Golf clubs in Surrey: 10 of the best places to perfect your swing
PUBLISHED: 13:21 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:21 14 September 2017
Our county's greens and fairways are considered to be among the very best around by some of the world's greatest golfers. Here's a bagful to tick off your scoresheet...
Coming in at number 27 in England in Golf World’s Top 100 Courses, you’re within a monster tee shot of London at The Addington but you’d never imagine it. The celebrated author PG Wodehouse was a member in the inter-war years and his love of the game was illustrated when he signed the preface to Heart of a Goof as PG Wodehouse, c/o the sixth bunker, Addington. The Addington is owned by the Altonwood Group, which also owns Godstone, Surrey National and Woldingham golf clubs, as well as Westerham just over the border in Kent. Visiting golfers are welcome and membership packages are available.
205 Shirley Church Road, Croydon CR0 5AB.
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) 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 are welcome.
Burwood Road, Walton-on-Thames KT12 4BX.
It remains a gentlemen’s secret whether James Bond (well, Daniel Craig) 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. The course is set in 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 are welcome.
The Clubhouse, Tilford GU10 2DD.
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 are welcome.
Golf Club Road, Weybridge KT13 0NL.
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) among 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 the two heathland courses for over a century. Visiting golfers are welcome.
Deans Lane, Walton-on-the-Hill KT20 7TP.
Founded in 1893, Woking is the oldest heathland course in Surrey and was the first of the famous (among 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 are welcome.
Pond Road, Hook Heath, Woking GU22 0JZ.
7. The Secret Surrey Society
While you could easily count Wentworth among the number of this select batch, fame allowed it its own section of this piece. However, Surrey has number of other uber exclusive offerings – let’s put it this way, you won’t be taking the pub society to any of these unless you happen to be very well connected. Beaverbrook, which surrounds the newly opened luxury country house hotel near Leatherhead, has quickly added its name to the must-visit courses for those with the correct contact books. It joins the equally pristine and private, The Wisley near Ripley and Queenwood at Ottershaw. Time to start networking!
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 world famous 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.
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 are welcome.
Stonehill Road, Ottershaw KT16 0EL. Web: foxhills.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 are welcome.
Churt Road, Hindhead GU26 6HX. Web: hindheadgolfclub.co.uk