The residence for six Archbishops of Canterbury between 1805 and 1883, the grand old manor house at Addington Palace is now a wedding venue, corporate function centre and extensive health club, complete with a number of accommodation units. Within the grounds of the Palace’s large estate, a golf course was laid out by J.H. Taylor and Fred Hawtree for the newly formed golf club back in 1931.
Today, the course extends to just over 6,400 yards, playing to a par of 71, with fairways laid out over a rolling landscape. The front nine appears a little tighter as many of the holes are lined with birch, oak and fir trees whilst the back nine has more of an open parkland feel to it.
The 439-yard uphill 2nd (“Gladings Folly”) is deemed the most difficult hole on the front nine, doglegging uphill right to the green, whilst the 438-yard 10th (“Lime Tree”) attracts the lowest stroke index on the back nine, again playing uphill to a green that’s heavily bunkered on the right.
Signature hole status on the course is accorded to “Cedar Tree,” the 388-yard 14th, which doglegs right to the target. An accurate drive is required to find the flat portion of the fairway on this hole before playing an approach to the heavily contoured green.
Hole 3 is named after four time-Open winner Bobby Locke, who often based himself here when he was competing in the British Isles. A renowned brilliant putter in his day, the South African would surely have approved the excellent greens that are in play today at Addington Palace.
A hidden gem, given it's lowly place in the Surrey rankings. Greens and greens surrounds immaculate, as well-conditioned as you could hope for at this time of year. Some special holes, 3 and 7 both beautiful and interesting in the extreme. The greens have real interest, and would be a handful from above the hole in summer.
Perhaps best of all, there is somehow, on the edge of Croydon, a real sense of tranquility here. It's true that there are some hikes green to tee (11 to 12 stood out), that the ludicrous ornamental pond on 12 needs ripping out, and that there is the slightest sense of the course petering out, with the slightly nondescript 17, and a very reachable par 5 at 18. That said, the front 9 is lovely, there is tons of good work going on (tree clearance etc) and the conditioning is remarkable.
Firm, fast greens is always the main selling point and you have to give Addington Palace their dues.
The course is challenging and the layout provides a good test but the problem, and the reason I’ve never really enjoyed playing here, is that many of the green complexes are just too severe and when pins are set in the wrong place, e.g just below the MacKenzie slope, it becomes unplayable and feels a little “Mickey Mouse”. The greens are the prize possession and so would never be messed with, but for me reducing severity of slope on 3, 6, 7, 10 and 13 would do a lot for the playability of the course.
Addington Palace demonstrates the remarkable depth of Surrey golf courses. It is ranked on this site as only the 36th best in the county, however it is good and well worth spending a day to enjoy. It’s recent history is quite fascinating, and the historic Palace provides a wonderful backdrop for golf.
The front nine is very hilly as it meanders through a wooded area from which has been created an exceptional collection of par4s. The stretch from holes 3 to 6 is quite outstanding and holes 8 and 9 (the last of which is a par5) open out to a joyful downhill romp back to the clubhouse.
The back nine is more traditional parkland fare, starting with a long uphill par4 and then a downhill hole of the same length. A scenic par3 follows where you play from a raised tee over an ornate fountain, before a long straight par5 only reachable in two by the very best. And the pace never lets up, with the 15th, a risk-and-reward par4 the best of the later holes.
The putting green, surrounded on all side by former stables and a hayloft belonging to the Palace, sets the tone for some excellent fast greens, and the tees, fairways and bunkers are also in good order. It seems incredible that a good-sized golf course can be fitted into such a crowded populated area, but the trees manage to create a nicely secluded site and fabulous location in which to play the game.
I have played Addington Palace, like the neighbouring Addington, twice. However, my first time came when only 12 holes were open. So, on a boiling August day, with a good mate of mine, we headed out onto the grounds of the grand palace for a game.
I feel like Addington Palace is overshadowed by the Addington greatly. One of the problems this course has is that the simple architecture isn't on a par with the great setting. While it isn't awful, it almost certainly isn't a match for the Addington's high quality design (which I believe will improve after the renovations will bed in in a few years time).
Really, you don't see the best of the Palace until hole 3. This is a lovely hole down the hill from the tee, then shockingly narrow uphill to the green. I nearly hit a ball over the side of the hill on the right but it stopped just over the edge of the path. The exciting and inspiring terrain continues for next five or six holes, with the highlights being the lovely short par four fifth (it reminds me a little of more heavily wooded Surrey courses), and the beautiful 7th.
It's a shame there wasn't as much of that exciting woodland/heathland stretch afterwards. The 10th is a cracking uphill par four with a great green site, and holes 12 through to 16 is a nice stretch.
So, with these great factors in mind, why do I score it just four balls? Consider this a generous score, there isn't much wrong with this course. Just some poor fairway condition (although understandable), and a few weak holes, especially 17 and 18, let it down a little. It would be highly rated with more exciting design and a few more interesting holes, but very solid indeed and a lovely setting.
Really enjoy this course. Condition is fantastic and you can see the hard work from the green keepers paying off. Hard to believe this course is minutes from Croydon centre.
Years ago The Addington (Next door) was the better course but now Addington Palace is by far a better course.
Get down and give it a go you will not be disappointed
Considering the level of rain the course was immaculate, greens were very fast and true, fairways were excellent and mostly dry. The course is very undulating with many holes that would be considered 'signature', practice facilities include a huge putting green, chipping area, nets and a pitching area. Would highly recommend for winter golf.
Played the course today with 3 guests, there was also a society playing today. The course was so well managed we had a 3 1/2 hour 4 ball. The front 9 holes are tighter than the back nine, with some stunning views. The course is so well presented, the greens are amazing, and its only March. Friendly clubhouse with fairly priced food and drinks. The chefs special was fantastic, and the breakfast really well presented.Definitely a must for a GOLF lover.