Walton Heath (New) - Surrey - England

Walton Heath Golf Club,
Deans Lane,
Walton on the Hill,
Surrey,
KT20 7TP,
England


  • +44 (0) 1737 812380

  • Stuart Christie

  • Herbert Fowler

  • Simon Peaford


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Walton Heath (New)

The New course at Walton Heath Golf Club was designed by Herbert Fowler and opened for play in 1907 as a nine-hole layout. Fowler extended it to 18 holes in 1913.

Both courses (Old and New) are intertwined and have a very similar look and feel. The Old is tougher and a marginally better test, although the New is a demanding course with memorable holes of great variety; taking the two courses together can only be described as a real treat.

After a gentle start (the first two holes being pleasant, but straightforward), the New course really starts to show its mettle. The heather comes into play and the holes progressively become more challenging. There are six par fours measuring over 400 yards in length; the stroke index 1 is a massive 469 yards from the white tees.

Finish of the drive. James Braid on his 80th Birthday from James Braid by Bernard DarwinIt would be remiss not to mention James Braid when writing about Walton Heath. Braid loved the Heath; he was the club professional from 1904 to 1950. For much of his life, he lived at Walton on the Hill, close to his beloved golf courses. He proudly called his house Earlsferry after his birthplace in the Kingdom of Fife.

Bernard Darwin wrote the Biography of James Braid and nobody was better qualified to perform this task. After all, Darwin knew him for more than 50 years. In the early 20th century, Walton Heath had a decidedly political atmosphere. Lord Riddle was an authority at Walton Heath and probably introduced Lloyd George, Winston Churchill and Arthur Balfour to the Heath. In Braid’s Biography, Darwin refers to a speech made by Sir Fredrick Hamilton at Braid’s 80th birthday celebration. Hamilton, quoting Winston Churchill, is said to have declared that golf “seemed a good game for conversation”. Braid and Hamilton regarded Churchill as the inventor of “Greensomes”. The actual inventor of greensomes seems a mystery as Darwin commented: “I may add that whoever else did invent it, his name, like that of the last Laird of Ravenswood, is ‘lost for evermo’.”

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Reviews for Walton Heath (New)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Both courses at Walton Heath Golf Club are intertwined and have a very similar look and feel. The Old is tougher, although the New is a demanding course with memorable holes of great variety. Rating: 4.35 out of 6

This is heathland terrain in the purest sense. At Walton Heath, there’s a vastness to the ground that both courses cover. It’s an immense wide open space. On some parts of the course you must be able to see about twelve other holes in all directions. Added to this, the fairways here run firm and fast, they had a lovely scorched colour when I played here in July and were playing very links-like. The heather topped bunkers are also excellent, very well positioned so that they enter your thought process for practically every shot. The greens too are smooth, fair and fast.

Walton Heath (New) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

I’ve only played the New Course so I can’t compare it to the Old, but the New is far from easy. It's a purist’s course, one for the shot makers and you have to be on top of your game and put the ball in the right positions to score well. My driving was a little crooked to say the least and I found the heather to be tortuous, there’s masses of it to suck up those wayward shots. In the depth of Summer, it’s very thick and provides a severe punishment.

One of the negatives for me was that there's no framing of the course, in other words, it's a large expanse of very flat land and there's no scenery to take your eye other than the sparse heathland landscape that lies in front of you. It's really quite a desolate location, something I thought I would really enjoy, but looking back on my round there are relatively few holes I can fully recall.

Walton Heath (New) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

It’s the subtleties at Walton Heath that people will fall in love with, the shots that the course demands you to play and the gentle undulations in the greens that keep you guessing. My taste for golf is maybe a little too unrefined for Walton Heath - I still like a bit of eye candy.

Golf at Walton Heath is as close to seaside links that you’ll get whilst playing inland, particularly surprising given its proximity to London, but seaside links offers all of the same positive features whilst providing that aroma of salty sea air, the sound of seagulls, dune landscapes and sea views.

Overall, Walton Heath New is a course that’s worth playing, but at £150 for the standard green fee, it’s a price based upon its history, reputation and the stern test you'll receive rather than a course that's going to captivate you with its beauty.

September 18, 2017


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Is this the best golf club in the South East ?

If it is not, it must be a very, very close race with Sunningdale. We played both courses at Walton Heath in what must be very close to their best condition, two days after the U.S. Open Qualifying in June and they played magnificently, being testing but not at all unfair.

As a visitor to this site you may use ranking as a basis for picking which courses to play. In that case my view is that you risk making a serious mistake of omission if you decide to skip the New Course at Walton Heath.

Having played both courses with the New in the morning and the Old after lunch, I cannot see the disparity in ranking (78th and 28th respectively) to be justified and the recommendation must be the same as for Sunningdale: make a whole day out of it and play both courses.

Some other reviewers have commented that the first two holes are too easy. Personally, I much prefer the easier start on the New Course: driveable par-4 followed by short par-3 to the more difficult one on the Old Course: long par 3 followed by long par 4. I know that I have Harry Colt on my side of that argument...at least in general.

Finally, when the club and its members manage to use influence and financial resources to sort out the crossing of the very busy road in the beginning and persuade those who need persuading that resurfacing the M25 with a quieter surface is in the general interest, the non-golfing part of the experience will improve significantly.

August 09, 2017


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Walton Heath provides a 36 hole offering the equal to Sunningdale, including, in my view, minimal difference in quality between the 2 courses on the “resort”, including similar length off the whites. The New offers pretty much what the Old does but has a slightly more open feel to it, which I personally enjoy ie heathland vs parkland. World class holes include 3, 5, beautiful and tough, 9 (although the trees encroach on the eye line) 11 and 13. The finishing hole is also very strong.

May 31, 2017


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Walton Heath’s two courses, both originally laid out by Herbert Fowler, intertwine gracefully and whilst the Old is clearly the superior of the two the New is the more playable.

Walton Heath is not without flaws but these are easily forgotten. The New suffers from a stuttering start too but kicks into gear from the fifth although it also concludes in a less than satisfactory manner for my taste. The drone of the M25 towards the top end of the heathland, which caused some significant alterations to the Old course when constructed, is a minor irritation.

As you would expect there are some brilliant green locations; some are natural extensions of fairways whilst others are more dramatic. It’s not easy to single out individual holes because both courses work so well as collectives. However, the fifth on the New is of an extremely high quality.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

May 11, 2017


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I had the pleasure of returning to Walton Heath's new course today, ten years on from my last visit. Playing on a warm June afternoon, the condition and layout of the course was fabulous. It plays much differently to the west surrey heathland courses as it seems to play on much harder and faster turf, giving a links type feel to many of the holes. The expanse of the land and the exposed nature of the heathland brings the wind in to play on most holes, meaning precision off the tee and conservative course management is imperative for low scoring. There are ample opportunities for birdies and pars, with a number of short par 4’s and reachable par 5’s, but you must take those opportunities when you can, as the longer and tighter par 4’s and testing par 3’s will be quick to punish the inevitable lose shots. Straying off the fairway is invariably met with deep thick heather and the well placed bunkers are keen to swallow any misjudged approach shots. As soon as I finished I wished I could go out again and make good my mistakes, as it feels like a very scoreable track. It’s clear to see why this venue is regularly chosen to host high profile events, such as the US Open qualifying and British Seniors, as it’s a unique, classy, interesting and fair test of golf.
June 26, 2015


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After a lovely round on the Old course on the 1st of June we basically had the New Course completely to ourselves for a quick and fun follow up to the big brother running through the same property. Even so there couldn’t be more contrast, while the Old Course start is tough as nails the New Course starts as gentle as ever with a few short holes. While certainly not the case, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a pitch and putt in comparison. While the first hole is drivable with a 3 wood the second was just a wedge to a nicely guarded green. The course builds slowly but certainly has one fun hole after another in the beginning. I’d imagine that many of the members might even like it more, depending on ability levels. For us it was the perfect follow up as the sun was setting on a perfect evening. Not as ominous as its big brother but a perfect fun and gentle walk with some excellent holes. Of course there were some really tough holes out there but comparing to the Old Course we felt the course was perhaps more playable for all ability levels.
October 06, 2014


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I had the great pleasure of playing Walton Heath New the day after US Open Qualifying last week. The course had endured 12 hours of continuous rain just prior to my tee-time but you would not have known it walking the course. Walton Heath (New) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe greens were still extremely quick and must have been lightening fast for the Pros the day before. Having acquainted myself with the Old Course three years earlier I found the New to be not quite as tough but equally enjoyable. The course has three gentle Par 4’s, with holes 1 and 4 offering you the chance of a fast start and 17 giving some respite towards the end. This is balanced with a handful of long challenging holes, in particular nos.5, 9, 12 and 14. There are only three Par 3’s but all are attractive and varied in length and character. The ever present heather and well placed bunkers encourage caution from the tee at times and as I found to my cost just hitting the big greens does not guarantee a two putt. I spoke to the Chairman of Greens afterwards and was told that the course continues to move forward with improvements to drainage and heather regeneration. On my last visit the heather was suffering somewhat due a beetle infestation but the problem was swiftly addressed and the improvement is noticeable. Summing up - an attractive and challenging round of golf. Well worth a visit. Brian W
June 07, 2013


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Walton Heath New is a fine course worthy of its ranking. After a welcomingly gentle introduction for the first three or four holes the course starts to show its teeth. Driving lines are tricky for the first timer with hard summer fairways giving up easy distance but making choice of driving line, and adherence to it, all the more important. Risk and reward Walton Heath (New) Golf Course - photo by revieweroptions are present throughout, although the first-timer will be best served erring on the side of caution, especially with bunkers that ask strategic questions rather than provide window dressing. Pin placements in the corner of any green make the approach more fraught for those aiming at flags especially on holes such as the 11th with a flag behind its heather-topped bunker combined with the steep bank on its far side. However, no golfer should complain about the quality of the greens when chipping back on or holing out. They are maintained to the same quality as the Old course at Walton Heath: fast, true and for the most part without severe breaks. The green surrounds also offer various challenges and shot choices. The New course also benefits from being slightly further away from the M25 for those who are put off by traffic noise. In summary, a very good course, of comparable quality to Walton Heath old, although less challenging and more fun to play.
August 10, 2011


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Just as good an experience as playing the other course. Walton Heath is hard to beat, must drive it straight, with some beautiful holes and bunkering. Has a Links feel to it, plays like one when hot and dry.
July 24, 2011


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I have been waiting to play Walton Heath for some time and finally played the new course on friday. The welcome at the clubhouse was fantastic, all the staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us. The club house itself was very nice in a traditional golf club way. However, although the condition of the course was very good i was very disappointed with the course as a test of golf. Quite a few of the holes are very short (280 par 4's) and although 'rough' is a challenge it is not hard to make a good recovery. I would have expected a number of memorable holes but i am struggling to think of any. Perhaps the Old course is better as many reports suggest, however as the courses are inter twinned i doubt if it is vastly different and for me to return it would have to much much better. I have played many courses with a lesser rating which are much more fun and interesting to play (and also much cheaper). I was so looking forward to playing Walton Heath, but will not be going back.
November 08, 2010


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Hugh
November 08, 2010
I can understand where you are coming from, but both courses at Walton should ideally be played in the late summer when the heather is in bloom, the fairways are running hard and fast and the greens are like glass. Granted it's an easy start and Walton is not as pretty as many of the other Surrey heathland courses, but Walton is the truest heathland course of them all.
Jonny B
February 01, 2012
I am sorry, but I couldn't disagree with this comment more. There is 1 par 4 on the New that is below 380 yards and the rough and heather is very penal. Any course that has a par 72 and standard scratch of 75 is a serious test!