883 for Henry Thomas Tubbs, who established a 9-hole golf course here in 1892. He was Vice Chairman of the early golf club, but it lapsed during WWI and Tubbs died in 1917. Nether Court was purchased by Finchley UDC in 1928 following a local campaign for a golf course and opened in October 1930 as Finchley Golf Club and Nether Court Tennis Club. In 1939 the house was requisitioned by the Army until 1946, the Golf Club retaining use of part of the course, with c.3 acres of land taken for allotments. Nether Court's C19th terraces are preserved on the garden side of the house, now the golf clubhouse, near which are mature specimen trees and a large C19th ornamental fountain and basin.
Finchley Golf Course Clubhouse (Nether Court), September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Finchley Golf Course, Path to fountain, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Finchley Golf Course, Fountain, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Finchley Golf Course, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Previous / Other name: Nether Court
Site location: Frith Lane, Mill Hill (Lovers' Walk from Brent Way/Gordon Road)
Postcode: NW7 > Google Map
Type of site: Private Open Land
Date(s): 1883; 1892; 1929/30
Designer(s): 1929/30: James Braid
Listed structures:
Borough: Barnet
Site ownership: LB Barnet leased to Finchley Golf Club
Site management: Finchley Golf Club
Open to public? By appointment only
Opening times: visits may be arranged with Secretary in advance
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Public transport: Tube: West Finchley (Northern), Mill Hill East (Northern) then bus. Bus 221
Finchley Golf Course Clubhouse (Nether Court), September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Finchley Golf Course, Path to fountain, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Finchley Golf Course, Fountain, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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Finchley Golf Course, September 2000. Photo S Williams
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The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/06/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.finchleygolfclub.co.uk

Fuller information:

Finchley Golf Course is in the grounds of the former Nether Court, a grand house that is now the golf clubhouse, which was built in 1883 for Henry Thomas Tubbs, JP, and known in the early C20th as 'Old Tubbs Mansion'. Henry Tubbs, described in 1906 by Finchley historian C O Banks as 'a very pleasant gentleman - elderly, thickset and very fond of horses', owned a number of houses in the area and established a 9-hole golf course in part of his grounds in 1892 for which he was Vice Chairman for some time. Humorous rhyming 'annual reports' of this early golf club exist for the years 1897/9, 1899 and 1900; that of 1897/8 declares: 'About this time we chose a coat/Our members were to wear -/A coat of scarlet trimmed with fawn,/Brass buttons here and there./But all the orders he received/were only five or six,/Please order coats of Mr. Wynne,/Or he'll be in a fix.' The club lapsed during World War I, and Tubbs died in 1917.

In 1919 Hendon Urban District Council purchased Nether Court with the intention of turning it into a hospital. Finding it unsuitable for this purpose the Council sold it to John James Ward, a Farringdon butcher who while on his honeymoon in Australia reputedly first conceived of building a refrigerator in a ship to transport meat to this country. Ward soon sold Nether Court and the next property, Frith Grange, to a company who in turn sold it to Finchley UDC in 1928. At this time a number of Finchley gentlemen saw the opportunity to re-establish a golf course in the area and, following a public enquiry that resulted in the dropping of Hendon Town Planning Scheme's proposal to build an arterial road through the site, they were granted a 60 year lease to create a new golf course on the site. Well-known golf architects Hawtrey and Taylor were consulted and James Braid, five times winner of the Open Championship, was engaged to design the layout to take in the whole estate. Construction work commenced in 1929, one of the first tasks being to rid the area of thousands of moles for which worms baited with strychnine were used. On 18 October 1930 the full 18-hole golf course was opened, and the club held its first Exhibition Match in October 1931.

Nether Court's C19th terraces are preserved on the garden side of the house, near which are many mature specimen trees and a large C19th ornamental fountain and basin. Finchley Golf Club, together with the Nether Court Tennis Club, flourished as the Finchley Golf, Sports and Social Club Limited, holding monthly dances and other social events such as a Christmas Dinner and Dance, costing 7s 6d a head in 1933, as well as the sporting activities until 1939 when the house was requisitioned by the Army. The Club retained use of part of the golf course and fortunately the ground was deemed unsuitable, first by the War Agricultural Committee for growing wheat and then by the War Office for Tank exercises, and only around 3 acres of land were taken over for allotments. The golf course sustained some bomb damage, and the Clubhouse while narrowly missing being struck suffered in the hands of its military occupiers who finally left in October 1946. The tennis club was not revived after the war but the golf club once again flourished. The upkeep of the golf course since then has included a major programme of tree planting to replace those lost over the years and to fill in gaps on the course.

Sources consulted:

'The Finchley Golf Club, A Brief History from its Foundation in 1929' (1981/2); S Gillies and P Taylor, 'Finchley and Friern Barnet, a Pictorial History' (1992)
Grid ref: TQ245916
Size in hectares:
   
On EH National Register : No
EH grade:
Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
Registered common or village green
on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No
Protected under London Squares
Preservation Act 1931:
No
 
The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.
On Local List:
In Conservation Area: No
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order: Not known
Nature Conservation Area: Yes - Boro Importance II
Green Belt: Yes
Metropolitan Open Land: No
Special Policy Area: No
Other LA designation: Green chain along stream (Lovers' Walk footpath)
   

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