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1 mile S of Liphook
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Liphook is as pretty as a picture and one of the earliest examples of strategic design. This delightful, classic heathland course spans Hampshire and Sussex’s county boundaries - it's a course for the connoisseur, not for the dilettante.
The club was founded in 1922. A teacher called Arthur Croome (a partner in the architectural firm of Fowler, Abercromby, Simpson and Croome) designed the course, his one and only. “He did it wonderfully well,” wrote Bernard Darwin in Golf Between Two Wars, “all the better perhaps because he had not much money to do it with and must rely as far as possible on kindly Nature.”
According to the club's history, Tom Simpson joined Liphook Golf Club and became "Master of the Green" and he was later responsible for a number of course revisions.
By today’s standards, Liphook is relatively short, measuring less than 6,200 yards, but with a lowly par of 70. Playing to handicap is another matter. The heather, pine and birch place a premium on line rather than length.
The sandy ground is wonderfully undulating with natural depressions and elevations and, in some ways, the terrain is reminiscent (if a little less dramatic) to that at nearby Hindhead, where there is another charming and understated golf course.
Andrew Horton commented: “You quote Darwin as liking the 2nd, a short hole, but he is describing the 11th I think. The course used to begin at the 10th when the adjacent pub was the clubhouse, so I imagine he played it at that time. Similarly when he talks about the 5th, I think he is describing the current 13th.”
Liphook starts unusually with a par three. “For sheer beauty I think I like best the second hole,” wrote Darwin, “a short one with its knowing little bunkers waiting by the fringe of the green and its clump of dark trees keeping watch and ward behind. The fifth, too, is picturesque with its big golden bunker and its stream.”
Bunkers are audacious, characterised not only at the 5th, but also at the 6th and 11th. The prettiest holes and probably the best sequence of holes is the trio from the 12th to the 14th. If we had to pick a favourite hole, we would plump for the 14th, a short par four doglegging to the right where a bold drive will leave a short pitch to the green, and a good birdie opportunity will be on offer following a well-positioned drive.
Liphook is a classy golf course which does everything well, but in an understated way. A charming course with friendly members – the perfect venue for golf.
Tom Mackenzie of MacKenzie and Ebert completed a rerouting project just ahead of the club’s centenary celebrations in 2022, eliminating a crossing of the busy A3 road. The first phase took place in 2019, involving the construction of two new holes (8th and 9th) and a new green on the new 11th to create the longest par five on the course. Holes 10 and 11 were then merged in the second phase to form the new 10th and the 15th was realigned to use another crossing under the railway.
Back at Liphook after a year to find that the club is to undergo a major course alteration, designed essentially to avoid the present hairy/scary road crossing after hole 14. The work has started and it looks like three newly designed holes are close to being completed. Withdrawing the poor hole 14 from play will benefit the golf course and a sensible way over the main road will certainly add to enjoyment… the present arrangement is heart stopping!
Liphook is absolutely sublime and shame on anybody in the area for not playing it or being ignorant to its majestic existence. It is my humble personal opinion that golf in England is woefully under appreciated. Visitors from around the world flock to Ireland and Scotland in their millions (for understandable reasons), but arguably the best mix of golf (links, heathland, moorland) is in England.
For years, gems like Silloth on Solway, St. Enodoc, St. George’s Hill and West Sussex fly under the radar without much global recognition – and I can now add Liphook to that list.
Some of the most stunning settings for golf with awe-inspiring green locations. The trees frame the holes so beautifully and it truly feels like you’re walking in paradise. The peaceful isolation and brilliant playing conditions warrant huge congratulations to the green-keeping staff for top notch putting surfaces. We have the vision of Arthur Croome back in 1922 to thank for building this course, his one and only.
The par 4 second hole immediately gave the “wow” factor with a sloping fairway heading up to a slightly sunken green. The entire setting is just gorgeous as your adventure begins. You cross a road on two occasions as the routing is laid out on two paddocks, but the beauty and challenge is very consistent throughout. I loved the angles that are created on almost every hole, with highlights including the drive on the 6th, and the magnificent stretch of dog-leg par 4s 14 to 16. The mixture of excellent routing and perfect planting of heather makes this course a work of art. The opening par 3 didn’t deter from the strength of the short holes, with the 3rd and 7th holes being personal favourites.
I can’t say enough about how strongly I recommend golfers to experience this course. Liphook would be a club I would join in a heartbeat if I lived in the south of England.
I have played here a couple of times and the thing that stands out are the absolutely delightful and very quick, true running greens that the members here get to enjoy day in day out through the season. If there are better greens in the county I would like to know as I don't think I have ever putted on anything better than what they have here. I also love the look and feel from holes 2 to 14, delightful heathland holes from start to finish with lots of interest in each hole's design along the way. It is hard to pick a favourite among them and I love them all. For some reason I am not a great fan of the par 3 first or the stretch from 15 onwards although they're still enjoyable, just not quite the standard to my eye of the other holes but it is just an opinion and others may not agree. It's a great day out and great value and I strongly recommend. I can see why it consistently gets rated best in Hampshire although out of the other top inland tracks, Blackmoor gives it a good run for the money and North Hants and an improving Stoneham are all in contention to try and knock it off it's number 1 perch. If you get an invite, clear your diary and go and enjoy.
I've played a lot of golf courses in Hampshire but Liphook Golf Club is easily the best there is for the county. It is a beautiful heathland course with many great golf holes. It starts off difficult with a long par 3 playing over 200 yards and then followed by a long par 4 with heather all the way down the right side but it looks stunning. Every hole is great and it requires you to play lots of strategic shots in order to get round in a good score. Personal favourites would have to be the par 3 3rd hole, uphill and plays about 150 yards, do not go long because it will leave you with a downhill chip with the green sloping away from you! The 16th hole is fantastic, known as 'the quarry'. A dog leg left with a big quarry on the left hand side, if you keep it straight off the tee then you will be left with an awesome approach shot. The club is fantastic and every time I go there I am in love as it truly is a beautiful course in great condition all year round.
There’s no denying that Liphook is a very fine golf course, 18 holes played over beautiful undulating heathland with fairways that wander through mature woodland.
It has some interesting green complexes, superb putting surfaces, fine bunkering and is a lovely place to play golf.
That all said, something just didn’t quite click for me here and I came away a little underwhelmed.
I know of many others who won’t agree with this sentiment and they sing Liphook’s praises to the hilt. I liked it very much but didn’t love it like I thought I might. Perhaps it just didn’t suit my eye.
Or maybe it was my high expectations, of a course that features favourably in all the various rankings, that wasn’t quite met. There are certainly some excellent holes at Liphook but the highs weren’t quite as high as I anticipated, or indeed had hoped for.
I played it on the same day as nearby Blackmoor and contrary to popular opinion I found its near neighbour to be superior, albeit slightly, in most departments. It’s personal opinion of course and a second playing of each venue may well change my perspective but for now I can only write about my initial experience.
Maybe Liphook saves the best for last because the 18th is a real cracker with a blind drive and lovely looking approach. It’s a modest par five at just 462 yards and will allow many golfers to finish on a high note.
I strongly suspect I will return to Liphook for another look. Fingers crossed it’s a grower!
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
Quality course, deserving of being at the very top of the county listings. You will probably not play faster greens anywhere than they get them here, the course is a delight, except for the busy road which punches through the site and which you have to cross twice. It is difficult to find much wrong with the layout although personally, I do not think holes 15 and 16 are up with the rest of the course as they seem to have been "squeezed" in whereas you do not feel that anywhere else on this wonderful layout. A must play if you find yourself in the area.
Booked to play Liphook while we were staying at nearby Champneys. Perfect golfing weather an i was asked if i wanted to join 2 members and another player. What a fantastic group of people, all playing at a good level. As for the course, absolutely fantastic. It is one of the best courses i have played, the condition of it for april was superb, the greens were a pleasure to play on. i was told that it is built on sand and playable all year and you could tell. They are making some changes, which in my opinion are not needed but i understand why. managed to birdie the fantastic par 3 which is always nice after being told how hard it is. Lots of very challenging holes, all of which offer something different. Thanks Roy and Phil, i'll be back asap.
Played 10 March on a drizzly day ! Having played the 3 best of Dorset heathland courses in the last week, the defining difference is the quality of Liphook's greens. They were true and still had good pace. Really enjoyed the course and unlike a number of courses that I've played as a 1 ball, a number of groups of 2 and 3 let me through so I was able to get round in just over 2 hours. Absolutely loved the course. Standout holes in my opinion were 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 17. Weakest holes were 15 &16, although still decent. Overall and excellent golf course
Played it this week and found it an excellent golf course. You have to navigate get it properly or pay the price. The course was in excellent condition and the greens were lighting.They were also receptive to approach shots. The club and its members were very welcoming and this is definitely up there with all the great courses in this area.