You arrive at Coombe Hill Golf Club via a rather bland suburban side street.

But bland is the very last way to describe an historic club who are celebrating their centenary with typical style and panache.

Just step into their splendid clubhouse, full of impressive oak-panelled honours boards and welcoming leather armchairs and you are instantly aware of class, character, and achievement.

The membership list could easily have been lifted from the pages of Debretts or Who's Who, headed by the Royal Approval of the Prince of Wales, later to become Edward VIII and the Duke of York, who reigned as George VI after his brother's abdication.

Winston Churchill was an early member and he was joined on the fairways by Herbert Asquith and David Lloyd George.

Prominent writers such as Somerset Maugham and James Bond creator Ian Fleming shared the tees with media magnates Lords Northcliffe, Beaverbrook and Rothermere, while London Palladium impressario Val Parnell introduced American superstars Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye to Coombe Hill's delights. Even today members still play for the Danny Kaye Trophy.

The best-known of today's 600-strong membership, who include many captains of industry and commerce, is comedian Jimmy Tarbuck OBE.

As one of the top celebrity golfers on the international circuit, Tarby has been able to sample the delights of some of the world's finest and most exclusive courses, but he has never been tempted to abandon Coombe Hill's sylvan delights.

"It is just a very special place, both for the wonderful challenge of the course and the marvellous camaraderie of the membership," says Tarbuck.

It is the course, not surprisingly, that is at the heart of everything. Ranked in the United Kingdom's top 100, it was created from Kingston's rolling hills and slopes, just 45 minutes from the centre of London, by one of the founders John Abercromby.

Using just his eye and experience and early 20th Century equipment, Abrecromby used the undulating countryside and magnificnet trees to create a 71-stroke of genius that would stand the test of time for the next 10 decades.

When the course was opened on May 30 2011 the local paper golf correspondent eulogised over "scenes of beauty on every hand...The rhododenrons, so much a feature of the woods, are everywhere ablaze with colour."

As for the golf, he wrote it was: "as sporting and scientific a set of 18 holes as anyone can wish to excel upon."

It's a critique endorsed by Walton's evergreen former Ryder Cup star Neil Coles, who is among an illustrious cast list of former club professionals including Ken Bousfield and Craig Defoy, plus four Open winners Sandy Herd, Arthur Havers, Dick Burton and the flamboyant three-times champion Sir Henry Cotton.

Like all long established families or institutions, however, Coombe Hill have had to withstand moments of true crisis.

The first came in 1930 when would-be housing developers were seen off by an alliance of stalwart members and Malden Council.

Coombe Hill was not left untouched by the Second World War, with several of the greens used to grow greens in aid of the war effort and the course being pock marked by a series of Luftwaffe bombs.

Even Telegraph Cottage, behind the 14th green used as a wartime home and golfing refuge by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, was hit.

The dark humour of the time was underlined by the temporary rule which stated: "A ball moved by enemy action may be replaced as near as possible to where it lay.Or if lost or destroyed it may be dropped, not nearer the hole, without penalty."

The end of the conflict left the club in a sorry state, however. In 1946 they had just 60 members and were losing money.

With a sale seemingly imminent a group of businessmen led by Lou Freedman and Johnny Segal came to the rescue and laid down the ground rules for the club's current status and success.

* Coombe Hill are hosting centenary celebration events virtually every month this year, with the highlights being home and away matches with fellow centenerians Hillside, Lancashire.