Hockley - Hampshire - England

Hockley Golf Club,
Twyford,
Winchester,
Hampshire,
SO21 1PL,
England


  • +44 (0) 1962 713165

  • Chris Kilgannon

  • Jock Woodson, James Braid

  • Gary Stubbington

Hockley Golf Club dates back to 1914, when landowner Horace Trimmer decided to have a 9-hole course built as a silver wedding anniversary gift for his wife Bessie, who was a keen player.

Jock Woodson, club maker at the local Magdalen Hill links, laid out the holes in 1915 then he became the club’s professional for the following thirty-five years. A second nine was added soon after the layout first opened for play.

John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming take up the story in this edited extract from their book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses: “The landowner died in March 1920, and the executors decided to review and re-align the course. Braid was their choice. He was paid £25, and had the assistance of Woodson.

The two of them walked the downland from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. placing long sticks for greens and short ones for tees. The new course was to measure 5,500 yards, and to be similar to the longer, pre-1920 course.

It would be a fascinating exercise to compare the pre-Braid course, the Braid course, and the present course. Basically, they are not dissimilar, going up to the valley, hole 5 near the top, holes 6 to 13 to the right on rising and falling land, hole 14 across the top of the downland, and holes 15 to 18 along and down the left side.”

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Reviews for Hockley

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Description: 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. Rating: 5.3 out of 10 Reviews: 4
TaylorMade
Alex Frolish

One of the main challenges of designing a golf course on higher ground is how to both climb and descend the hill at the beginning and end of the round. The clubhouse of courses such as this are usually located at the most accessible (often the lowest part) of the property and the first design conundrum is how to gain some altitude in the opening holes, and how to lose it in the closing holes.

Hockley answers the first question in an extremely attractive and memorable way. The opening stretch of 4 par 4’s utilises a natural half pipe to steadily climb to the higher part of the course. These holes are at first glance, reassuring and easy on the eye but looks can be deceiving and a combination of tricky rough, hugely testing pacy greens and two of the toughest approach shots on the course (2 and 4) make this opening stretch a potential round wrecker.

Having mentioned the greens, it should be noted that these are some of the most testing you will play in the area and the combination of pace and contouring is probably the main defence of the course. There are places not to miss and it would be advisable to leave your ball on the low side of the hole when at all possible as there are some tricky escapes to be negotiated from above the flag.

The holes on the higher ground are solid without campaigning for too many headlines and the general feel of the land is one of space and expansive vistas. The real notable holes coming in are the two short holes (12 and 16) and the hugely characterful 17th, that benefits from some highly unique fairway contouring and arguably the best of the panoramic views on the course. I am very fond of golf courses where you overlook other sections of the course from a vantage point or two and there is a lot to see from the higher parts of the 17th.

In answering the descending question, Hockley in my opinion doesn’t do quite as well as the ascent in the opening holes, which undoubtedly uses the best of the land closest to the clubhouse. The 18th takes an abseiling approach to the change of altitude. It is certainly memorable and allows for some attacking play at the culmination of the round as it is an eminently reachable downhill par 5. I do however think that the hole would be stronger as a par 4, as depending on ground conditions, it may become a bit of a soft touch the more you play the course. We played it in autumn and I hit a pretty average drive and a 4 iron to the edge of the green. I can imagine going into the green with very short irons in the middle of the summer.

Overall I was impressed with Hockley and it was somewhere that had snuck under the radar prior to this visit. The greens and the views are undoubtedly the highlights and it is a course where all facets of your game will need to be firing to come away with a decent score; surely the sign of a good and fair test of golf.

December 02, 2021
6 / 10
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Keith Baxter

I didn’t find Hockley particularly quirky, nor did I find it overly up hill or down dale. What I experienced was a cleverly routed downland course that displayed some good old-fashioned architecture alongside some average fare.

The two par threes on the front are knocked into a cocked hat by the two one shotters on the back. The 12th is an absolute gem of a short hole where there are few prizes for missing right.

Unfortunately we caught the course on an off day yesterday condition-wise, the fairways were shaggy and the first cut way too long for my liking. The least said about the juicy rough the better. The greens have been redone to USGA standard at some point and were nowhere near their best. Marker posts would not go amiss on a few holes (e.g. #14 and #17).

Minor conditioning quibbles aside, I enjoyed Hockley and would recommend a visit if in the Winchester area.

August 18, 2021
5 / 10
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Peter Handcock

Very hilly and quirky

April 16, 2020
4 / 10
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HDM

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.

September 23, 2019
6 / 10
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