Chippenham Golf Club was formed in 1896 by a group of enthusiasts, as a members’ golf club and to this day it remains a ‘members’ club’. This means that all major decisions are made by elected members who always have the golfing interests of members to the fore.
In the beginning, the course was 1 ½ miles from Chippenham and located on the highest ground available close to the town in common with the neighbouring downland courses in Wiltshire. It was described as ‘the Links on Allington Gorse’. A clubhouse was built in 1910.
The course expanded rapidly from the original 7 holes to 9 holes and then 18 holes in 1932, following advice and design of the additional holes by the renowned golf course architect of the day, Harry S Colt. During this period the first President of the Club was Sir John Dickson Poynder of Hartham Park, the local MP, who later became Lord Islington and Governor of New Zealand.
Our oldest golf competitions and trophies date from this time.
Fortunes changed during World War II for the country and in Chippenham the golf course was reduced to 9 holes as land was requisitioned for the war effort to grow food. Post war, it took a while for club prosperity to return, but gradually and with the will and belief of the members the course was expanded again to 13 holes, and then in 1976 the course became 18 holes again. From 1955 to 1968 the club President was William ‘Bill’ Burridge who was also President of Wiltshire County for 30 years, 1938 to 1968 and President of England Golf in 1948
Membership increased dramatically and the club thrived during the next 30 years enjoying a Centenary year with multiple celebratory events in 1996. However it was clear that to maintain club prosperity by retaining members and provide a good game of golf, golfing and clubhouse facilities needed a major upgrade. A radical multi-million pound plan was created in 2005 by the members‘ management committee, and approved by members to double the size of the golf course making it suitable for modern playing equipment and distances and provide a new clubhouse for a good social environment for members. These were opened in 2012 and then an improvement to practice facilities providing a covered driving range in 2015.
Chippenham Golf Club does not stand still and regularly consults members on fully costed ideas for improvement to golfing and clubhouse facilities. Current capital projects that are in progress include the reconstruction some of the bunkers on the course and extension of the driving range, and the recent implementation of TopTracer. Although there were COVID19 pandemic delays, in 2022 to celebrate 125 years, the club held an exhibition of club history, and in 2023 the club held a 125 year celebratory fun golf event, playing the original 9 holes .
It is said you need to understand history in order to make good decisions about the future. Chippenham Golf Club has a rich history with many individuals through the years who love golf and have a sense of community, who have taken decisions about the future of the club, which means it now enjoys a stable and prosperous future for members.
The modern, air-conditioned function suite receives excellent reviews.