The following edited extract is from the John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses: “Golf Illustrated is excellent in charting the origins of this South Croydon club, in almost a blow by blow account.
On October 1911 it announced that James Braid ‘has reported very favourably’ on the grounds proposed. In December it reveals that the club will have two professionals and two courses, one a nine hole course. On 13th April 1912 Braid and three others opened the course though only nine holes were in play.
In August 1912 the magazine states that the eighteen hole course will be seeded in early autumn, and it will have greens on ‘absolutely modern lines and bunkers like fortifications, all under the joint supervision of James Braid and F. Hawtree’.
In April  the main course is still not ready. Braid and Hawtree are projecting a summer or early autumn opening for their 6400-yard course ‘full of interest over pleasantly undulating country’. No expense is being spared, says the article.
On 25th October 1913 the course was opened. A detailed look at the present scorecard suggests holes 1, 2, 6 to 9 and 16 to 18 are virtually the same holes, but holes 3 to 5 are much reduced in yardage. Holes 10 to 15 have a different order.
Harold Hilton was very appreciative of the course and Braid’s architecture, though he had the temerity to half criticize Braid’s bunkering as being ‘a little too simple’ though it is a ‘fault on the right side’. It was a longish course and perhaps Braid decided to be lenient to its players.”
Croham is a pleasant old parkland with a few less than memorable holes but enough variety and hills to maintain interest and make it worth a visit.
Greens don’t roll entirely with these slopes, generally they are subtle but there are times when you will leave yourself a 10+ foot second putt if you’re not careful. So I think it would stand up to repeated plays, particularly with how firm golf courses are presently.
There are couple of standout holes, the 10th (first picture) is a downhill par 5 with a blind approach where my lay up went about 80 yards further than planned. If the surly ‘gentleman’ who then threatened me ever reads this (not a CH member)… Please let me know if that was a 7 or 8 you made on the 18th.
Despite this I enjoyed my time at Croham. It is also one of the more accessible Croydon and Surrey courses, not just because they permit weekend visitors but it’s a quick train from London Bridge then one mile walk.
Croydon has a surprising number of good, if similar, golf courses spread around its suburbs, and the course at Croham is typical.
Created over100 years ago, Croham Hurst can best be described as gentle parkland. The fairways between avenues of trees are wide enough, the bunkers challenging if in poor condition, and the greens of a consistently high quality that are true and putt well. In the autumn sunshine today with the leaves on the trees a golden brown, the golf course is a stylish and quiet haven, away from the ever encroaching suburbia of houses and roads that is Croydon.
The holes are good if a little unimaginative and difficult to recall clearly, but sadly the course was very muddy. Autumn to date has been relatively warm and dry, but heavy rain in the last few days has shown up the underlying poor subsoil which hampers adequate drainage.
I particularly liked the difficult two opening holes, the open downhill 9th and the finish from the 15th. There is plenty here to test most golfers and for them to enjoy.
The star of the show however was professional Adam Aram who after ten years in the job has developed a wonderful welcoming style, laced with dry humour. The members of Croham Hurst have an honest, no frills and traditional golf course which probably plays a lot better in dry summer conditions than in the damp in winter-time.
Really pleasant surprise. Given where it is, it’s remarkably peaceful, and the course is decent and in good condition. Some lovely holes. They could do with clearing some shrubs and growth on the edges of the course but tee to green it’s in good nick. It’s fair value too, which is increasingly rare to find now particularly around London. I would happily return, and suspect it’s a few slots too low in the Surrey rankings.
Despite the worse rain ive seen in May for years I thoroughly enjoyed my round at Croham Hurst today. My wife joined me for the first 9 holes and then bailed as the rain didn't give in. A quick change of outfit after the 10th and I was back out and glad I did. The greens were in fantastic condition. Not a long course but very peaceful as not near any major roads. Great value too, I will definitely go back to play in the sun.
Played a number of times during summer and it's a real joy to play, fast greens and lots of undulations make it a really interesting course. The course has a range and good practice areas as well.