The History of Royal Homburger Golf Club 1899 e.V.
Known as “Home of Golf in Germany”, RHGC is the third oldest golf club in the country. The history of the Club is unique. In the late 19th century, in particular during the years after 1888, the town of Homburg, located about 25 kms from Frankfurt, in the center of Germany, and famous for its mild summer climate and natural spring waters, was privileged to be the summer residence of the German Emperor (Kaiser) and his family. The name changed to Bad Homburg only in 1912, the “Bad” (Spa) was granted by the Kaiser.
During these years, after their Parliament went into recess, members of the British Royal Family and, amongst others, also the family of the Russian Csar spent considerable time in this town. Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, son of Queen Victoria and later Edward VII, King of Great Britain and Ireland, the Great-Grandfather of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by family members, their friends from the Royal Families of Japan, Siam, Greece and Germany, spent, over a period covering more than 30 years, part of their summer in Homburg. Thus The Prince of Wales enjoyed an extensive and intimate relationship with the town.
In 1889 the English guests approached the town council with the request to build a golf course in the town’s centrally located and extensive park. After approval was received, the golf course was built by Major General R.W. Duff, who, ten years later, became the Honorary Secretary of the club when it was founded in 1899.
The first club president was Field Marshall, His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge, a cousin of Queen Victoria. His Majesty King Edward VII was the first Honorary Member. The club’s board consisted either of members of the Royal Family, high ranking representatives of the English visitors or, to a lesser degree, representatives of the German Royal Family. The British Ambassador Sir Frank Cavendish Lascelles was a founding member, as was Sir John Brunner (British chemical industrialist – forerunner of ICI – and Member of Parliament). Sir John donated one of the Golden Cup Trophies, others are the “Ladies Challenge Cup” and the “Macomber Cup” (a team trophy), which are to this day awarded as prizes during the annual HGC (now RHGC) competitions.
In May 1907 the German Golf Association was founded, the HGC was one of the 8 founding members.
Thus the course was built and the club founded completely on English initiative, as a direct result of the described long standing relationship between the town and the British Royal Family of the time, specifically the Prince of Wales, later H. M. King Edward VII. Named “Old Course”, and smaller than originally built, this course is still in existence. It is Germany’s oldest, one of two courses belonging to RHGC, and still available for use by the general public.
In 1981 the 18-hole “New Course” was built on the slopes of the Taunus Mountains. The new clubhouse, which opened in 2009, welcomes members and visitors, who are most welcome, with all the usual facilities, fine dining and, from its terrace, fabulous views of the Taunus. The Club now offers a Pitch-and-Putt course for the short game and an attractive and somehow challenging 18-hole course. Both are located in park-like environments.
In recognition of this historical “Royal” relationship, and to commemorate the English influence in its founding process the Club in November 2012 applied to the relevant English authorities for the right to use the title “Royal” in its name. In April 2013 the Club was advised by the Cabinet Office that Her Majesty The Queen has favoured our club with this singular privilege,
Only about 60 Golf Clubs worldwide enjoy this right. The Board and the members are therefore proud that with effect from April 2013 their club became known as The Royal Homburger Golf Club 1899 eV. The obligations and expectations associated with such an honour will be always respected.