Hayling - Hampshire - England

Hayling Golf Club,
Links Lane,
Hayling Island,
Hampshire,
PO11 0BX,
England


  • +44 (0) 23 9246 4446

  • Golf Club Website

  • 5 miles S of Havant

  • Contact in advance - handicap certificate required

Hayling is set upon a Site of Special Scientific Interest, on the South West peninsular of Hayling Island. To the south, there are superb, panoramic views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.

The golf club at Hayling was founded in 1883, and the five times Open champion J.H. Taylor, made major revisions in 1905. But, as Bernard Darwin said, in Golf Between Two Wars, the course “had been laid out in the days when there was confusion of thought between golf and steeplechasing. Even as Mr Wemmick said, ‘Hullo, here’s a church. Let’s have a wedding,’ so the early fathers of architecture said, ‘Hullo, here’s a sandhill. Let’s have a drive over it.’ There were far too many such shots on the original Hayling, with the result that ideal valleys, or rather narrow ways between the hills, were not used to the best advantage.” Tom Simpson reconstructed Hayling in 1933, and Darwin said: “The new broom had to do a great deal of sweeping-away and did it thoroughly. The result is a links that can hold its head up in the best company and yet has lost nothing of its ancient charm.”

It’s no surprise then that there are few blind shots at Hayling. The ground gently undulates between the dunes. There are, however, a number of semi-blind approach shots, making club selection challenging, especially when the wind is up. There is an overwhelming feeling of naturalness at Hayling and often the course appears slightly unkempt. We can forgive them for this, because Hayling is a friendly and open club. They allow people of all standards to play here during the summer season.

The course measures more than 6,500 yards from the back tees. It breaks you in gently and then really gets going after the turn when we enter the dunes. The 11th is a gem, a stunning par three called “Woolseners”. It measures a lowly 150 yards but it plays towards the Solent, and often, it’s into the prevailing wind – the elevated green is sited on a plateau and is well guarded by bunkers. The 12th is a tough par four, called “Desert” – presumably because it runs alongside the shore – where the green is sited against the dunes. The 13th takes its name from what was once a huge, ragged bunker, called “The Widow” (see below). The approach shot is over a hill with the Solent once more providing a pretty backdrop.

The bunker was filled in many years ago after problems with children building tunnels into it, one of which collapsed nearly killing the kids digging it. What was once a bunker is now a hollow filled with impenetrable scrub – a far greater hazard. Update courtesy of Martin Law.

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Reviews for Hayling

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Description: Hayling Golf Club is set upon a Site of Special Scientific Interest, on the South West peninsular of Hayling Island. Rating: 7.7 out of 10 Reviews: 39
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trelawney dampney

Played Hayling Island yesterday. The course was in great condition especially after two months of very little rain. The greens were true and fairly fast and the fairways were in very god condition considering the time of year. The bunkers were all consistent and well trimmed. The picture postcard short par 3 (the 13th I think) was a great hole into the wind.

This is a course that would improve the more one plays it as there are some blind shots and if one's shot is a bit off line with the fast and undulating fairways its easy to find trouble.

The clubhouse with its panoramic views over the course, the lake and Solent was very well apportioned and I liked the idea of a telescope in the lounge to view the course, wildlife or shipping.

Overall a great experience and well worth playing

September 01, 2016
8 / 10
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Brian Ward
I had the pleasure of playing at Hayling for the first time with Keith (see below) and I'm very pleased that we finally got there. After a steady start the course Hayling Golf Course - Photo by reviewerbuilds nicely with the majority of holes from the 5th onwards being of the highest order. The terrain changes dramatically from the 7th with humps, hollows, ridges and gorse bushes aplenty nestling amongst the dunes. Add in a handful of blind shots, a few bomb craters, lovely slick greens and a couple of brilliant short par-4's and you have all the necessary ingredients for true links golf. The final few holes return to the flatter ground but as my scorecard shows, they still provide a stern challenge. The wonderful views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight add to a memorable experience. Underrated in my opinion. Brian W
March 11, 2016
8 / 10
Hayling
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Keith Baxter

I’ve been meaning to get to Hayling for years, but for one reason or another I’ve never made the trip. Yesterday I remedied the situation and was pleasantly surprised, even on a cool and overcast late winter’s day. There’s often misrepresentation that Hayling is the only true links course on the south coast between Rye and Cornwall – poor old Dawlish Warren is always overlooked; even the authors of True Links missed that particular Devon links. Can anyone think of any others? Anyway, Hayling is undeniably the best links course on England’s south coast to the west of Rye, some think it’s even Rye’s equal.
Hayling Golf Course
Hayling gets off to a rather prosaic start but that’s not to say the opening handful of holes are easy, because they are not, it’s just that the first few are flatish and not particularly exciting. The best holes are in the dunes at the western periphery of the property and any of these would complement a Britain & Ireland Top 100 golf course.



Over the years it’s obvious that the bunkering has been tweaked and there’s a combination of wonderful revetted traps and not so wonderful irregularly shaped bunkers that would look fine on a heathland course, fringed with heather, but seem out of character to my eyes. If the bunkers were uniform and the opening stretch of holes could be strengthened, perhaps by incorporating #14A into the routing, Hayling would be a permanent fixture in the GB&I Top 100. As things stand, despite its subtle greensites (and a couple of huge St Andrews-like greens), it’s likely to stay on the cusp of the very competitive GB&I ranking table. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my short time on Hayling Island and I’d recommend the experience to anyone. It’s a solid, understated, varied and immensely enjoyable links course. Keith Baxter

March 09, 2016
7 / 10
Hayling
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Warren
September 01, 2016

Keith, I reckon Littlehampton, probably an hrs drive to the east of Hayling is proper links, it even makes it into the True Links, not that this is the bible, having played numerous courses in it that should not qualify (Southport Muni, Sheringham, Hesketh). Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight isn't far away from being a true links course either, maybe the ground is a bit high but plays like one.

Keith Baxter
September 02, 2016

LIttlehampton is a good shout Warren. I'd quite forgotten about that particular links... I must play it at some point.

John rogers
Great links layout, every hole unique,some of the best parkland greens I have ever played on.Bit of rabbit damage caused by the long eared Locky, but an enjoyable day,fantastic sea views,and the clubhouse was superb
August 16, 2015
8 / 10
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David Worley
The first four holes are on fairly flat and uninteresting land but from the 5th this course becomes far more varied and challenging. This is a great short hole of 163 yards. There is hardly any fairway before a raised green that is long, but very narrow, being only twelve yards wide. One steep faced bunker is at the front left edge of the green.

By the time you assess the situation at the 9th tee, you begin to appreciate that this is definitely a course for very accurate driving and it is a little disconcerting having so many blind shots on a course you do not know. The marker post stands on top of a ridge. The hole doglegs to the left where the ridge is at its highest so a draw just right of the marker post is ideal.

One of the most memorable holes is the 13th, ‘Widow’. The tee shot is blind and there is no fairway in sight. The beach is to your immediate left and out of bounds. A straight drive into the centre of the fairway over the hill is the key. You then have an approach down a steep hill to the green. It is very easy to run through the green but be careful as out of bounds is only a few yards away.

The drive on the par four 17th is through a narrow opening with very thick gorse on either side. All along the far left is the lake which reaches almost to the lovely old art deco clubhouse. The temptation is to cut the corner but your best line is right of centre. The 18th features a wall of gorse on the left and heavy rough to the right. The green is 43 yards long so the pin position may require you to take one more club.

This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every English course featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.
May 12, 2015
6 / 10
Hayling
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Warren
Played Hayling 22 July. I am from Australia and come yearly for a hit of links courses. Hayling was true links, not a bit of parkland about it. The first 7 holes were a bit average, the prevalent feature being the abundance of gorse. fairways flat and no real rolling sand dunes. Not dissimilar to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. The conditioning of the fairways were fair but not great and to be honest I quite like that feature of links courses. Holes 8 to 15 is where it gets interesting, played through good sized dunes and some real quirkiness to it. I loved that section and it would not have been out of place at say, Western Gailes, albeit not with the conditioning. Greens were true throughout and no poor holes throughout, just a few too many average ones to get it into 5 ball territory.
July 23, 2014
6 / 10
Hayling
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Mike Kiehn
Hayling Golf Club is set on the windswept shores of Hayling Island in Hampshire. It represents a great golfing challenge which rewards 'links style' play. The greens were excellent, rolling fast and true. Over the course of our two rounds each member of our party made at least one outrageous putt, a testament to how true the greens were running! The bunkers were in great condition containing just the right amount of sand to let the bounce of the club do its work. The club house was very nice, the food excellent and the views over the course and the Solent were first rate! We would definitely visit again.
June 05, 2014
8 / 10
Hayling
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luke
Played a round here in gusting wind but with the sun shining through after the first few holes. Friendly pro in the shop. By the 9th hole I began to think how much the course reminded me of another fantastic links course, Wallasey near Liverpool. Thoroughly enjoyable course with a great mix of holes requiring pretty much every shot in the bag. Hampshire should be proud to have a true links course of this standard
October 28, 2013
8 / 10
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James
Hayling is in better condition every time I visit. Hayling Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe first few holes are not too intimidating but then the fun really starts at the seventh. That stretch of holes to the 14th really stand out and are a joy to play. The others are very solid links holes too but quite conventional compared to the idiosyncratic middle stretch. There are some lovely new tees and new bunkers which allude to the original bunkering which have enhanced the course. It is a true links challenge with lovely views to be enjoyed throughout. A prominent feature here are the gorse bushes that line the fairways and severely punish the errant shot. A days golf at Hayling is to be savoured. The rugged natural habitat in which the course is routed is very pretty and natural. So much to enjoy here I highly recommend a visit. JCBLAY
August 19, 2013
8 / 10
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Eddie Maylor
This was my first trip to Hayling, the pro was very friendly and helped suggest a good time to play avoiding slow groups on the course. The weather was fine with just a bit of breeze, it’s not easy starting on a par 3 but it was reassuring to find the green in such good condition. Even better was that all the greens were the same, quick and very true – what this means is that you don’t have an excuse for missing a putt, so you have to be good a reading putts. A good links with plenty of interesting holes, the finish has a tee shot around the water and a grandstand finish in front of the art deco clubhouse.
May 17, 2013
8 / 10
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