I guess Denham Golf Club Station is the equivalent of the Arsenal stop on the London Underground; a train destination that’s named for a sporting entity. The football analogy is not inappropriate, either: on the 17-minute journey from Marylebone Station in the heart of London to this particular part of Buckinghamshire, the track takes you past Wembley Stadium. Your train may even stop at the station there – although if it does you’ll be destined for a journey that’s a bit longer than 17 minutes.
The station was opened on July 22, 1912, at the request of the golf club, which had opened the previous year. I know…I’d like to see your average golf club pull that one off these days.”How much did you say, Mr Branson? No, we don’t have a 100 mill going spare.” However, it is the case that the railways were integral to taking golf all across the UK in the latter years of the 19th century. Places as far apart as Saunton in Devon and Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire relied on the iron horse to bring holidaymakers from London and other cities to enjoy golf on a legion of links courses on every coast of this island. Helping to spread the word into the near parts of the Home Counties was, all considered, not such a big deal.
The two waiting rooms at Denham Golf Club Station are original ‘pagoda-style’ shelters and are listed buildings. So, too, was the ticket office, but fire is no respecter of planning laws and the latter was badly damaged in a blaze in 2005 and demolished two years later. (Needless to say, I am indebted to Wikipedia for some of this info.) The original platform lamp-posts were made from cast iron (it says here) but they were removed when the lighting systems on the whole line were upgraded around 30 years ago.
It was not just in olden days that the train helped bring golfers to Denham. Today, members and visitors will arrive from Marylebone, carry bags and spikes in hand, happy to walk the 300 yards or so to get on to the golf club’s property. Heaven knows that on many days – in fact, make that most days – that’s going to be a much more efficient way to get to your game than tangling with the traffic on the A40. The course which opened in 1911 was designed by Harry Colt, always a good name for a golf club to be associated with. As well as the delightful 18-hole layout there is a short par-3 course for additional entertainment. And, of course, after that one can feel free to have a glass or two at the 19th. After all, if you’re going back into London, you aren’t going to be driving home!
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