Coombe Hill - Surrey - England

Coombe Hill Golf Club,
Golf Club Drive,
Kingston Upon Thames,
Surrey,
KT2 7DF,
England


  • +44 (0) 20 8336 7600


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.”

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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Reviews for Coombe Hill

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Description: Coombe Hill Golf Club is one of the few courses designed by J.F. “Aber” Abercromby and the heavily wooded layout is quintessentially English. Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Reviews: 20
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Mike Hawkins

I was lucky enough to play Coombe Hill earlier this year and what an absolute pleasure it was. Even the drive up to the club is truly exciting - you come off the busy A3 and find an oasis! The staff were extremely welcoming and were always one step ahead of our needs. The course itself is testing, albeit not particularly long, which makes for a great challenge! The greens were in fantastic shape across the whole course and offered an extra challenge as they undulate a lot. The clubhouse is also a great place to enjoy a beer after the round. A truly wonderful experience!

May 18, 2017
8 / 10
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Nick Murray

An outstanding golf course so close to the centre of London. The whole experience was enjoyable; service, facilities, course and staff. There are some special holes and we had sunshine to top off the experience! The greens were in great shape too which just added to the fun.

May 18, 2017
10 / 10
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Simon Bale
I felt Coombe Hill was an excellent golf course and a unique experience. As you approach the club house you wouldn't even know there is a golf course there, as everything is secluded away from the road and the outside world. The main outstanding feature of this course for me was the par 3's. All are very pleasing on the eye and invite a good tee shot, but all are fraught with danger. The variation in undulation is highly apparent on the par 3's, and extends itself to the rest of the course, making selecting the right club a tricky task. You get to play every club in your bag on this course, and every shape of shot if you can. Having only played once so far I would relish a return, as it is the type of place that requires local knowledge of where to miss and where to aim to get the most out of your round. SB
June 02, 2014
8 / 10
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Robert
July 18, 2014
I was lucky enough to play Coombe Hill at a corporate day and have to say, that for a central London course, this is a real gem. Although not overly long, it’s a challenge to both first time players and members (we had a member in our group who although playing off 6, struggled all day). It’s laid out around a hill, creating many varieties of hole that all demand thought and careful approach play. However, it’s the greens that make this course the challenge. There are possibly 3 easyish greens on the entire course – the par 4 8th was probably the most dispiriting! A long par 4 up a hill, I hit the green with what I thought was a great 4 iron. When I reached the green, I found myself 5 foot above the hole. Three putts later, I was still faced with a 5 footer! A true gem of a course, with a lovely clubhouse and staff and only 20 minutes from central London.
Brian Ward
Coombe Hill almost certainly doesn’t get the recognition it deserves due to its fairly close proximity to some of Surrey’s big name courses. I visited for the first time in early July and found it to be a memorable experience. The friendly welcome and well appointed clubhouse sets the mood perfectly and there is little to remind you how close you are to central London. The opening two holes gently break you in with inviting downhill tee shots, the pace picks up with a well positioned raised green on the Coombe Hill Golf Course - Photo by reviewer3rd which is followed by two par 5’s. The second of these is comfortably reachable in two for many but a wayward approach missing either left or right can prove very costly indeed. The 6th is the first of four wonderful par 3’s, hitting downhill to the correct tier from 180 yards requires real precision. The 8th is uphill all the way, well over 400 yards and with a difficult sloping green, stroke 1 on the card and rightfully so for me. The 9th and 12th are both testing and very attractive par 3’s. The 9th is over a valley to a well protected green with a pronounced left to right slope and the 12th again all carry to a small heavily bunkered green situated beneath a magnificent pine. The finishing holes offer plenty of variety. The short 14th requires an accurate lay-up to open up the sloping, well guarded green. The pretty 15th is a short risk and reward par 5; a good drive may tempt you to into attacking the flag but the ditch running in front and to the right of the green make this a high tariff shot. The16th is an uphill brute with another very difficult green awaiting you, 17 is the shortest of the par 3’s surrounded by sand and the 18th encourages you to open your shoulders as you hit across the valley. All but the longest hitters will be faced with a blind uphill second to the final green in front of the lovely clubhouse. Breaking into the top dozen or so in England’s premier golfing county is a tall order but the challenging greens, exquisite manicuring and great design put this quality course right up there. Brian W
July 25, 2013
8 / 10
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Andy
July 28, 2013
Nice words Brian, here are the full Surrey rankings...
James
I played here yesterday from 5 Pm and the course was deserted. The course was immaculate, The very pretty layout is fabulous and with the undulations I imagine it is about as close to being Londons Augusta as you could hope for. It is not long but is no less tough for that, in fact probably more enjoyable for that. A thinkers course then. I play off of three and am not a short hitter btw. I have played most of the gems of surrey and this is as good as any of them. A very attractive course in every respect. I heartily agree with the with all that is written below, apart from the bit about the members. I didn't see any!!! How this is rated 18th in Surrey I can't imagine! JCB LAY
May 30, 2012
8 / 10
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Nigel Leach
What an absolute delight. Finally a prestigious club that manages to makes visitors feel welcome and at ease – nothing was too much trouble for the management, pro shop or caddie master. A thoroughly enjoyable golfing experience all round. Others have commented on the course at length – it is superb, manicured actually and plenty of challenging but fair holes with some really tough greens. It is right up there, a must play.You couldn’t find a better all round days golfing anywhere – it is not just the course that makes a great club – Coombe Hill has everything.
July 20, 2011
10 / 10
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steve grainger
Notwithstanding some fairly stuffy members, Coombe Hill is a very well kept course with lots of top class holes. Favourite is Par 3 9th . One small gripe is the fact they use the 18th fairway as a driving range. On reflecting on the 'English Top 100' I would say it should be a touch higher - 4.5 balls would be about right
May 29, 2011
8 / 10
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Andy Newmarch

Just occasionally a course exceeds expectations in abundance - Coombe Hill has done just that during my first visit recently.

The course has been around forever and celebrates it's centenary in 2011, so why has it not been recognised and ranked along with so many other Surrey greats is a mystery. The current Top 100 for England on this site has 16 Surrey courses ranked and 11 of these are in the countries' Top 50 - Coombe Hill can sit alongside these at ease. I have personally played 13 of the 16 mentioned above and this course should be ranked amongst these. In fact the review from 09/08/2010 is very good and the courses referred to as direct comparisons are spot-on; I think I would add in Wentworth's East and The Addington to the list too.

This is a beautiful part of the world with trees everywhere, classic spongy heathland with greens near to perfect. The course starts with three par-4's that get progressively harder with the 3rd a tough cookie; dog-legging left with a raised sloping green. Two shortish par-5's follow and then the first short hole at the 6th which is a downhill beauty. The 8th hole is 420 yards uphill with a SI of 4 but it is much harder than this, especially at the green, very very slick from back to front. Refreshments await behind the 8th and this is a lovely spot to reflect for a few minutes before taking on the brilliant par-3 9th which is around 180 yards over a valley. There is only one blind drive and that comes at the 10th...the line is left-side with a slight fade and the hole then develops downhill. That downhill becomes uphill at the 11th which is one of the four tough par-4's where many will struggle to get-up in two shots. The 12th is another very good par-3 and reminded me a little of the 9th hole on the Duke's course at Woburn. The final third of the course starts with two short par-4's and this corner of the course is an absolute delight and very tranquil. There is a lot of variation to close the back-9, with pars of 5,4,3,4 ..... the 15th is from a raised tee with some nice views back towards SW London and once again the favoured tee-shot must shape left to right. The 16th is one of the very tough par-4's, the 17th is the shortest of the par-3's and the 18th brings you back to the clubhouse and if you need a par 4 to win your match, you will have to work for it, mainly as the approach to the green will be blind.

Everything about Coombe Hill oozes quality; the people, the course and the clubhouse atmosphere too. Like I said at the beginning it feels as the course has been hidden for too long and is long overdue a proper standing and a ranking in the county - and absolute proof that length of holes is not the be all and end all. I have been lucky enough to have played 100's of courses that are featured on the Top 100 site and I have now found another 6-ball course - I will return in centenary year, hopefully in May when the rhododendrons are in bloom to try and add to a perfect day.

September 24, 2010
10 / 10
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Goffy
I’ve got to confess that I had never heard of Coombe Hill before I got an invite to play it. I have played several of the other top Surrey courses and Coombe Hill is right up along side the best of them. The condition of the course was superb, the greens were true and fast, the fairways immaculate and the bunkers were a joy to play out off. It’s not a particularly long course by modern standards but it’s not easy as several of the holes are played uphill to greens where you can only see the top of the flag. You will need your best short game as well because if you’re on the wrong side of the hole you will struggle to get up and down or 2 putt because the greens are so quick. This course deserves to be ranked along side its Surrey neighbours and should be higher that a lot of them.
September 17, 2010
8 / 10
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Michael Simson
Coombe Hill is arguably the best course in the Greater London area and although similar in layout to its neighbour, Royal Wimbledon, Coombe is far better manicured. Although not particular long at 6,300 yards (par 71) the undulating greens which are the fastest I have played anywhere this year make it a very difficult test of golf. I am amazed that it has no ranking, particularly as it is easily as good as St George's Hill (11th best English course) and better than Woking (41st) or West Hill (29th). The other of the 3 W’s Worplesdon (30th) is another JF Abercromby designed course and I am sure “Aber” would be shocked were he ever to discover how differently these two great courses are regarded. The 3 par 5s would be reachable in two by most single figure handicappers but the tight layout will severely punish a wayward drive or mishit approach. The longest par 4, the 10th is only stroke index 7 because it’s played downhill whilst the 3 toughest holes (8, 11 and 16) are each only around 410 yards in length but play significantly longer up the hill. Getting up in two is a feat in itself but heavily sloping greens make 3 (and even 4 putting) a realistic possibility. Par on these holes feels like a birdie. The par 3 9th is the signature hole, particularly in early June when the Rhododendron’s are in bloom, but again a undulating green makes par here a very good score. Coombe is without a doubt the truest hidden gem in England.
August 09, 2010
8 / 10
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Andy
September 16, 2010
This review is very accurate. I have been to Coombe Hill recently and everything written is true and I agree, how on earth has this missed a ranking from any of the glossy mags over the years is beyond me.