Set out on rolling parkland between the villages of Chobham and Bisley, the tree-lined course at Chobham Golf Club is a mid-1990s design by Peter Alliss and Clive Clark, who worked in partnership on a number of new course projects around that time, including Brocket Hall in Hertfordshire and the Manor House in Wiltshire.
Constructed to championship standards with USGA-specification greens, the course is routed around six sparkling lakes and half the fairways on the property weave their way around these attractive water hazards. Playing to a par of 69, the layout features six par threes and three par fives, with an overall length of just under 5,900 yards.
Notable holes include the par four 5th (which doglegs slightly left to a green that’s guarded in front by a couple of trees, demanding an aerial approach shot), the par five 6th (with water menacing on the right of the fairway and cross bunkers to be negotiated close to the green), and the 147-yard 7th, which is the shortest of all the par threes.
On the back nine, the 425-yard 12th hole is the third of three consecutive par fours played at the start of the inward half and it’s by far the longest and toughest of the two-shot holes at Chobham, veering right from the tee to the target, with bunkers on either side of the fairway as it turns towards the green – a par here will feel like a birdie.
Unusually, three of the final five holes are configured as par threes, with two of them played back-to-back at the downhill 14th then the “signature hole” 15th, where the sand-protected green sits in front of the clubhouse terrace, behind a sizeable lake. The 226–yard 18th then requires a similar tee shot over water to the safety of the home green.
Chobham golf club is located in an area of Surrey that is an absolute hotbed of top-end English courses. Now whilst this course cannot compete at the top table, this is well worth a visit – set expectations early and you will have a good time and enjoy the course; a course that I would have no problem in recommending especially if looking for the next level just outside of the ranking positions. This course is around 25 years old and pretty short by modern standards (5863 yards), so research of the course style is recommended ahead of playing.
A decent course with plenty to keep you interested – early observations include the first three par-4’s (1st, 3rd and 5th) are slightly blind all with marker posts to drive over – these three holes and also the par-4 8th are also very similar in length (364, 365, 353 and 373 yards). Could these be seen as criticisms? possibly but in their own right are good holes but maybe not enough variety on these four holes, certainly on club selection. The par-5 6th hole is strong with water on the right-side to content with; this hole is a little like the 2nd on the Church nine at The Wisley. The front-nine ends strongly; a par-5 just under 500 yards but there is plenty about this right to left dog-leg to like.
The SI-1 hole comes at the 12th and a hole that I like a lot – 425 yards and tuning a little right; drives must favour the left side to see the green – a really strong par-4. Back to back par-3‘s at the 14th and 15th and it is the latter that needs a mention; this plays up to 222 yards and is just a touch too long to apply much control from the tee. It is not a bad hole but it could be much better – the shot to the green is over water but if there was a way to take some length off, I think it would be received in a better way. There is another thought though; keep the tee where it is but move the green to the putting green which sits about 30 yards behind the current green and create a short par-4 – just an idea and would get the course par to 70 but still retain five par-3’s.
The remaining three holes are on the other side of the busy Chobham Road; a couple of par-4s under 340 yards and another par-3 (18th) which again is a too long, this one at 226 yards which means a big club, if not the biggest in your bag to try and hit the last green.
Lasting feeling is that the course sits well as a Surrey GEM and is a fun place to play and to join. I think there is plenty of scope in the future to make some updates to maybe shorten a couple of par-3’s and lengthen some par-4’s.
Worth a visit and to get maximum from it, do your homework.