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.

Hayling has hosted the English Women’s Amateur championship on four occasions (1936, 1948, 1966 and 1983).

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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: 7.6 out of 10 Reviews: 48
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robin brown
PLayed here for the second time in a year or so.It continues to offer the only links experience on the South Coast other than the great courses in Kent.Great welcome, good value and a course in excellent condition.Wind conditions are key.Today we played in a strong crosswind.Excellent and speedy greens.The improvement of a number of the bunkers will be an added boost to a course I always enjoy.Look forward to returning.Robin Brown November 2012
November 28, 2012
8 / 10
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dan
May 18, 2013
depends on how far you go ! try Mullion on the Lizard in Cornwall.
Andy Newmarch
Golf at the coast is always something I look forward to and my recent round at Hayling was a real pleasure. A warm off-course welcome awaits for visitors and it is clear that the staff and members are very proud of their club. I understand that the course has changed a lot in recent years with much woodland having been removed, a great move as trees on coastal course are not needed and actually look out of place.

The course has a slow start to be honest, a 175 yard par-3 and then a pretty straight par-5 under 500 yards – the club have plans to re-site the 2nd green, which will be definitely be a positive move. The course springs into a great set of holes from the 6th and there is a strong end to the front nine.Hayling Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

I think everyone will say the back-9 is stronger and there are some stand-out holes here. The 10th is a reachable par-4, the 11th is a par-3 that reminds me of the great 15th at Portmarnock Old and there is some great work going on at the bunker to the left of the 12th green. The 13th is my favourite; under 350 yards but what a great hole – from the tee looking up at the fairway, I could have been at Lahinch, Ireland and then depending on tee-shot length, a semi-blind approach downhill to the green. Worth noting, to the left of the green is the green-keepers property with a clock on it – nothing new here I here you say! The difference is that “the clock has been set 2 hours and 40 minutes earlier than the current time which is the amount of time expected for 13 holes. If your start time was equal to or later than the time on the clock then you are doing well” – a great touch and certainly always memorable. The 14th tee is the furthest from the clubhouse and with the exception of the short 16th, these remaining holes all run back to the 19th. The 17th has recently had extensive changes to the tee, the fairway hazards and also the green – toughest par-4 on the course for me. As you play the final hole, your eyes will no doubt be looking left at the welcoming clubhouse that is a beautiful building.

I always like to make comparisons to other courses that I have played and the two that spring to mind here are, Rye (#20 in England) and Burnham & Berrow (#17 in England)… there are plenty of similarities and I actually prefer Hayling (currently at #61) – the gap between these rankings feels a little too much and I hope this closes at the next re-rankings…
April 16, 2012
8 / 10
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Matthew Adams
Slightly scruffy around the edges, old fashioned and quirky (including a par 3 start). What’s not to love about Hayling? Time flies when you play here, as is true of many links courses. The great assortment of playing challenges means the round goes quickly, aided further by the good manners of members and visitors alike in letting faster groups through Hayling Golf Couse - Photo by reviewer(regardless of numbers in a group – which should be a lesson to all). The fact that you play through, over and along the various raised dunes makes for an excellent playing experience. Playing in summer means the course is firm enough to provide distance so the challenge is to manoeuvre the ball around and put yourself in the best spot for approaches while not running through the fairways. The only ‘unfair’ shot on the course is on the 13th tee which had no marker post when I played it. I chose a line and hoped for the best, but somehow fluked a birdie. For some, one possible let down will be the comparative plain look of some of the finishing holes, compared to the eclectic delights that precede them. The 15th looks straightforward but its subtlety, in driving line and fairway landing area, is inspired. When faced with no throughswing in a small greenside bunker on the 18th you realize its no pushover either. Only after playing the closing stretch do you fully realize the brilliance of the design.
December 01, 2011
8 / 10
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Carl Tushingham
What a great course this is. The greens were very quick and true, excellent for the end of October. It does have a rugged look, but its natural and works well in this links gem. It has a few blind shots which as a visitor certainly test your club selection. You are very close to the sea on many holes, which gives some super views and of course the wind will play a big factor, it changes direction because of the way the course is laid out, so its fair in that sense. It reminded me of Burnham & Berrow, but not as grand and tough. The clubhouse is excellent too with views over the course and the Solent. Well worth a visit here, you won't be disappointed.
October 26, 2010
8 / 10
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JB
Visited today and found Hayling to be a very friendly and welcoming club.The course is a very challenging layout. Like many links, it isn't a 9 in/9 out design, so the wind off the sea was changing direction constantly and I was unlucky 99% of the time to be playing directly into it or as a cross wind.The tees and greens were in excellent condition. As to be expected the rest of the course was very dry due to the summer although this in no way affected the quality of the playing surface. If you are used to green parkland turf, then it will come as a surprise that dried out links turf is surprisingly playable. I must have used my lob wedge a dozen times without the club bouncing (like it can do on dry parkland clay turf) and also I was able to pitch and stop the ball quite easily (when I couldn't play a running shot with a 7 iron). Also very rarely did I have to repair a pitchmark, which shows how firm yet fair the greens are.Putting - the greens were a good pace and ran very true. Again very firm to walk on, but a well struck shot would hold and not go bouncing off the surface. Like any quality green should.Hayling is a very tough course. Many of the holes are very narrow and there is a lot of long grass and gorse to lose balls in. There are also several holes where the drive is blind and it is very easy to play a wrong line if you aren't familair with the layout or playing with someone who knows the course.My only criticism is I didn't think the course guide had enough information which made judging lines and distances a bit more tricky than necessary.All in all a day spent at Hayling is a day well spent. Highly recommended if you want to play a very good traditional links.
August 03, 2010
8 / 10
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Chezza
Thanks to Darren Bent i was the winner of a bet where the loser has to provide the ultimate golf day. Round, food and extras. Hayling was our destination and as i had no idea where we were going (i presumed West Sussex) it was nice to have no pre-conceptions or expectations as I'm sorry to admit my knowledge of Hayling golf course and the surrounding area is very limited. The 1st thing you notice on arrival is the clubhouse and i have to say i liked it, it has a presence like all great clubhouses should. As previous reviewers have stated the 1st 2 holes ease you in rather than test, although i do enjoy starting a round with a par 3 as i feel it allows that bit of space between groups right at the start. What followed after that i really enjoyed, its a honest links in every aspect with the best holes for me being from the 6th through to 14 with 10,11,12 really standing out, unfortunately the much talked about 13th was not in play while we visited. At the end of a decent but not great summer it was a pleasure to play a links that was decked out in Open Brown with the greens providing an oasis of colour on the landscape. I would have to agree with a previous review that there may be a touch too much gorse however it was good to notice signs on the course indicating that they were trying to encourage heather and grasses to return. which of course is no easier to get out of if you find yourself there but won't attack you with so much vigour when retrieving balls. Also for me and this was the biggest problem, they have some really good bunkering here but all of them need lots of TLC as the faces look like they have seen better days and that those days where some time ago. Overall i really enjoyed my day on the South Coast and i think the potential here is encouraging but it needs to be tapped into by someone with a strong vision. I would be happy to return and i would like to finish by thanking Mr Munns for providing a day worthy of the tag UGD
October 03, 2009
6 / 10
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David Oldham
Played in December and course was in great condition. Greens and fairways were very good, had to play off the odd winter tee. Challenging course though not too long. The only negative was the unwelcoming members when I asked if I could join them (two different groups) and they declined, the staff in the pro's shop and bar were very pleasant and helpful. At £40 for a winter green fee I think this is a little overpriced.
December 06, 2008
6 / 10
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simon smith
Played last week on a day ticket that cost £60 and found the course in excellent condition. Enjoyed the variety of it all and especially the location. It will never be a championship course but it is a good test of golf and very good value for money. The warm welcome and excellent clubhouse (food & comfort) made it all the more enjoyable. I have played many courses in my time and not enjoyed them half as much as this one - a little gem. Enjoy !!!
July 06, 2008
8 / 10
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malcolm roberts
Links golf at its best and one not to be missed by the true lover of links golf. A bit out of the way but well worth it.The 12th. is as good a par 4 as they come and the whole course is generally in good condition.
December 16, 2007
10 / 10
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badger
Hayling is just superb. No word really describes the course any stronger than that. Ive played Hayling in the winter as well as the summer and I would say that the course performs as well, in terms of green standard and fairways, as well in the winter as it does in the summer. Living in the south and playing to a low handicap for nearly 30years I would say that not only is Hayling one of the best course Ive ever played, its also the best links for several hundred miles and as good as some of the open venues. Its length, although reasonably short, never feels restrictive and I lose count of the many times ive had to hit a long iron into the par 4's. 36 holes provides a different challenge and club selection to the 1st round and really I cannot praise this course high enough. No boring holes or bolt on holes to fulfill 18 and Hayling is somewhere you can clearly see was built in the times when space was not constrictive. With regard facilities, I concur with an earlier poster about the unwelcoming nature, some of the elderly members seemed almost suspicious of our presence there and made the 19th hole slightly uncomfortable. However, these sort of dinosaurs wont be around forever and I was reliably informed by the quintissential and "ever so nice" Scottish lady that served us that Hayling has a glut of low, county and England standard young golfers. Not really a surprise.. Overall 9/10, love it...!
September 03, 2007
10 / 10
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Tony
January 21, 2012
The best course for several hundred miles, what are you on Man? Rye, Littlestone, Prince's, Royal Cinque Ports Oh and errr Royal St Georges. Get a grip.