We have a very interesting history and lots of tradition here, as well as a fantastic, unusual course with superb greens. But above all we pride ourselves on being a friendly, inclusive club and we hope you will enter into that spirit.
It’s something of an article of faith here that we always attempt to find a game for any member, new or otherwise. In the early days it can be difficult if you don’t know anyone, but please experiment as much as you can with different playing times and playing partners, and don’t be afraid to foist yourself on any of our members. They will be only too happy to help you out. This applies as much if you have joined with someone else as on your own. Just turn up and link-up with some of the other members for a round – please don’t be afraid to ask.
Here are some notes that might help you find your way around the club in the first few months:
From Monday to Friday you can tee off as long as there is daylight, ie there are no restrictions either at the beginning or end of the day. Please note, however, that for the safety of the public you must be able to see the flag on the first hole before teeing off. This applies not just at dawn or dusk, but when it is misty or foggy.
On Saturdays and Sundays, no-one is allowed to tee off before 7.45am. On Saturdays you can play until it becomes dark, but on Sundays, due to local byelaws, you must be off the course by 2pm. No play is allowed on bank holidays.
White tees are for competitions only, so please use either the yellow (men's) or red (women's) tees for a normal 'fun' round. This preserves the tee areas.
Tee rotation with Wimbledon Common GC
Generally there are very few problems sharing the course with Wimbledon Common. During the week there are no tee reservations, other than for societies or matches, so just go off when you want.
Wimbledon Common’s first hole is our 12th (Plateau) so if you get round there and there are golfers waiting to go off at their first tee, then there is a system to avoid confusion. If you are on the 11th green and have taken the flag out before anyone arrives on the 12th tee, then it is your prerogative to go off first from the next tee. But if you arrive on the 11th green and people are already on the 12th tee, then they should go first.
The same rules apply on our first hole, ie if you walk out to the first tee and some Wimbledon Common golfers are already on the 18th green with the flag out, then you should let them tee off first.
It’s always worth checking on the board by the pro shop for any tee reservations to see if Wimbledon Common’s first tee is closed for any period – as otherwise you may find yourself arriving at their first tee while it is closed. If you do so, you can always go for a drink in their clubhouse and resume your round when the tee is re-opened.
On Saturdays and Sundays things are slightly different, mainly because this is when competitions are played. Our first tee is reserved until 9.20am and is then closed to allow Wimbledon Common players to come through. It re-opens at 11.20am and is then open for the rest of the day, as the course is usually much quieter from this time onwards. On the ‘other side’ a similar system applies, which means that by the time our golfers get round there, they should have a free run.
Booking a tee time
Turn up and play at any time (although note that sometimes the tee is closed for a short while for societies or matches – the board by the pro shop will show you these timings). By custom, the veterans tee off at roughly 8am till 9am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but anyone of any age is welcome to join them. They are a friendly bunch.
The draw for the morning's play is made on the same day, at 7am sharp in the men's changing room (ladies welcome). To make sure you are in the draw, turn up just before 7am and put your group’s name in the hat. Whoever is first out of the hat gets to choose the tee-off time they would like for themselves or their group, with the second person out getting the next choice, and so on down the line. However, you can turn up after 7am and take whatever tee times are left over after this process – usually there are plenty, especially from 8.15am onwards. Remember, however, that you must be off by 9.20am, as the first tee is then closed until 11.30am. If you are on your own, don’t worry – you will always be found a game.
Times are decided at 1.30pm on the Sunday prior to the Sunday that you wish to play. Anyone can put in for a time. Just hand in a piece of paper with your name and requirements (number of players and a preferred tee time) either to Steve Barr during the week or to Noel Browne or Jim Boyes on the Sunday morning. All requests will then be examined and you will get the closest time available to the one you desire. The times will be displayed on the club noticeboard and on this website here. Spaces are also usually available once this process has been completed, so if you don't have a time marked down, please just turn up on the Sunday morning anyway. You will always be accommodated. Remember, you must have finished playing by 2pm on Sundays.
Questions about tee times
If anything above is unclear, or if you would like further information on tee times, you can contact the club email address (email@example.com).
Playing on the common
The common is policed by a handful of rangers, who are employed by the body that owns the common, the Wimbledon & Putney Commons Conservators. The rangers have the power to throw you off the course for various misdemeanours, particularly for not wearing the proper red top. You must always wear a pillar box red upper garment, which means waterproof tops need to be this colour too. If you wear a very faded red or pink top, or something that is not completely red, you run the risk of falling foul of the rangers.
Essentially the public have right of way on the golf course, although they are supposed to exercise common sense. It is always best, as a golfer, to take the cautious approach and wait until someone is completely out of the way before playing your shot. Most members of the public are sensible and friendly, and there are relatively few incidents, but inevitably there are a few who cause problems or just don't seem to realise that they are walking across a golf course. Equally there are some golfers who take a much too belligerent approach. There is no point in winding up either yourself or members of the public. If you get into a potentially heated situation, the best plan of action is always to take a conciliatory position and to apologise for any perceived problem – even if you feel that you have done nothing wrong. Experience has shown that even the most irate member of the public usually calms down considerably if this approach is taken.
If you happen to hit someone with a ball, or there is any other incident of note, then please report it to Steve Barr as soon as you get in. These have to be logged in case of complaints, and this will help you if there are accusations against you. If a ball unexpectedly goes towards someone, then obviously shouting ‘fore’ very loudly is the best plan of action. But please note that the rangers do not like golfers shouting 'fore' in other circumstances, eg if you are waiting to hit your ball and you want people to move out of the way.
For further information, please see the 'health and safety advice to golfers' notice on this website, under the 'notices' menu.
We have many competitions throughout the year, mainly on Saturdays and Sundays. The main ones are listed in your diary, along with dates, and you enter them on the day by paying your entry fee to Steve Barr. All competitions are open to both men and women, and are played off the white tees regardless of gender.
Every month there is a midweek spoon competition that runs over three days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can compete on any one of these days, although you can only play in the competition once. For midweek spoons please put your name on the list that will be on top of the scorecard box in the changing rooms. Then place the entrance fee into one of the envelopes provided, along with your name, and post it into the box. Once you have completed your round, place the signed card in the box.
There are also four matchplay knockout competitions that run roughly from May to May – the McIntyre (fourball betterball off handicap); the Diamond (singles off handicap); the Porteus (foursomes off handicap), and The Hawkins (singles off scratch). To enter these, you need to put your name down on the sheet that is usually placed on the noticeboard in the changing room area in April/May. After the closing date for entries, the draws for each competition will be posted in the same place, along with deadlines for each match.
All competition results are posted on the noticeboard and on this website here, but you can also receive notification by email and on the web through a really good website at www.howdidido.co.uk You can sign up to this for free and can then view all London Scottish results – plus various breakdowns of your statistics and past performance. It’s highly recommended.
We have two practice putting greens: one by the side of the first tee (Elcho) and one to the back of the 13th tee (Hope Grant). You can use either. Other practice facilities are not ideal because of the lack of space on the common, but we do have a designated practice area along the 18th fairway, where you can hit from the corner of the clubhouse-side of the ravine towards the 18th green. Speak to Steve Barr about its whereabouts if you are not sure.
If you practice here, then make sure your balls are clearly marked so that they are not confused with those of people actually playing down the 18th. There is also a similar practice area alongside the 13th (Hope Grant) which hits towards the 13th green. LSGC members can use this space too, but because of its location it is mainly used by Wimbledon Common GC members. If, alternatively, you decide to knock a couple of balls round a few holes for practice, please keep this within sensible bounds and make sure you don’t hold people up.
Steve Barr is happy to give lessons; just ask him and he will fix up a time to go out onto the course.
Every year, usually as a formality, the AGM passes a motion that the committee, if it sees fit, can levy a one-off mandate of up to £100 on all members on top of their annual membership fees. The committee tries to avoid having to levy this mandate, and historically it has rarely been called upon. But as a new member you need to be aware that in special circumstances the mandate may be levied and you will be required to pay it.
We no longer have bar cards for members. Payment at the bar is by cash or card. Members are entitled to a 15% discount on all drinks bought.
Hiring the clubhouse
As a member, you can hire the clubhouse free of charge (normal cost: £200) for parties or other functions. Please speak to Steve Barr about this.