Fringe Box



Puttenham Golf Course’s 150-year-old Landmark Oak Tree Is No More

Published on: 13 May, 2017
Updated on: 16 May, 2017

The remaining trunk of the ancient oak at Puttenham Golf Course and further back the younger oak, planted as insurance.

The ancient oak tree that was a proud landmark in the middle of the first fairway at Puttenham Golf Club finally succumbed to Father Time on Tuesday (May 9).

No one is believed to have witnessed the fall but club members in the car park heard “cracking” and when they reached the tree found it unexpectedly split in half and a major bough slumped to the ground.

Tim Coombes operations manager at the club said: “Sadly, what remained standing of the tree had to be condemned and carefully removed. It’s demise was more to do with old age than disease.”

The tree features in the club crest of Puttenham Golf Club, and has been a familiar sight to many Surrey golfers who play regularly at at the course. It is believed to date back to the early reign of Queen Victoria who visited troops at Puttenham Heath in 1858.

Fortunately although the collapse was unexpected, given the age of the tree, a second specimen oak was planted, behind its more illustrious partner on the 1st fairway, in late 2002.

Coombes continued: “The younger tree was planted as a memorial to Keith Gordon, a long standing member of Puttenham Golf Club, and now stands alone and takes on the mantle, hopefully for another 150 years, as “The Puttenham Oak”.

“The collapse of the tree did interfere with play on the day it happened and the following day, when the tree was removed. On the day it happened our Ladies Spring Meeting was being played and for their afternoon round they had to start on the 2nd.

“The following day when the tree was being removed we instead played the 1st as a par three from a temporary tee beyond the tree in the fairway. All back to normal now.

“We are still deciding on what to do with the timber and that will be a decision for the club/greens committee.”

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