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Coombe Hill

Coombe Hill

Kingston upon Thames, England
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Kingston upon Thames, England
Rankings
  • AddressGolf Club Dr, Kingston upon Thames KT2 7DF, UK
  • Championships hosted

Members of Coombe Hill Golf Club are blessed to play on one of only a handful of courses designed by J.F. “Aber” Abercromby. It’s said that the master architect spent a great many hours, not only walking the land, but also floating over the site in a hot air balloon, honing his design. In 1911, three years after completing Worplesdon and three years before Addington, Abercromby’s course at Coombe Hill opened for play with the Right Honourable Winston Churchill among the early club members.

“This is another astoundingly quiet and lovely place to find so near London.” Wrote Bernard Darwin in the Golf Courses of Great Britain. “Birch-trees, rhododendrons and heather and fairways that find their way among them, first uphill and then downhill – such is a stranger’s general impression.”

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There surely must be something in the Kingston Upon Thames water. Remarkably, Coombe Hill has been associated with famous professionals for most of its history and four of them won the Open Championship: Sandy Herd, Arthur Havers, Dick Burton and Henry Cotton. “People who have never seen Coombe Hill will probably think of it as the place where Sandy Herd was always doing holes in one,” wrote Darwin, “till they grew positively tired of reading the newspapers. Indeed, the scores that Herd did there and the number of times he holed his tee-shot were uncanny.”

The quartet of par threes (two on each half) is a particular highlight, with only the final one-shot hole, the heavily bunkered 147-yard 17th, measuring less than 150 yards. The 6th is the opening par three, where club choice is paramount depending on where the pin is cut on the two-tiered green.

The 9th, affectionately known as “little gem”, measures 185 yards from the tips and it’s one of the best and most attractive one-shot holes in Surrey. A pretty valley separates the tee from the plateau green, which is not only ringed by four bunkers, but also slopes wickedly from left to right. Marking a three on the card here is no easy feat, even for the accomplished player.

The 188-yard 12th is a favourite of many and another delightful one-shotter where you should take a bow if you find sanctuary on the smallest green at Coombe Hill, which has a severe fall away on the left hand side. Coombe Hill is routed in two returning nine-hole loops and measures 6,401 yards from the back tees with par set at 71.

Back-to-back par fives appear at holes 4 and 5, so build your score going out as there is only a solitary par five coming home. The undulating terrain and exciting elevation changes make for thrilling golf, but if you find yourself on the wrong side of pin, especially above the hole, you will do very well to avoid three putting on Coombe Hill’s notoriously tricky greens.

Early in the new millennium, Ken Moodie was called in to oversee a bunker restoration project which eventually resulted in the installation of fifteen new bunkers and the remodelling of fifty-two others. A number of grass hollows and mounds were also created, along with two green extensions and the drainage of three others.

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Course Architect

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John Abercromby

John Abercromby joined forces with Herbert Fowler, Tom Simpson and Arthur Croome; most of “Aber's” work was in collaboration with Fowler around the sandy heathlands of London.

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