Knole Park - Kent - England

Knole Park Golf Club,
Seal Hollow Road,
Sevenoaks,
Kent,
TN15 0HJ,
England


  • +44 (0) 1732 452150

"For very many years this was the home club of Sam King," wrote Peter Alliss in The Good Golf Guide, "third in the 1939 Open Championship and a contender on many other occasions, notably in 1948, when he caught the maestro, Henry Cotton, during the final round but then faded.

The club was founded when the Wildernesse estate was about to be sold in 1923 and a country club set up. Some of the members of Wildernesse Golf Club objected to the plans and sought the agreement of Lord Sackville to build a clubhouse and the present course."

Architect J.F. Abercromby, much in demand after his earlier designs at The Addington, Coombe Hill and Worplesdon in Surrey, was contracted in 1924 to lay out the Knole Park course within an enormous 1,000-acre estate leased from Lord Sackville. According to the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses by John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming, Braid had visited the property the year before to survey the estate.

As the authors state, “the preliminary survey was Braid’s. Next was the layout and, in addition to Braid, Abercromby was invited to make a plan. Perhaps surprisingly, Abercromby’s was chosen, the committee as a whole favouring his, Lord Sackville favouring Braid’s. The fascinating element of the two plans is that Braid’s travels clockwise, Abercromby’s anti-clockwise, though both use much the same ground.”

Today, the eighteen fairways still occupy the same parkland setting where the course was originally set out, in the northern portion of the deer park. Knole House, one of the finest National Trust properties in England, is situated at the other end of the estate. The layout was lengthened a little in the 1960s, but apart from changes made at that time, the course is more or less the one that Abercromby designed.

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Reviews for Knole Park

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Description: Designed by the great architect J.F. Abercromby in 1924, the unique Knole Park Golf Club has been described as an inland links. Rating: 7.2 out of 10 Reviews: 17
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Carl Tushingham
A under rated course in my opinion and I'm rather surprised it hasn't made the top 100 in England and I have been lucky enough to play 70 of the top 100. There are no weak holes at all, it is a course full of character and is no pushover. Its very undulating and plays longer than the scorecard would suggest as many holes are uphill and your shooting into raised greens. Really enjoyed the day here and it resembled Hindhead in many ways. Too many stand out holes to list them all, just go and visit if you get the chance, you will receive a nice welcome from all at the club aswell.
January 27, 2012
8 / 10
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Harry Cloke
I really enjoyed playing this course for the first time last summer, it is compared to a links course however this is not true, it comes under no category, it is unique. This course is fun in the summer however in the winter it is extremely easy as the braken is cut and all the bunkers are at the front of the greens (as you have to roll it onto the greens in summer)so bunkers aren't really in play in the winter. The greens are fast and playing irons off the fairways is a joy, one poor factor is that only two bunkers were in range off the tee for me, this means it is rediculously easy off the tee.A good course though, i recommend playing it .
February 12, 2011
6 / 10
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Andy
The course at Knole Park is on land that is spectacular and undulating and to be honest unlike what I have come to understand Knole Park - 16th Flag - Photograph by Andywhat a golf course layout looks like (in places I did get a feel of Hindhead GC) - I am in two minds whether to say I liked it or not. There is nothing really to dislike but this course is a little quirky and may take a few rounds to actually understand. I’ll list the positives first; the greens on all 18 holes are quality and are a joy to putt on. The variety of holes is memorable and a par of just 70, gives the tough test that we are all looking for on a course. The herds of deer all around enhance the experience plus the many walkers and their dogs all go to making this a very nice place to be – the slight problem is that Knole Park is really a country park that has a golf course on it rather than primarily a golf course and for me that slightly gave the flow of holes an awkward feel – I am sure that future visits will help my understanding though. Scoring well is a hard job that is clear with many tough holes – the third is an early example; around 400 yards but playing to an elevated green that slopes front to back and the eleventh is another tough cookie, this time a 422 yards severe dog-leg right par-4. I feel as though I have to mention the par-3’s; there are six of them and the yardages (from the back tees) are 192, 194, 184, 171, 198, 198 – all a little similar in length which is more of an observation than a criticism. The final hole has a blind drive and a wonderful feel about the approach to the green with a natural water hazard just short and right and the clubhouse directly behind. I recommend the course but be warned that it is a fairly hard walk and also it will take more than one round to love it in my opinion
October 21, 2010
6 / 10
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Max
Absolutely loved Knole Park. It was set in a beautiful country park with braken lined valleys and it felt almost jurassic at times. The greens were quick and fairly slopy. The course was quite hilly and so occasionally i found judging distance a bit of a problem (they also only had 150 markers and a useless yardage booklet). The first and second were interesting but three, four and five were really special holes. In fact looking back there were very few weak holes and many really good holes with a few that really had the 'WOW' factor. The course was bone dry but otherwise in good condition however, this only added to the experience of having sheer fun. Great course and a must-play especially as the value (£40 for adults, £15 for junior) and location of the course is so good. Why is it not ranked higher?
July 23, 2010
8 / 10
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Jasdeep
I have played Knole dozens of times, and have not come across another track quite like it. Best played in the summer, the course runs fast, and the high bracken lines the sides of the fairways, as deer meander across them. It is a quirky test, and one where bogeys and doubles are very easy to come by. The numerous slopes, hollows and humps combined with quickish greens make it a thinking man's course - although short, you can't beat it through length alone. Not immaculately kept, but the course has a very natural feel, making it aesthetically pleasing in its own way. Worth a visit in the summer, especially if you're a traditionalist. Oh, and beware the 5th green: many a putt has been sent trundling 100 yards back down the hill towards the tee...!
June 10, 2010
6 / 10
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Hugh
Certainly Knole Park is one of the best courses in the South East and is notorious for fine greens, great views, interesting elevation change and an all round nice place to play golf. Similar in many ways to Ashridge (but not quite so good) and Berkhamsted (probably just as good). Well worth playing and one of those true hidden gems.
September 23, 2008
6 / 10
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Carl Statham
I had once heard from somebody that Knole Park was a bit of a hidden gem and that it was pretty unique. This was my first visit and I openly admit to being a big fan of traditional courses and in my view I have just discovered one of the true greats. I arrived at a bare earth car park with one of those old fashioned wooden clubhouses and there beside the first tee in amongst a stand of majestic oaks was a herd of about twenty fallow deer watching me in a bored and disinterested way. The course is set in one of the most beautiful deer parks in the country and it belongs to one of England’s great majestic medieval palaces, which comes into stunning view for a few holes on the front nine.

The land is sandy and so free draining and very undulating with natural hollows, dells and valleys which the course has been draped over. The comments I have read say this is like an inland links, whilst I can see the similarities in the ground the ever changing elevations mean that in reality this is a sandy downland course. The beauty of this course is in its slight rough and ready manner, this is a course that has been gently laid out on the land and not been placed or manufactured and thus has that wonderfully natural feeling. It is in every way the perfect design approach to the environment it is in. You also have to admire the stunning views of the palace, the park itself, the north downs in the distance and the beautiful trees that punctuate this course so majestically.

The course itself begins with a tough uphill par three and starts it’s visual display on the third where you play down a large valley with a shared fairway and then onto a tiny green perched on a bank surrounded by tall impenetrable ferns. The course continues in this vein all the way through and there are really no weak holes and all six par threes are real challenges, the par fives are a little weaker but the general trend is tee off down hill and play up to greens perched on the side of banks. Whilst the six par threes and four par fives mean this is not a long course it makes up for itself by having hard bouncy surfaces and a lot of rough that is three foot high ferns ……… I.e. lost ball territory. There also seem to be a selection of “green tees” not on the card which would make this course a lot tougher.

This was my first visit and I must admit to being smitten, but in my view this is one of the great classic courses and sits alongside some of the great old quirky Surrey heathland courses, Swinley Forest without the heather or as many trees for example (but a better course). It should be regarded as such and celebrated for being the epitomy of great English golf design I say visit this course as you will never be disappointed with the golf, the views and the environment the course sits in.
October 03, 2007
10 / 10
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adam
January 19, 2013
i played this ten days ago and thouroughly enjoyed it - its a fast playing course with members encouraged to play 2 o r 3 balls - the setting is stunning - i played in the morning with the mist and the deer and the ground was superb and hard and just the way an old course should be with the ability to nip the ball of the fairway - i played tandridge the day before and would certainly favor this one for the setting the variety of holes and the peacefulness (tandridge is drowned in m25 noise pollution) - i cannot understand why this doesnt make the top 100 and in my view the perfect members course !