Established in 1914 and designed by James Braid, Hockley Golf Club is set on free draining chalk where there are fine views of the ancient heritage city of Winchester from its downland fairways.
This is a very fine down land course fully justifying its place in the top 10 in the county and certainly in contention for being the finest in this area of South West Hampshire.
The first 4 holes are par 4's all around the 400 yard mark going up a valley on to a plateau where most of the rest of the holes reside. Arguably a bit samey but very enjoyable none the less, especially if you like playing up the valley with slopes on either side of the holes.
The 5th a decent medium length par 3 at the end of this valley as you turn on to the plateau on which most of this course is set. Holes 6-17 continue to wind their way around this plateau with a nice mix of short, long and medium holes.
It gets windy up here as it's on top of the South Downs so scoring can be tough on a windy day and it's chilly in the winter, so be prepared for this and be happy to enjoy the challenge of a stiff breeze on a regular basis.
Be careful on the 17th to keep the ball to the right as the fairway slopes strongly to the left and you can easily lose your ball in the heavy rough if not careful. If you have a natural draw or are prone to pulling the ball left, you need to be especially careful.
On a still sunny day it can feel really idyllic up on the plateau among the down land grasses that frame the holes, although the course is next to the M3 motorway so expect some traffic noise to interrupt the solitude.
You descend back to the club house via the 18th hole, a 540 odd yard par 5 hole. As it descends so steeply this can literally be a driver and a wedge but it helps to know your lines on this hole if you hit it long as the ball will run and run, especially in the Summer and you need to ensure you know where to find your ball. I am not a big fan of this hole or the aforementioned 17th. They just don't suit my eye but it is just my opinion and I very much like the rest of the course.
Conditioning on the greens and fairways was very good and they have a decent practice range and short game area a short walk from the club house.
I would strongly recommend this course, especially if you enjoy down land courses. The members are lucky to have such a nice course and easily justifies a good 4 ball rating.