I played Hindhead in June 2011 as part of a society, several of our society members were in fact members at Hindhead so we were well prepped as to what was in store. First off, I have played several of the many ‘famed’ Surrey courses, including Queenwood, Wentworth (West), St. George's Hill and Walton Heath so I was very interested to see how this particular ‘unsung hero’ would perform. To my delight I was really impressed with Hindhead from when we first arrived in the car park to when we finally left, the place is a traditional members golf club and you can tell a lot of money has been spent on the clubhouse and the facilities. The locker rooms are spacious and practical and the practice facilities are fantastic.
Hindhead is a real case of two nines, I have never played a course with such contrasting front and back nines before. The front 9 literally takes your breath away, the changes in elevation are incredible once you get on the 2nd tee, many of the holes are cut through the valleys with banks on either side, the 3rd par 3 is a particular highlight with real danger if you go left. The 4th par 5 is a terrific golf hole and perfectly sums up the front 9, elevated tee, fairways banked on either side and very strategic bunkering.
At the turn you are greeted with a fantastic halfway hut where a sausage bap and tea went down nicely, the back 9 starts with a reasonably straightforward par 3 and then you notice the real change from the front 9, it is almost completely flat! It reminded me of Walton Heath (Old Course) with all the heather and gorse and the perfect springy turf, it is not a long course but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Main reason for this is reserved for the real stars of the show, the greens! They are unbelievable, easily the best greens I’ve ever played on, so many subtle breaks which leave you scratching your head, the green on the par 3 8th is just unreal, I was pin high with my tee shot and then proceeded to putt it 10 yards off the green the other side, fortunately I saw the funny side, but they were so quick.
Despite the fact the heavens opened on the back 9 (I managed to play most of the back 9 again later in the day with a member) I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Hindhead, it is the sort of course I would love to join as a member, I can’t imagine how amazing it must be to play a course like this every week, compared to its more illustrious neighbours the green fees are at a sensible level as is the membership cost. I’ve been invited back by a couple of members later in the year and I can’t wait, it was a real treat and I urge anyone to play it at least once.
Date: June 27, 2011