Back in 1998, when Foxhills first appeared on a ranking list, the club's two courses were called the Chertsey and the Longcross. We’ve played both courses on several occasions and we felt back then that the Bernard Hunt (nee Chertsey) course had the edge. In fact, Janet Melville won the Pretty Polly Women's British Open on the Chertsey course in 1978.
Fast-forward several decades and you'll find the Longcross billed as the premier layout at this impressive facility. You'll simply have to play them both and make up your own mind as to which you think is the better course.
Foxhills is marketed as “good enough to be mentioned as forming one point of a triangle of Surrey courses with Sunningdale and Wentworth”. Geographically this is indeed true, but Foxhills is not laid out on the sand belt, so don’t go to Ottershaw expecting to play golf on the heath. However, you can expect to play golf on a undulating and densely forested parcel of land.
The Bernard Hunt course is a stern test, measuring 6,883 yards from the back tees where the rolling topography creates both challenge and entertainment. The Longcross meanders through the forest and it’s no shorty either, measuring 6,743 yards from the tips.
Foxhills – named in Georgian times after one of England’s Foreign Secretaries – was the brainchild of the cousin of Victorian Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. It remained a family home for more than a century before being transformed into a sporting and impressive club and resort.
Finally, a word about the Manor course... a fun 9-hole par three course, which is the perfect place to hone your short game. If it was good enough for 2006 World Match Play Champion Paul Casey to develop his short game skills as a junior, then it's good enough for us too.
The least known of the courses is the nine-hole Manor par-three loop that you can't miss as you drive into the sprawling estate. I did not manage to play this shorty on my visit but did get to see their two main 'championship' courses; the Longcross and Bernard Hunt, both of which play predominantly through stunning pine forest, especially the Longcross.
I came away impressed with both but if you only have time for one round when playing or staying at Foxhills you shouldn't be too picky about which one you choose to play. Both are high quality, well presented with not much in it. I just sway towards the Bernard Hunt myself but it's almost the flip of a coin.
All four nines start and end at the clubhouse with both courses sharing a large double green for their 18th. The routing for each nine is very good and takes you on a lovely tour of the grounds. Overall the Longcross is slightly tighter and shorter than its brother but you are required to shape the ball off the tee on both tracks thanks to a number of dog-leg holes, some more angled than others.
I had an early morning start on the Bernard Hunt and was pleased with the beginning of the course. A pair of medium length par-fours, both dipping down from the tee and then legging up to the right for the approach, set a nice tone to the round. Both holes are tree-lined, as are the majority on the Foxhills property, where accuracy trumps distance for the most part.
Holes three to seven do open up a bit before the front nine closes in a similar fashion to the first with a shortish and tight par-four played to a raised green. There is plenty of movement in the land on the Bernard Hunt and this makes for some exciting holes. I thought the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th and 9th are particularly strong although I have to question Today's Golfers claim (there's a sign on the tee) stating that the 6th has one of the best fairways in golf. Very nice, yes but give me the 6th at Royal North Devon or any number of heaving links fairways any day!
The back-nine (which loops around the inner front-nine) starts with a recently re-designed hole which has similar characteristics to other holes we have seen so far; a descending drive before playing up to the green. I didn't think the inward half was quite as dynamic as the opening side but there are still many highlights. The 15th has a brilliant, albeit quite evil green, and the 17th is a grand looking hole with another excellent green, this time two-tiered. All-in-all this par 73, 6,864-yard course has plenty going for it.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
It wasn't just the fabulous quality of this course that impressed me so much it is the facility as a whole. It was the first time I had been to Foxhills and wasn't aware how extensive the club is, you could spend the whole day and not even play a round. Foxhills has instantly jumped in to my personal top 10 courses and I can't wait to go back and play The Longcross later this year.
Course No. 2 at Foxhills. There are many arguments as to which is the better course. I pick the Longcross, but the Bernard Hunt is an equal test with (almost) equal beauty.
The course measures 6,883 yards from the tips and therefore many holes play long. The layout is delightfully undulating, and this creates entertainment. Both visually and via playing.
The course is half open/half tree lined. The promotes accuracy off the tee which is completed by small but true and testing greens.
It would be fair to say that there is no real ‘wow’ factor that you find at other neighbouring courses (Wentworth and Sunningdale a wedge away). However, there are a number of holes that appeal to me. The devilish par 4 9th is almost driveable but the green is defended by a number of deep bunkers. Not to mention that the fairway slopes violently from left to right. This is a Sunningdale Old-esque hole for me.
Another hole that deserves commendation is the par 4 18th, an uphill 450-yard dog-leg left to a shared green with the 18th on the Longcross course. A brilliant feature.
Me weekend tee-time preference will be the Longcross, but I can’t be too much of a golf snob. I’m lucky to have another wonderful golf course to choose from.
I find it hard to pick between the Longcross and BH. Longcross is certainly the prettier of the two and has more charm, but I feel BH makes up for that by being a truer test of golf.
This course is tree-lined but feels a lot more open than the Longcross. The opening holes are all solid - getting particularly good at 5 and 6 (both with approach shots into elevated greens). 7 is a tough par 5 which is followed by a pretty par 3 and then an enjoyable shortish par 4 9th. The approach is semi-blind so you need to be in the right place off the tee to have a chance of scoring well here.
10 is my favourite hole at Foxhills. Brilliant drive from an elevated tee onto ground that slopes to the left but the dogleg bending to the right. The approach is a challenge into yet another elevated green.
11 is another nice par 3 at the top of the hill before the course starts to feel a little different. 12-13 have a different feel to any others on the rest of the property.
16 was a long par 3 with trouble all the way down the right and 17 was another tight hole with an elevated green (this one felt a bit more like the Longcross holes).
Finally, 18 is a decent hole (if a little similar to the 18th on Longcross) which doglegs severely to the left.
I enjoyed both courses here (as well as the tricky par 3 course which is worth a round) and both courses will test you in different ways. Play them both and see if you can pick a favourite.
Some nice holes amongst the pine trees around the clubhouse, but the further away you go from the clubhouse, the worst the holes get. Lots of average holes which all merge into one.
The Bernard Hunt course is the lesser of the two courses at Foxhills. There are similarities between the two courses although the BH is a little more generous off the tee and a little more undulating. The course starts off steadily enough but it is not until you reach the 6th that you find a memorable hole…this long par 4 has a brook you need to avoid from the tee before you attempt to find the green set above the player. 9 is a fun short par 4 with a tricky green again which is set above the player. Hole 18 is a decent enough par 4 which shares its green with the 18th on The Longcross. The BH is a nice resort course but somewhat overshadowed in a county with such depth.
Played in May 18, first time back after a number of years. Friendly welcome, good practice facilities including range, chipping and putting green. The course was very well presented, fast and true greens with some subtle and not-so-subtle breaks, the property is very large so you did feel often in a world of your own.there were some exciting holes and shots, however at other times the course took a bit of a breather, especially in my opinion from holes 11 to 16. The drive at the second was a classic risk/reward shot where a well judged fade would leave an easy approach. The long uphill par 3 fourth really tested your ball striking, with a false front ensuring you had to land on the green (with a 4/5 iron in my case) and then hold it. I was a bit underwhelmed by the par 5 seventh, where a good drive could go into the brook, and also your second shot needed to be 100 yards in length max in order to stay on the fairway. I don’t see the point of a par 5 that almost forces you to play 3 irons. The 8th and 9th were picturesque holes, and the drive on the 10th also got the heart beating a little quicker. After that it fizzled out a bit, still very enjoyable but not quite as thrilling. Somewhere between a 4 and a 5 ball rating, but there’s string competition in the area if you have the cash!