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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aaron michael
playing hayling in the wind i must say brings out the beast in the occassionally sunny seaside links.When the wind blows you can feel like running for cover but i suggest you stay and enjoy the south coast golfing highlight. The greens are slick and true as well as having some of the toughest run off areas i have come across.The course opens fairly smoothly but be sure not to let the apparent ease of the opening two holes deceive you into thinking that the remaining holes will follow suit.The hardest golf hole i have ever played is the one hundred and eighty yard fifth.To hit the green is a miracle and to get up and down from around it is even more of a miracle.The delights of hayling then continue with testing holes like the long dogged leg twelve. A difficult tee shot followed by a tough second into a massively sloping green.The home ward straight will test even the best of golfers with a big number just around the corner.The club house offers everything that you could need as well as spectacular views over the solent out towards the isle of wight.If you are going to play golf on the south coast this year or next be sure to put this course on the rota.
June 13, 2007
10 / 10
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Shaun
Excellent links course which despite playing badly in a monsoon gale I walked off the course wanting to play it again. Struggle to understand how Golf World ranks this course at 175, suggest they at least take the one off the front. Highly recommend you play this hidden cracker.
June 02, 2007
8 / 10
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Carl Statham
This is a course to really like. As a links course it has it all in friendly amounts, flats links holes to start and finish, undulating dunes, some big dunes, occasional blind shots, interesting carries etc. It probably rates above Rye, as it doesn't have the lesser holes Rye has but quite a bit below the two Royal Kent links. However the position over Rye is qualified. Although the course was being burnt to a cinder by the July heat wave there are still some poor maintenance practices. They are for example the worst southeast links greens (although still pretty damn good) and the course has a bit of a worn unloved feel. The things that disappointed me were for example the bunkers, nobody playing could obviously be bothered to rake them and that is poor. Having said that it is wonderful place to play and the club house is fantastic to look at with one of the great balconies of any golf club. In fact the club house is debatable point, it is five years old. The original art deco building from the twenties was knocked down ....... which in terms of history is a truly vandolous act. However you can't help but praise the club for the external design of the new club house, it is truly majestic and fitting for it's location. Although as the steward said, inside it is like any other service station type new golf club house interior (who are these people who specialise in making golf clubs look like old peoples homes or doctors surgeries?).

In terms of playing the course it really does build as the dunes become bigger the further you get from the club house, (personally if I was to alter the course I'd change the first to play a par 4 down the practice ground, this is my opinion and probably wrong, but I think the 1st is a poor opening hole, I'd then change the 2nd into a long par 4 rather than a nothing par 5). However as you get further from the clubhouse the fun starts with the 6th being the first of a long run of very different and interesting holes .The 8th is very much like Royal St George's SI1, but much much shorter. The 11th is one of the best par three links holes I have played, in fact I struggle to think of a better one on the south east coast in terms of a short challenge (obviously there is the Maiden at Royal St George's for sheer dramatics). Then there are the completely different challenges of the 12th and 13th across some very large hill like dunes (don't be tempted in summer to drive the 13th somebody watched my ball bounce out of bounds today). The 14th is also a good par five although there seems to be a spare green further on by the 15th tee which if used would make it a truly great and very tough hole with the marsh all down the left. After that you are back to the flatter on the way to the club house with some long and testing par 4's with water and some big carries.

It's really worth the visit and is a friendly place to be, just get chatting to the charming pro Ray Gadd to get the idea. I just think the club needs to concentrate on the course a little more, they really have a great historical links here and they really need to treasure it a little more.
July 18, 2006
8 / 10
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PAUL
July 23, 2010
It's just to let anyone interested that the extra green referred to is actually for '14a' (temporary hole when needed) which is approximately 160 yards of sheer carry and quite possibly the best temporary hole you are ever likely to play.
soulboy
Played Hayling on Wednesday 31st May. When the wind blows (as it was) this is a tough course. The greens and fairways were in top condition and the whole surroundings are very natural. Prior knowledge of the course layout is a distinct advantage as the landing areas from certain tee shots are not obvious. Do make the effort to play this course. The whole atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.
June 04, 2006
8 / 10
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Thomas
Like most visitors to Hayling Island, I had to travel out of my way to get there, but I was glad I made the journey. Having crossed the bridge from Havant, you will find the island's main seaside town tacky, gaudy and outdated, but the golf course is quite the opposite - charming, understated and offering a variety of challenges as pleasing now as they must have been 100 years ago. It is possible that the first two holes will disappoint you, and the next two whilst presenting a stouter challenge are hardly that exciting. However the wonderful short par three at the fifth sparks a fine run of holes, where some testing longer par fours are mixed with several short, but treacherous holes. The perilous 13th at 340 yards is a great example of how Hayling can tease with birdie opportunities yet threaten disaster - in addition to a thrilling downhill approach the backdrop of cottages, water, boats and hills is truly beautiful. The long par five fourteenth is another outstanding hole but sadly the last great hole that Hayling offers. The home run through gorse presents a fair and tough challenge, but lacks any inspiration. Hayling's clubhouse, perhaps designed to resemble a passing ship in the Solent, is big and brash and might once have been a Tate Modern installation. I was surprised to discover that inside it is stylish and comfortable, the views superb, and the food worth pausing for before hurrying home. HighHandicapMan
May 29, 2006
8 / 10
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Hugh
The previous reviewer must have caught a couple of the old boys on a bad day, the last time I played here (autumn 05) the welcome could not have been friendlier. This is certainly the best south coast links course and it’s an underrated and challenging gem which in my humble opinion should be a bit higher up the rankings. The start is a bit ordinary and then things really get going with two hard par 4s at 3 and 4. The 5th is a brilliant par three and things just continue to get better and better. The 14th is considered to be the best par 5 on the south coast and I can’t disagree. Certainly this is a traditional members club, which opens its doors to non-members, and long may it continue.
April 10, 2006
8 / 10
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Chris
Although a very nice course with some very challenging holes, Hayling is one of those courses living in the past. Although I agree that all courses should adhere to the no jeans sports clothes policy this course is as stuffy and snobby as they come. Run by old men who try to make up for their lack of golfing skill by moaning at non-members.Played in a fourball with the highest handicap being 3 had 4 elderly 'gents' constantly moaning at us trying to come through which we did at the earliest chance. Even when we did call them through they decided to continue their feud in the bar. Overall a very nice course but the members/committee should perhaps modernise and realise that not all golfers wear plus 4's, smoke pipes and reminisce about the good old days of hickory shafts etc....
March 26, 2006
2 / 10
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Oliver Searle
February 18, 2010
I think that is very disgusting the way you described our members, because they are from it, and if you were holding them up for too long, they have the right to complain.
Weatherman
July 27, 2010
Oh dear. Didn't see the incident, obviously, but this sounds about right. As an ex member of position within the club I'm afraid this sounds like the same old story. I'm the first to bestow the courses wonderful qualities to anyone that wants to listen but.....the club is moving in the right direction, which is great, but it certainly isn't there yet. Obviously the club should maintain the traditions and etiquette of the game (I know I play a lot of courses now where I'm dying to give players in front a crash course in correct behaviour), but that doesn't have to extend to shoddy manners. Any long standing member who feels this is just younger players wanting to create an issue should cast there minds back to former club secretary Colin Stokes. Colin may have been very old school and therefore seem like an unusual person to cite but he was a man that understood the game and would have strongly disapproved of paying 'guests' being treated like second class citizens. I don't want to speak out of turn but I can't imagine former club pro Ray Gadd would be too impressed either.
Lee Bottomley
November 21, 2011
As a member since (around) 2006 I had reservations about some of the 'elderly / stuffy gents'. As with many clubs these types of members have quite literally died out, though some remain further up the A3. Joining in with juniors and older members has never been a problem. It can't be too bad if a former Ryder Cup player is seen here most weeks!
Hugh
I’m stunned that nobody has yet posted a review for Hayling, so here goes: It’s a toughie but really enjoyable and entertaining. There is more than enough variation here to keep golfers of all levels entertained. It’s not the longest course but they allowed us to play off the back tees which was great but turned out to be a low scoring round! After a gentle and rather oridinary start, Hayling really gets going at the 3rd and it just gets better and better. The best sequence of holes are in the dunes around the turn and these are cracking holes. The 14th is one of the best long par 5s I’ve ever played and many reckon it’s the best par 5 in the south…superb it certainly is. If you like traditional links courses, you’ll like it here at Hayling Island, this was once a Top 100 regular and I still prefer it to many of the brash tournament courses that always seem to make it onto Top 100 lists. There are better links courses but Hayling is the real thing, no question.
May 26, 2005
6 / 10
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