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Golf courses in Surrey: 10 of the best

PUBLISHED: 15:42 10 June 2013 | UPDATED: 09:29 07 June 2016

Wentworth West

Wentworth West

Archant

With the world’s golfing fanatics focussed on the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth this month, we invited the editor-in-chief of www.top100golfcourses.co.uk, Keith Baxter, to pick his top Surrey courses

Sunningdale (Old)

Ridgemount Road, Sunningdale SL5 9RR: 01344 621681

The Old course at Sunningdale is one of the British Isles’ most aesthetically pleasing inland courses. The emblem of the club is the oak tree, no doubt modelled on the huge specimen tree standing majestically beside the 18th green. It’s incredible to believe that originally the golf course was laid out on barren, open land. Today, many people regard Sunningdale as the perfect golfing venue. Some will wonder why Sunningdale, which has a Berkshire postal address, is listed in Surrey. The reason is simple; the golf club is affiliated to the Surrey Golf Union and straddles the border.

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Sunningdale (New)

Ridgemount Road, Sunningdale SL5 9RR: 01344 621681

Many people visit Sunningdale hell-bent on playing the Old course, but if it’s a real athletic challenge you are after, you will get severely tested on the rugged 6,700-yard, par 70, New. For many years, Jack Nicklaus held the course record with a 67, which was a testament to the technical test it presents. However, in June 2009, in Open Championship final qualifying, England’s Graeme Storm smashed the course record with an amazing eight-under 62, thereby securing his place in the 2009 Open at Turnberry.

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Walton Heath (Old)

Deans Lake, Walton on the Hill KT20 7TP: 01737 812060

There is no salty whiff of sea air, but the course plays and feels like a seaside links. A profusion of heather stripes the edge of the fairways. In the summer, when the heather is in flower, it is an absolute delight to look at - but a real challenge to play out of. The greens are true and fast and the undulations make it tough to read the lines and the pace of putts. This is a course that favours the lower handicap golfer as some of the carries across the heather are quite lengthy and if you don’t hit the fairways, you can often wave goodbye to your ball.

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Wentworth (West)

Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water GU25 4LS: 01344 842201

The most famous of the Surrey heath and heather courses and also the most televised course in Britain. When you step onto the first tee, you will feel an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. It is definitely a place where most golfers would be more than happy to call home and play the monthly medal here for the rest of their lives. The holes weave their way through sprinklings of heather and across gently undulating terrain. This is where you can sense the heritage, taste the glamour and feel special in strangely familiar surroundings.

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St George’s Hill

Golf Club Road, St George’s Hill, Weybridge KT13 0NL: 01932 847758

St George’s Hill is the prettiest of the many heathland courses on the Surrey sand belt and one of the very best. In 1911, a local builder came up with an original idea, to build luxury fairway-side houses. The most notable difference between St George’s Hill and the heathland layouts in this area is the terrain. The land here sweeps and undulates like a rollercoaster and course architect Harry Colt used these dramatic elevation changes superbly in his design. The spectacular panorama from the front of the clubhouse, or the pavilion as it was originally called, totally whets your golfing appetite.

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Queenwood

Stonehill Road Ottershaw KT16 0AQ: 01932 454500

This is the most secretive golf club in the UK. Secrecy is a great marketing ploy and with membership full and a reputed joining fee of £145,000, it’s little wonder that Queenwood is packed full of golf’s high rollers. The Surrey sandbelt has seen precious little golf course development in the last 80 years and Queenwood harks back to the design principles of yesteryear. Queenwood is the only top ranked course in England that I have not yet been played. I’m waiting hopefully for an invite.

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Walton Heath (New)

Deans Lake, Walton on the Hill KT20 7TP: 01737 812060

Both the Old and New courses at Walton Heath are intertwined and have a very similar look and feel. The Old may be tougher, but the New is a demanding course with memorable holes of great variety. The USGA use the New as the 36-hole venue for US Open Championship qualifying, which is testament to the challenge. After a gentle start (the first two holes being pleasant, but straightforward), the New course really starts to show its mettle.

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Addington

205 Shirley Church Road Croydon CR0 5AB: 020 8777 1055

If you’d never visited the Addington and Mr Spock beamed you onto the first tee, you would never believe you were a mere ten miles from the centre of London. It’s an extraordinary heathland golfing paradise, which has remained virtually unchanged since course architect, JF Abercromby, designed it back in 1914 and many believe it’s Abercromby’s finest creation. The course is an idiosyncratic affair, with rickety trestle bridges spanning glorious heathland dells.

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Worplesdon

Heath House Road, Woking GU22 0RA: 01483 472277

One of the most delightful of Surrey’s many heath and heather courses, Worplesdon is arguably the best of the trinity of “Ws” (West Hill and Woking being the other two), all of which virtually border each other. It is set amongst glorious heather, chestnut and pine trees. It’s a real privilege to play this quiet and elegant course where the springy fairways roll gently up and down, flanked by many mature trees. The profusion of heather provides stunning seasonal colour and a real challenge in finding the wayward golf ball. The clubhouse is one of the most pleasant in all the land and very welcoming.

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Hankley Common

The Clubhouse, Tilford, Farnham GU10 2DD: 01252 792493

Situated on the North Downs, in a preservation area, the common at Tilford has ferocious heather and a wide-open and windswept appearance. If there was ever a place where seaside links golf meets inland heathery golf, it’s here at Hankley Common, where there is an overwhelming feeling of spaciousness. If you are looking for a memorable, testing and underrated golf course with outstanding greens, look no further than Hankley Common.

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• Keith Baxter is a member of the International Golf Travel Writers association and has played more than 1,000 different golf courses worldwide.

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Don’t agree?

This is, of course, our expert’s selection of Surrey’s top golf courses. If we’ve missed your favourite, make sure to share it with us at twitter.com/surreylife and facebook.com/surreylife

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