Located next to the village of Ottershaw, close to the junction of the M3 and M25, the Foxhills Country Club & Resort offers a number of outdoor sporting pursuits; from swimming to cycling and squash to tennis in addition to a 45-hole golf facility with two 18-hole courses and a 9-hole par three layout.
The estate was originally established as a country retreat for the notorious parliamentarian Charles James Fox in the second half of the 18th century, when it was known as “Fox’s Hills”. Airline Aer Lingus acquired the property in the 1960s and engaged Fred Hawtree to design the two 18-hole tracks in 1975.
Businessman Ian Hayton purchased the business eight years later and the family still run it to this day, operating a successful modern resort that has managed to keep pace with the changing times since it changed hands in 1983. There’s also a 4-star hotel on site, along with an award-winning health spa.
The tree-lined fairways of the Longcross course are configured as two returning nines, laid out across a natural woodland landscape. The “signature hole” is regarded as the par five 14th, starting from an elevated tee position, then the closing hole is another par five which doglegs up to a home green that’s shared with the 18th on the Bernard Hunt course.
One of the great positives of golf is that the terrain on which it is played comes in so many variations. The Longcross course at Foxhills fitted firmly into the tree lined seclusion school. Unlike a number of courses where tree lined seclusion is relatively recent (and thus not the architect’s intention) this one looks to have been hacked out of the forest. The trees thus haven’t grown into and changed the course, they were already there.
But they do leave a very tight course. Trees are like water and unlike heather, rough and bunkers. The last three one can play out off, the first two leave little choice unless has a chainsaw or the help of the divine. So, all in all, it’s a course that rewards, even more than most, the straight. Indeed I felt it was a tee to green course and not one where the trouble was around the green.
As to the holes the best ones are on the back nine. 14 has been noted and I rather liked 18 which actually offered up significant reward for the long drive, while punishing the failed attempt. In contrast I felt the two sharp doglegs (8 and 13) were rather formulaic. The trees are too big and too tight to tempt and thus the hole can only be played with a decent layup and a wedge approach. At least to me, a par four should not force a five iron wedge off golfers.
We played the course at the end of a dry spell, and one or two of the fairways (especially 10) seemed to leave very little room for error. Anything hit left of centre would fall away to the rhododendrons and be lost; the best shot seemed either very long and straight or very short and straight; a little bit of width with green side hazards to provide a preferred line would, at least to me make the hole better.
The greens were decent, though rarely at all scary. The tees were a little scruffy, but nothing to worry about. The fairways were very pleasant, the facility as a whole feels more higher class leisure centre than golf course, but perhaps that’s what it is intended to be. So I’m pleased I played. Indeed after playing an unranked course a few days later this one has slightly grown on me. But all in all not one for me.
I found this a real step up from the Bernard Hunt, Foxhills other track. Where the BH can be quite up/down a hill, the Longcross changes direction much better and presents many more strategic challenges.
Lots of domed greens and run off areas made for some real trickery; a slight miss and suddenly faced with a testing chip. Rough has grown a lot these last few wet weeks and, playing it on a rainy day, meant anything off the fairway could be a hack out.
Favourite holes would be 3rd with a tough hanging lie 2nd shot; 5th an excellent double dog leg par 5; 14th also excellent par 5 - and all par 3s with greens at different angles to line of play.
Some areas of the course eg tee boxes could do with more maintenance. Overall however we found it a very pleasant, quiet round and I would certainly enjoying testing myself against it again.
Played here after a week of torrential rain, course was in impressive condition, only a tiny bit of standing water and some slightly muddy paths.
Greens were immaculate, running true and fast.
Course layout is very nice, tree lined fairways has a feel of Woburn about it. All par 3s are interesting, with special mention going to the 8th hole which is stunning as you come round the dog leg, and the award winning 14th.
The staff in the pro shop (Elliott) are extremely helpful and friendly. They want to help you play their courses, not put barriers in the way. This is not something I can say at all courses of this sort of standard.
On first sight, Foxhills seems like another stereotypical modern course. It lies in an area surrounded by amazing heathlands, such as the three Ws, Sunningdale, Wentworth etc. The company is so great, it seems like an irrelevant speck within arguably England's best region.
Last year, I came to Foxhills with nine other members of my family for a three night stay. Me and my father enjoyed their par three course greatly, as it tested the short game well, but that is not relevant in this review. On a sunny Sunday morning in October, we ventured out onto this pine-lined course with little expectations.
Which is why I'm delighted to say the Longcross is lovely. It's fairly long at 6700-plus yards from the tips. It played long on the day as we had two days of rain before playing, so the usually well-conditioned course was not quite as pristine as other people say it is. It opened just before Woburn, and actually is quite similar to the Dukes and Duchess courses. The setting is picturesque, through tall pines. The course has a few very good holes, such as 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 18. The greens slope subtly and, in some cases, more severely, providing some challenge.
So what's not to like? Only a few weak holes, more so on the front nine, and some very simple bunkering and design let it down a little. But it is really enjoyable, and should be much higher in the Surrey rankings. It really is very good. I haven't played the Bernard Hunt yet. Might come back there for a game.
Excellent course. Fairways like carpet, greens immaculate, plenty of variation. Just shows how many great courses Surrey has given this is No. 28. In many other counties this would be No. 1
Lovely course in great condition and very similar in style to Woburn with tall trees. Great day out and well worth a visit.
This is a nice course with some lovely holes. The tighter of the two layouts at Foxhills and in the denser part of the woodland.
This isn’t heathland like the other courses in the area and it is a step below some of its more distinguished neighbours but this is still a decent track and together with the Bernard Hunt course, represents a solid 36 holes of golf.
8 and 9 are a couple of great doglegs. 8 is short and you need to take something off your tee shot unless you can shape your shot severely from right to left. 9 is much longer and hillier and requires two well struck shots to make this green in regulation.
On the back 9, holes 14 and 17 are the pick for me. 14 is a great downhill par 5 with a stream 100 yards short of the green and 17 is a tight par 4 with an elevated green full of undulations and covered by bunkers.
This is a good fun course that has a lot of charm.
The Longcross is much better than its counterpart. However I don't think it's special. Similarly to the Bernhard Hunt, lots of the holes are similar and merge into one. That being said, are more good holes on the Longcross.
Demanding from the tee and heavily treelined it has a number of dog leg tee shots that challenge the player. Hole 1 is a nice opener which requires a slight fade to hold the fairway…..the same shape is required on the 2nd hole although you probably need more of a slice to hold this fairway! The green slopes wickedly from right to left. The 3rd is a strong par 4 up and over a steep hill to a tricky green before you reach the 4th a nice par 3 framed by pine trees. The 5th is decent par 5 but accuracy of the tee is key to having any chance of reaching this green in two. 6 is a terrible par 3…too long with a green that is way to narrow, would be better if the hole was 50 yards shorter. The 7th, another par 5 relies on accuracy from the tee before slowly rising to another tricky green. Hole 8 is a fun sharp dogleg right to left par 4…you can get close to the green if you can launch the ball over the corner with a draw. The 9th plays back up the hill sweeping from right to left before you approach the green set below you the approach to this green is guarded by a brook which will catch the miss hit second. Hole 10 is a shortish par 4…the player needs to favour the right part of the fairway otherwise they will run out of room, once the fairway has been found this hole is a decent birdie opportunity. 11 is a nice par 3 with green that slopes from back to front. On hole 12 the player tees off in-between a corridor of trees before leaving a short iron to a green that runs away from the player. 13 is a weak hole with a very narrow area to land the tee shot before an uphill second to a semi blind green. The best hole on the course is 14 a downhill par 5 with a semi blind tee shot, anything slightly off line will miss the fairway. The lay up is tough with a pond and brook around 100 yards short of the green which is quite small. 15 plays back towards the clubhouse and is drivable in favourable conditions although the fairway narrows the nearer you get to the green. The 16th is an excellent long par three over water to a well protected green which again is on the small side. 17 is another good hole…an uphill par 4 to a raised green which has many different shelves and tiers. Hole 18 plays uphill and sweeps from right to left….the player must miss the bunkers to have any chance of reaching the green in two…this green is huge sharing it’s putting surface with the 18th on the Bernard Hunt. For a resort golf course The Longcross is decent and well worth a game if you’re in the area.
I feel this course should be ranked higher than it is. The layout and condition are brilliant and the venue itself is very grand. I feel that if this same course was in a different region it would be rated higher, but maybe against many of the top 10 courses in England just on its doorstep it's overshadowed.
If you can, get yourself down here and play! It's not cheap, but it's worth it, a tight course that is very picturesque!
My favourite hole was the 14th, which is a lot of people's favourite I gather! I really enjoyed the 1st hole. Great opening hole.