Well trimmed golf course, surrounded by shrubs. A lone golfer is pictured practicing

Kingston golf club victim of silverware burglary

An historic Kingston golf club was struck by a £90,000 silverware burglary last month.

Coombe Hill Golf Club, in Kingston upon Thames, lost many of its prized cups and trophies in a brazen ‘smash and grab’ raid in September.

Andrew Hooke, the club captain, said the robbery was upsetting, adding that some of the stolen silverware was over 100 years old and of high sentimental value to the club and its players.

Hooke said: “It’s a shame, the silver represented a huge part of our club’s history.

“We now face the question of how to replace it.” 

The theft came as a nasty shock, as the the club had never experienced a burglary of this nature before.

Hooke said that the offence is becoming increasingly common and that golf clubs will have to devote more resources to deterring criminals.

Coombe Hill is not the only club to have been targeted by burglars, with Walton Heath in Surrey falling victim on August 7.

A Surrey police spokeswoman said a man in his 30s has been charged with commercial burglary, amongst several other charges, in connection with the incident at Walton Heath golf course on August 7, 2023.

No one has been charged for the incident at Coombe Hill.

Hooke said: “Although it’s sad that we have lost this heritage, it gives us an opportunity to tell the story of the club to members, and indeed anyone who is interested, in a more insightful way on the website.”

Founded in 1910, Coombe Hill quickly attracted the great and the good.

Winston Churchill was an early member, during his time as Home Secretary in 1910-11, and would invite the Prime Minister, H.H. Asquith, for the occasional game. 

Both men went on to lead their country through war.

It was also a favourite of General Eisenhower; when stationed in Britain as supreme allied commander during WW2 he would often play with his chauffeuse, Kay Summersby. 

The former model, nicknamed ‘Irish’, became his lover, despite the general already being married.

Feature image taken by Chris Chalmers

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