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On the 11th of July 1891 The Mitcham Common Conservators agreed that part of the common be set aside for an eighteen hole golf course, providing that there were no enclosures and that the public retained access together with the usual common rights.
Mr R H Cox acquired this concession and on the 9th November 1891 sold it to The Princes Golf Club, Mr Balfour (later Prime Minister) being at the time President Of princes.
In 1894 a 21 year lease was granted to that club who then spent a considerable amount constructing two courses of eighteen holes designed by Tom Dunn, Professional at Tooting Bec Golf Club, and Tom Morris of St Andrews.
The two courses spanned the common on both sides of the Croydon Road, the Gentleman’s course, now defunct, being some 6325 yards long and the Ladies course, occupying where we now play, although our layout differs considerably from the original.
At about 1900 Sir H Mallaby-Deeley purchased the club for £8,000. The club became a popular venue for members of both the Houses of Parliament. Membership reaching 700 by 1905.
Refused entry to Prince’s local Artisans golfers formed Mitcham Village Golf Club in 1907. The original 48 members subscribed five shillings each per annum not an inconsiderable amount when related to the then average weekly wage of seventeen and sixpence. Sir Mallaby-Deeley became the first President of the Club.
Playing hours for Mitcham Village Golf Club were severely restricted and in 1910 a fund was raised by local residents for Mitcham Village Golf Club members to finance a successful action of the high court for the right to play unrestricted golf on the common. The surplus from the fund was used to purchase the ‘Defence Cup’ to commemorate this important and prodigious event.
Having lost the exclusive use, The Prince’s Golf Club moved in the early 1920’s, to Sandwich in Kent where they established a fine internationally respected golf club and fine golf course.
In 1924 Sir Mallaby-Deeley created a trust deed ensuring use of the course for the benefit of all golfers at the Trustees discretion. At that time Mitcham Golf Club was formed and since then both clubs have enjoyed many happy golfing years.
Over these years both clubs acquired a large number of valuable trophies, all requiring competition time in addition to many inter-club fixtures. By the late 1980’s it became apparent that unless changes were introduced the competition weekends would be top heavy in relation to those available for members ordinary friendly games.
A joint Committee, Trustees of Mitcham Golf Club and Mitcham Village Golf Club, decided, with the club’s approval, to amalgamate trophies of both clubs and create three handicap divisions. Certain trophies were exempt from this format, notably The Defence Cup, which being of historical importance is played for by all members irrespective of handicap on a designated ‘Mitcham Village Day’.
For all members to be eligible to compete for the ‘Mixed’ trophies it was necessary it was necessary to integrate memberships of both in that full members of Mitcham Golf Club are also members of Mitcham Village Golf Clubs. Additionally, to facilitate ease of administration, Mitcham Golf Club undertook the funding of Mitcham Village Golf Club.
This radical but necessary change effected on the first of January 1990 has to date worked well. Possibly future circumstances may dictate further change, but with the Trustees guardianship and members support, we will continue to enjoy playing for Mitcham Village Golf Club trophies and participate in the team matches against our long standing friends at Crowborough, London Scottish and the Ladies section well into the next millennium.