10 of the best golf clubs in Surrey
PUBLISHED: 09:39 14 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:50 14 August 2016
© Mark Chivers
From royal club members to the world's greatest golfers, Surrey's greens and fairways continue to be considered among the very best around. Here's a bagful to tick off your scoresheet (for some, you'll need to have the right friends!)
While history tells it rather differently, it’s easy to wonder whether it wasn’t in fact balls bounding down the fairways (or maybe across water hazards would be more appropriate...) at Burhill that inspired Barnes Wallis’ eureka ‘Bouncing Bomb’ moment. Either way, it was here that the scientist’s idea formed following The Ministry of Aircraft Production’s requisitioning of the club in 1940. Things are a little more relaxed these days, with two 18-hole courses settled among leafy parkland. Visiting golfers welcome.
Burwood Road, Walton-on-Thames KT12 4BX
Tel: 01932 227345 Web: burhillgolf-club.co.uk
One of the most overheard comments by golfing fanatic foodies at the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, which are held at the Foxhills resort each year, is: “well, we’re going to have to come back for a round or two now, aren’t we?” It’s no real surprise, as the club’s two 18-hole Championship courses – Longcross and Bernard Hunt – are ranked among the best in England. There’s also the nine-hole Manor course for those looking to get back to the terrace for a cheeky sundowner in the evening. Visiting golfers welcome.
Stonehill Road, Ottershaw KT16 0EL
Tel: 01932 704465 Web: foxhills.co.uk
It remains a gentlemen’s secret whether James Bond played a round or two at Hankley Common while Skyfall was filmed next door, but it was another JB that encouraged the courses expansion to a full 18-holes in 1922. James Braid advised on the addition to the course, which was first opened as a nine-holer in 1897, and the place hasn’t looked back since. While secret agents may be among the less likely spots during a round, it’s a scenic area classed as a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ so look out for rare Dartford Warblers and the like if you’re finding ‘birdies’ hard to come by. Visiting golfers welcome.
The Clubhouse, Tilford GU10 2DD
Tel: 01252 792493 Web: hankley.co.uk
Founded in 1904, by a certain Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (yup, that one) and a small group of golfing enthusiast friends, Hindhead Golf Club is among the best of Britain’s heathland courses. Conan Doyle later even encouraged David Lloyd George (the British Prime Minister from 1916-22) to move to Hindhead in 1921 – he was named an honorary life member and apparently known for his fast pace of play around the 18-holes. Visiting golfers welcome.
Churt Road, Hindhead GU26 6HX
Tel: 01428 604614 Web: hindheadgolfclub.co.uk
Along with The Wisley, Queenwood is among the most secretive of places – although the new luxury Beaverbrook resort near Leatherhead could be set to challenge their mantle. No one but the exclusive members list really knows what happens behind this club’s closed doors, but joining fees are rumoured to be in the ‘top-end Aston Martin’ bracket – and even then it’s only if you happen to receive an invite. Invitation-only members’ club.
Stonehill Road, Ottershaw KT16 0AQ
Tel: 01932 454500 Web: queenwood.co.uk
ST GEORGE’S HILL
Something of a trendsetter, St George’s Hill was the first of the mixed golf course/private estate developments, with luxury houses a hooked shot away from the fairways. WG Tarrant, a local builder, was the man who spotted the opportunity and St George’s Hill was ready for play in October 1913. With the spectacular clubhouse at the highest point and three loops of nine-holes originally designed by Harry Colt, the most prolific golf architect of his generation, it’s a golfing gem. Visiting golfers welcome.
Golf Club Road, Weybridge KT13 0NL
Tel: 01932 847758 Web: stgeorgeshillgolfclub.co.uk
Walton on the Hill
One of the world’s most prestigious golf venues, no other club in England has been honoured with a reigning monarch as captain (King Edward VIII) and included four British Prime Ministers (Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Arthur Balfour and Winston Churchill) amongst its members. It’s not just ‘high society’ though; the world’s top players – and many more casual hobbyists - have also enjoyed the challenges of their two heathland courses (The Old Course, opening in 1904, and The New Course, opened as recently as 1907...) for over a century. Visiting golfers welcome.
Deans Lane, Walton on the Hill KT20 7TP
Tel: 01737 812380 Web: waltonheath.com
Found at the heart of the Wentworth Estate, which is easily among the most expensive private estates in the country, it was probably only a matter of time before membership became even more exclusive as occurred at the start of 2016. It’s the West Course that it’s best known for, however, having hosted two of golf’s most prestigious championships – the World Matchplay between 1964 and 2007, and the PGA Championship since 1984. Invitation-only members’ club.
Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water GU25 4LS
Tel: 01344 842201 Web: wentworthclub.com
Founded in 1893, Woking is the oldest heathland course in Surrey and was the first of famous (amongst golfers at least) “Three Ws” (West Hill and Worplesdon are the other two). It’s a picturesque place, with an old colonial-style club house. The club was established by a group of London barristers, who were members of the Inner and Middle Temple, and the course was built on land leased from the Necropolis Company. Visiting golfers welcome.
Pond Road, Hook Heath, Woking GU22 0JZ
Tel: 01483 760053 Web: wokinggolfclub.co.uk
Most Surrey Life readers will be fairly well acquainted with what’s on offer at RHS Garden Wisley, but what you may have missed is that a quick chip over a fence and you’re in one of the country’s most exclusive golf clubs (you may have spotted The Wisley’s occasional appearances in our social section, of course, with one of their lavish charity bashes). The club boasts three top class loops of nine holes and a Lutyens inspired clubhouse. Invitation-only members’ club.
Mill Lane, Ripley GU23 6QU
Tel: 01483 211022 Web: thewisley.com