THE INTER LIVERY GOLF TOURNAMENT
The annual Inter Livery Golf Tournament – the largest one day, two course, amateur tournament in the UK – was first held in 1927 at Walton Heath Golf Club.
That was the year in which Prince Arthur of Connaught was invited to become a guest of the Coachmakers’ Livery Company and then went on to accept the Freedom and Livery of the Company later that year. He was subsequently elected Assistant and showed such an interest in the Company that he became Master in 1932.
But his admission in 1927 to the Coachmakers was a great honour and to commemorate the event, the Master Arthur Hungerford Pollen presented the Coachmakers’ Company with the Prince Arthur Cup – an impressive silver gilt trophy that would be competed for annually by the Livery Companies of London in a foursomes’ golf tournament.
The first tournament at Walton Heath, which saw Companies represented by two pairs playing two rounds of golf, was won by the Butchers Company. As time went on, more Companies participated and the event was held at a number of different golf clubs before St George’s Hill became the venue from 1930 to 1958, then Wentworth from 1960 to 1978. The Prince Arthur Cup returned to Walton Heath in 1979 and the event has been held there ever since.
There are now 54 teams participating – the maximum that can be accommodated – which means 216 players currently take part in what has developed into one of the City Liveries’ most prestigious and fiercely contested annual sporting events. Since there are 108 Livery Companies and only 54 can compete in any one year, a little spice is added in that the 12 Companies with the lowest scores retire to allow new competitors to enter the following year.
HISTORY OF THE CUP
Walton Heath Archivist Philip Truett writes: I remember how pleased Walton Heath was when the Prince Arthur Cup returned 52 years after the first playing of the competition in 1927. Indeed, surprise was expressed that it had taken so long for you to return to your roots! Those roots would have been put down with the help of the Club’s Proprietor and Chairman of the News of the World, Lord Riddell of Walton Heath. Indeed, almost certainly, you would have been his guests for the day.
Anybody with any sort of influence were his guests and the really influential ones would have been made Honorary Members. After all, it was his fiefdom! However, if I am right about this hospitality, a move the following year to Sundridge Park is more difficult to explain! Walton Heath would have been well known to Prince Arthur; his cousins the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII and the Duke of York, later George VI were both Honorary members of the Club.
Lord Riddell had never seen the need for anything so vulgar as a Club Captain and it was only upon his demise in December 1934 that the new owners felt differently about such an appointment and, in 1935, asked The Prince of Wales to be become the Club’s first Captain. He was still in office when he became King upon the death of his father, George V, in January 1936, making Walton Heath the only English Club to have a reigning monarch as Captain.
We value our association with the playing of the Prince Arthur Cup – It is a special day in the Club’s year for many reasons – We have many club members participating, including, on occasions such as last year, winning team members, it is the only day in the year when both courses are closed to members to accommodate a Society visit, it is the largest gathering in the Club’s year and certainly the only such occasion when play is against Bogey! Long may our association continue.
Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught
The Club was founded in 1903. Walton’s first Captain, HRH the Prince of Wales, was not appointed until 1935. The Captain became King Edward VIII the following year. The first Professional, James Braid, won five Opens and stayed for some forty-five years. Winston Churchill played regularly at Walton, which – then as now – became a haven away from the pressures of office.
Walton Heath has a long history of high profile professional and amateur tournaments. The Club established the country’s most significant Match Play tournament, hosted the European Open through the seventies and eighties, and arguably the greatest ever U.S. team in the 1981 Ryder Cup.
Nowadays, the Club’s calendar highlights are the U.S. Open Qualifier and the Walton Heath Trophy (formerly the South of England Open Amateur Championship).
Walton Heath’s Old Course has featured in the World’s Top 100 rankings every year since their inception in 1938. The course designer, Herbert Fowler, liked to test the extent of the golfer’s repertoire of shots. The Old Course has many demands, but its greater length means that more “Scottish shots” are likely to be needed in this Surrey haven. When you do reach the greens, they are large, hard, fast, and true.
The New Course shares the same open heathland setting as the Old and is a fine Championship course in its own right. It opened for play in 1907 as a nine hole layout, and extended to eighteen in 1913. The New stretches to 7199 yards off the back tees, 6648 yards off the medals, and has been ranked in the UK and Ireland’s Top 50 courses for more than ten years. This is a serious golf course.
WINNERS OF THE PRINCE ARTHUR CUP
Presenter of the Cup: Tony Lister
POST WAR LEAGUE TABLE
| Leathersellers || || 10 |
| Solicitors || || 5 |
| Stationers Newspaper Makers || || 5 |
| Mercers || || 4 |
| Haberdashers || || 3 |
| Bakers || || 3 |
| Coachmakers || || 3 |
| Fishmongers || || 2 |
| Carmen || || 2 |
| Tylers and Bricklayers || || 2 |
| Butchers || || 2 |
| Feltmakers || || 2 |
| Dyers || || 1 |
| Distillers || || 1 |
| Tinplate Workers || || 1 |
| Tallow Chandlers || || 1 |
| Carpenters || || 1 |
| Wax Chandlers || || 1 |
| Air Pilots and Navigators || || 1 |
POST WAR LEAGUE TABLE
| Fanmakers || || 1 |
| Coopers || || 1 |
| Basket Makers || || 1 |
| Farriers || || 1 |
| Painter Stainers || || 1 |
| Loriners || || 1 |
| Information Technologists || || 1 |
| Armourers and Braziers || || 1 |
| Grocers || || 1 |
| Makers of Playing Cards || || 1 |
| Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders || || 1 |
| Chartered Surveryors || || 1 |
| Curriers || || 1 |
| Insurers || || 1 |
| Cutlers || || 1 |
| Spectacle Makers || || 1 |
| Founders || || 1 |
| Brewers || || 1 |
| Merchant Taylors || || 1 |
Contact: Richard Wormell
Honorary Secretary: The Livery Companies Golfing Society
Address: 6 Beltran Road, Fulham, London SW6 3AJ
Tel: 020 7731 3277 Mobile 07989 554 684