As a part of the National Share a Story Month, Sundridge Park GC have sent us this fascinating story behind an oak tree on the 1st hole of the West course, which has historical links to the US PGA! Read on...
US PGA links to Sundridge Park (19 May 2023)
"As many Members will be aware, the US PGA Championship is currently underway at Oak Hill Country Club, New York.
But not so many Members will be aware that Sundridge Park has historical links with Oak Hill going back 122 years...
In 1949 the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team were victorious against the American side at Winged Foot Club, New York. On that trip, the 12 team players were presented with an acorn gathered from Oak Hill, at least one of which has survived to become a magnificent specimen at Wildernesse Club, Sevenoaks.
50 years on, this story was recalled to a director at Oak Hill who promptly organised 2000 acorns to be collected from the course and sent to the British PGA for germination and special distribution. 100 seedlings survived and were duly presented in 2001 to clubs which had a strong connection to the PGA and had made a significant contribution to the game of golf over the last 100 years. Sundridge Park was chosen as one such club, with the added significance that Oak Hill and Sundridge both celebrated their Centenary year in that year.
The seedling was planted to the right of the path leading to the stream on the 1st West (by the willows), by the captains of the day, Trevor Heath and Ann Pelling.
The young sapling was protected from golf ball strikes and club swings for many years by planting a circle of other trees around it. These have now been removed to reveal the Oak Hill oak in all its glory.
In his year of Captaincy, David Horder, travelled to Oak Hill and presented a painting from Sundridge Park and some engraved glassware to help commemorate the links between the two clubs.
Like Sundridge, Oak Hill has East and West Courses; with the East being the main course used for major tournaments - see info https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Hill_Country_Club
For anyone wishing to read the full back story, the certificate presented to the Club by the PGA in 2001 has been put on display in the entry hall."
Have you got a golfing story that you would like to share with the rest of the County? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you!