Sundridge Park Golf Club

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The Butten Boys

Sundridge Park was once home to an elite team of British pros who were brought together in the early 60s.

Ernest Butten, an innovator and entrepeneur, had not taken up golf until the age of 60, but within a few years he had got his handicap down to a very respectable six. He believed that anything was possible, if you had the right training and were given the time and facilities to improve.

In 1963 he decided to create an elite squad of the four players who showed the most potential. And so the 'Butten Boys' were born. Tommy Horton, Tony Martin, Jim McAlister and Sandy Wilson made up the 'A' team and they had an exclusive practice ground created for them.

Progress was slow, however, and Horton was then joined by Brian Barnes, Iain Clark, Mike Ingham and Alan Ibberson. The arrangement lasted for four years, but the continued lack of success brought it to a premature end.

The overgrown remains of the practice grounds, complete with the old metal bag stands, still exist in the woods behind the 8th tee on the West.

In 2014 the European Tour hosted a 50th Anniversary Reunion dinner in recognition of their place in golfing history. See report.

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