Hankley Common - Surrey - England

Hankley Common Golf Club,
Tilford,
Farnham,
Surrey,
GU10 2DD,
England


  • +44 (0) 1252 792493

  • Iain McColl

  • James Braid, Harry Colt

  • Jonathan Didlick

Hankley Common Golf Club is situated on the North Downs, in a preservation area or to be precise, a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’, home to oak, rowan and the woodlark.

In many ways, Hankley is reminiscent of Walton Heath, which is high praise indeed; the common at Tilford has the same ferocious heather and the same wide-open and windswept appearance as that of the heath at Walton on the Hill. If there was ever a place where seaside links golf meets inland heathery golf, it’s here at Hankley Common.

Golf at Hankley commenced in 1897 with a modest nine-hole course but it remained an innocuous layout until James Braid added a further nine holes in 1922. Many people believe that Hankley Common became a truly great course in 1936, after Harry Colt remodelled it.

There is an overwhelming feeling of spaciousness on this heathland course, so much so that it seems plausible that a second or third course could be intertwined between the existing 18 holes. To put everything into context, the course at Hankley Common occupies 164 acres, but the club actually owns more than 850 acres of perfect heathland. Don’t let this feeling of space lull you into a false sense of security – this is not the place to open your shoulders and let rip. Anything slightly off-line will be swallowed up by bunkers, or even worse, by the thick tangled heather.

Eight new back tees are now in play, adding more than 250 extra yards. Hankley Common now measures an impressive 6,702 yards from the tips. This is a really technically testing golf course. Regional Qualifying for the Open has been held at Hankley Common since 1984 and the club has hosted numerous other important amateur and professional events over the years.

The par threes, especially the 7th and the 11th are enjoyable and challenging, as are the opening and closing holes. Both are tough par fours, measuring well over 400 yards.

So, if you are looking for a memorable, testing and expansive golf course with true greens, look no further than Hankley Common.

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Reviews for Hankley Common

Av. Reviewers Score:

Have played this course on numerous occasions, most recently being last week in less than perfect conditions with grizzly rain for most of the morning.

Still the course delights in any weather, if you are not excited by playing this course then you need to check your pulse as you are possibly dead!

There is so much space here they could fit another 2 18 hole courses in and still not be short of space.

Smooth greens, classy tight cut fairways and sandy subsoil with turf you can hit a driver off if you are capable means you cannot complain about much around here.

Difficult to highlight or bemoan any of the holes over another but if I had to, I would say the second hole (a par 3) is a little bit of an "average" hole and I would have to highlight the par 3 7th hole as one of the best anywhere and the par 4 10th is another great hole.

So many of the holes are a joy to play (too many to list) and the views from just about anywhere on the course make it worth playing on their own.

If you have not played it... take the trip and try to go when the heather is in bloom from late July onwards until early September!

April 13, 2017


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Played Hankley a couple of months ago as a visitor. Good facilities, good food, nice layout - albeit a bit flat but there was a feeling of endless space. We saw some very interesting holes though that required some solid shot making in order to play to handicap. Having played most of the best courses in Surrey, I am a little perplexed at how Hankley can be rated higher than Hindhead who's greens are only be bettered by Sunningdale whilst Queenwood is certainly prettier. I'd most certainly suggest playing here though.

January 05, 2017


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I reckon it has been at least 14 years since I last played Hankley Common and I was keen to go back last month to establish whether or not my original thinking was correct. My feeling was that Hankley was not as good as many others seemed to think and yet I couldn’t put my finger on why… until now.

First off, this was a special visit to Hankley Common and the club was extremely gracious on this lovely warm autumn day. I was privileged to play with Brian Ward and this game heralded a significant bucket-list achievement for our Midlands and North of England Correspondent. We’ll have more to say about that separately, but suffice to mention that this round at Hankley brought up a double-century, which I think is a first.

I don’t understand why Bobby Locke described the course as having a “close resemblance to a seaside links”. Perhaps the trees in those days were young or even non-existent. I don’t think Hankley has any links-like characteristics but I also think it’s unlike any other heathland course in the Surrey/Berks/Hants area.

Hankley Common 7th hole

The topography is actually relatively flat and I couldn’t help but drool over the glorious expanse of heathland that disappeared into the distance around the hill to the east of the magnificent (not flat) one-shot 7th which in my view is Hankley’s best hole, crossing a heathery valley to a raised, two-tiered green.

Hankley Common - 15th hole

The home hole is wonderful too, especially for the second shot that’s a bit of a knee-knocker. I also enjoyed the boomerang-shaped short par four 15th, with its tricky-to-read green. To be honest I didn’t consider any hole poor, I just felt too many were a tad underwhelming.

My notion is that a couple too many fairways run long and straight with relatively few and rather weak looking bunkers, which fail to break the monotony. The greensites, while good enough, are not from the top-drawer and a number of the putting surfaces are flat – I actually found myself reading too much break into putts that simply went dead straight. These things combine to make the course rather less strategic than numerous other heathland courses that are better bunkered and topographically more exciting. Some of these are currently ranked behind Hankley, for example: Liphook, Wentworth East, Woking, Worplesdon and West Hill.

Hankley Common's bridle paths

I love the abundance of heather and, oddly, the bridle paths that flank many holes – I didn’t remember these sandy tracks from my previous visits. On this glorious autumn day these bridle ways were being enjoyed as canter tracks and let’s be honest, these pathways form rather formidable sandy hazards for wayward golfers as the horses neglect to rake them.

The most enjoyable element of Hankley Common for me is the majesty of the setting, which is quiet and genteel in the classical English mould. If I lived locally I’d apply for membership (not that they’d want me now) and I’d then hassle the committee to engage an architect (with an emphasis on light tough) to draw up a bunkering masterplan, which would elevate this sleeping beauty to an entirely different level. In fact, I’d take them to Stoneham and show them what good, modern-build (but classically designed) bunkering looks like.

I’m being magnanimous in awarding Hankley a 5-ball rating. Probably 4.5 is about right. 4 would be too harsh for my karma. Keith Baxter

November 20, 2016


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Dave Rage
November 28, 2016

There are some fair comments in this review, although I think the reviewer allows his dislike of the bunkering to bias him against the overall flow and subtle characteristics of the course layout as a whole. He makes a very valid point when drawing attention to what Stoneham has achieved and in fact Hankley could be vastly improved it it were to bring its tees, greens and general conditioning up to the standards of Ferndown, Berkshire, Holinwell amongst others. It's a fantastic track and the setting is hard to beat, it has the potential to be one of the elite heathland courses in the British Isles.

I really enjoyed Hankley when i played on the 18th November, and i could happily play golf here for the rest of my life, but i just felt like it was missing something for me.Having played Notts, Sherwood, Alwoodley, West Hill and Moortown (similar Courses) this year. I preferred all of them. Maybe its because the course was so open and seemed to lacking trees to frame holesThere is a number of memorable holes @ Hankley, the par 5's in particular are all excellent.If given the opportunity its well worth a visit (the food was also exceptional).
November 20, 2015


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Mark
April 11, 2016
This is such a silly review. I cannot claim to have played any of the above courses except West Hill where I spent many happy years as a junior. Now, having started playing golf after a 35 sabbatical, I find myself as a fortuitous member at Hankley Common. The comment "the course was so open and seemed lacking in trees to frame the holes" is just ridiculous. IT'S A HEATHLAND! Oliver Rackham wrote "Heaths are clearly the product of human activities and need to be managed as heathland; if neglected they turn to woodland" If you want to play a course with plenty of trees and the odd bit of heather, there are plenty to choose from. Hankley is one of the last true remaining heathland courses you will find in the uk. I recently played at Walton Heath and although I would never miss a days golf there, I realise how special Hankley is when it comes to heather. It's all but gone at Walton Heath! In recent years Hankley has taken down thousands of tree to promote heather growth. I for one would not care if I never saw another tree on Hankley Common. You don't see them on links courses and you don't need them on heathlands either.
Davy McDonut
May 16, 2016
I'm not a big fan of trees, in fact Hankley could be improved tremendously if they chopped them all down and just installed a few water features. Maybe the fishermans lake to the left of the second hole could be extended to create an island green and a moat surrounding the eighteenth would make for an exciting finish. The views however are fantastic , just like my native Scotland.
Sam Mendoza
November 21, 2016

Why is it a silly review? I know that Hankley has removed a lot of the trees to return it to its original state, as has Moortown. But that doesn't mean its for the better in everyones opinion.

The golf course just didnt wow me thats all, but i still gave it a very good review.

b101
January 08, 2017

The idea of having water features intrude on an excellent heathland course is bizarre - they wouldn't fit at all and would ruin the experience. See the 16th at Camberley Heath for a similar example of a hole that just doesn't complement the rest of the experience. As for the original review, whilst the course is open, it's certainly not wide enough that you can spray it wherever you want. The trees on the 6th, 8th, 10th and 14th have certainly all seen a visit from me to retrieve an errant drive, so they're definitely in play!

I played Hankley Common on Friday 30th October and thoroughly enjoyed the course. It is spread out over a huge piece of land which means that you have a lovely feeling of space. Even though it took a few holes to many to get going the course is great from the get go. There are a number of stand out holes for me 7, 13, 14, 17 and 18 are the best holes, with 18 being one of the best finishing holes I have ever played.the course maintenance was brilliant and even though the greens had been recently treated they still ran fast and true.I would definitely recommend playing the course.
November 02, 2015


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The fourth and last stop on our Hampshire/ Surrey border tour brings us to Hankley common, the others being Blackmoor, Hindhead and Liphook. On balance these courses offer the best value/quality ratio in the whole of the British Isles for a golf tour and if you throw in a bonus trip to Hayling for a spot of Links Golf you have the makings of the best Golf trip money can buy in these Isles. Playing Hankley introduces you to a landscape that is truly unique. The earth here has never felt the brutality of the till or plough and the contoured Hankley Common Golf Course - Photo by reviewerlandscape stretches in all directions for mile upon mile of heath and forest. From a distance you can just make out the there is a golf course here swallowed up as it seems by the glorious situation. This majestic course is in harmony with its surroundings like few others. Now the club itself is a welcoming and fine place to be. The course can be played from a varying selection of tees. Choose wisely. The purple tees are for experts only and even then you had better have brought your A Game. A stern test and they will also add about 1000 yards of walking on top of the 6800 yards of the course. The forward tees may be a better bet if you want to really enjoy the outing and still present a stiff test. From the First hole to the last your adventure on the common will have more than a few thrills and spills as you venture to all four corners of the property. It is a very pretty course that is a fair and exhilarating test. If only the greens were as true as Hindhead’s, as undulating as Blackmoor and as quick as Liphook. If they were I would be handing out a rare 6 ball. They are not bad, they are just not as good as everything else here. I’m sure they will be. One day. JCB LAY
August 04, 2015


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Played 4/3/15 hankley common GC is a must play course,everything about the club is how a good club should be.As a visitor you are treated by staff and members with a supreme friendliness..onto the course,I've played Walton Heath old a few times,& I know the two have been compared.Whilst WH is fabulous there's something about HC that,in my opinion,just gives it the edge.Maybe it just the ambience of the whole set up,off the tees of the day it's a joy to play,pleasing on the eye.i really can't praise HC too highly,if you get the chance to play HC,don't hesitate
March 13, 2015


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Just a pleasure to play. Not sure there is a more aesthetic course, when the heather is out. Some great holes too and in great condition. An absolute joy to play. Played 70+ of B&I top 100 and this is right up there
October 06, 2014


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This course is on a superb piece of land. A heathland course, and condition of heather is excellent - a fair hazard, but can usually find the ball. Good on many criteria - variety of shots, generally fair for medium shots and poor shots. Overall I thought it was a good course but could be better - somehow much of the layout did not look especially interesting, and several holes looked fairly similar. Some of the course is quite flat, but this could be handled by shaped fairways, and varied green and surround designs. Some excellent holes - in my view 7, 11, 13, 18 were among the best. Condition was generally good and nice clubhouse. When we booked we were told we could start at Midday, but weren`t told this would be part of a roll up arrangement with a lot of members starting at same time. This reflects a frequent situation when booking at golf clubs whereby you not fully informed of the situation with regard to condition of course, starting arrangements etc., even if you are paying quite a large green fee. Luckily for us some groups of members let us start in front of them
July 05, 2013


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Raindog
January 13, 2014
Generally agree with these comments,great location, but design a bit dull, don't get me wrong I would never miss a days golf here, but, this is Hankley Common, with this location it should rival Sunningdale etc.. The bunkering is very committee orientated rather than challenging the expert golfer, typically there to punish a bad shot rather than challenging the golfer to hit a great shot. Still always a great walk.
Very nice indeed….of all of the 5-ball rankings I have given courses, this is one of the closest to a 6-ball so far. This is a great course, a great club and has so much going for it – plus a warm welcome is evident from start to finish for visitors. The opening holes are very pleasing on the eye; the 1st tee is perfectly placed just 30 yards from the pro-shop and 30 yards from the clubhouse and is a cracking par-4 of around 420 yards. The 2nd is the shortest par-3 on the course and like many holes is en-circled by mature trees. A tip on the 3rd , use the purple tee with great consideration – it adds 80 yards to this par-4! The position of the 4th green completes a circle back to the clubhouse from the start of the round, which is a nice touch especially if you fancy a second bacon roll! The course starts to open out from the 5th, a straight away par-4 and then the first par-5 at the 6th which is pretty tough, with the second half of the hole all uphill. The run of four holes from the 10th move away from the tree-lined avenues to the open part of the heath, here you can see the huge amount of land that the course is part of – super holes. Back into the trees at the 14th to start a great set of finishing holes. A short par-4 at the 15th is a very clever hole, about 320 yards that turns left but slopes to the right – it is all about the position off of the tee here. The last two holes cover about 850 yards (both par-4’s) and if you need a par par finish, good luck as the course will give you nothing – the 17th is similar to the 15th but longer and the 18th has a fairly long approach over some wasteland just short of the green. I recommend a visit to Hankley Common highly and I am still considering why I cannot go to a 6-ball ranking – if I am being picky, then maybe one more par-5 on the back 9; there certainly is plenty of land for it...
August 08, 2012


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