Surrey is the premier county in English golf with more golf courses in the Top 100 than any other county. It’s also one of the biggest counties in English golf with 115 golf clubs affiliated to the Surrey Golf Union. The Surrey Ladies’ County Golf Association was founded in 1929, six years after the men formed their golf Union. Nowadays, the women’s governing body looks after the interests of around 7,500 female golfers in 99 clubs.
One of the Home Counties to the west of London, Surrey is fortunate from a golfing perspective to have a swathe of sand running through the county, which was first exploited by Woking Golf Club. This sandy heathland provided free-draining ground for those London golfers who didn’t fancy travelling to the coast or the downs to play golf. These early “stars of sand and heather”, as described by Bernard Darwin, included Woking (1893), New Zealand (1895) and Hankley Common (1896), but golf was played in Surrey much earlier than this.
Golf was probably played on Wimbledon Common in the early 19th century. Records go back to 1864, suggesting that some of the London Scottish Rifle Volunteer Corps, who were posted nearby, met on Wimbledon Common to form the London Scottish Golf Club. Golf then spread to the chalky North Downs of Guildford in 1886 and then to Epsom and then Banstead when heathland golf was still a twinkle in the eye.
Some golfers will wonder why Sunningdale, which has a Berkshire postal address, is listed in Surrey. The reason is simple, Sunningdale Golf Club is affiliated to the Surrey Golf Union and therefore features at the top of the Surrey County rankings.
Our Surrey Best in County golf course rankings were updated in 2015. Click here to read the story.