The land on which Chestfield golf course was developed sits on a deep bed of London clay, which is heavy land, and as many golfers will know such land suffers from poor drainage without extensive intervention. The land was part of the ancient Chestfield Manor Estate. The Domesday Book, produced soon after the arrival of the Normans, shows that Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, Earl of Kent and half brother of William the Conqueror held the land as Tenant-in-Chief, from the king. Land ownership was indicative of an income, although the earliest known reference to a farm at Chestfield is 1242. Our Club logo, a bishop's mitre, is a nod to this past history. The land passed through various owners until the last farmer, William Goodhew, retired in 1920 after 46 years farming Chestfield Manor.

George Reeves, a local Whitstable builder, purchased William Goodhew’s land, the Chestfield Manor Estate, for £11,548 in April 1920. It was over 730 acres in total, comprising Chestfield Manor Farm, Chestfield Manor House, two tithe barns, Shepherds Cottage, The Lower House and the quadrangle formed with The Barn, a cowshed (now our Administrative offices) and Balsar Street Farm. 

The photograph above dates from 1928 and shows members outside the old Clubhouse which today is The Barn restaurant and public house owned by Shepherd Neame.

The course itself is, not surprisingly, of more recent vintage. Its location in the triangle of land formed by the coastal resorts of Whitstable and Herne Bay, and the Cathedral City of Canterbury affords wonderful views across the Thames Estuary and the Swale. Construction of the course, originally known as Shrub Hill, began in late 1923 at the instigation of George Reeves, a local builder. He commissioned two well-known professionals; James Braid - five times Open Champion - and Abe Mitchell, the North Foreland professional, to design the course that was opened for play on 16th April 1924.  The photograph below, taken from Shrub Hill, dates from c. 1924 and shows the layout of the course across the rolling Chestfield countryside.

In 1938, millionaire ship owner Jack Billmeir, a native of Whitstable, purchased the club. When he died in 1963 the members purchased the course and buildings, forming the Chestfield Manor Golf Club Limited to own the course, land and building, leasing them to Chestfield Golf Club. The golf club was renamed Chestfield (Whitstable) Golf Club in April 1939.

Changes have been made to the original design over the years with the most recent arising from the rerouting of the A299 Thanet Way. The road was channelled through a purpose-built cut-and-cover tunnel, 400 metres in length. The new layout designed by the internationally renowned golf architect Donald Steel and comprising six new greens, was opened in June 2000.

The Clubhouse dates from the 15th century and has been carefully and lovingly restored to provide an attractive beamed lounge bar, a small but cosy Spike bar and a restaurant overlooking the 18th green and fairway. A purpose-built modern changing room, a well-stocked professional's shop and extensive modern practice facilities has been tastefully added.