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1 mile S of Liphook
Contact in advance – not Tue or competition days
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.