Once you have turned into the discrete entrance of the golf course and made your way through the electric gates, the ages slip away and you are enveloped in that old fashioned Surrey world of foursomes golf on a classic heathland course. The clubhouse is a picture in itself and very little seems to have changed over the last hundred years. In the locker room the ancient members lockers have all the present and past owners written on them in gold letters. A little macabre but typically old school and some of them have had only four or so members name on them! This is one of those typically exclusive Surrey courses where the membership list is short and they are definitely not encouraged to play to often. The course itself is immaculate, you wander down well manicured fairways (with amazingly few divots) framed with rhodies and bordered by swathes of heather. It's not a long course, a 6,100 par 68, but it is pretty. I think the par three 16th is probably one of the best, all you can see is heather and a flagstick in the near distance. The trouble on this course is just off the fairway, with that heather, and up by the greens. The greens themselves are true and hard and often have deep and extensive bunkers surrounding them. However as a test of golf it was for a different era and it was never meant to be a championship course even then. Although pretty it is also a flat course, so it has none of the undulating ground and sweeping views of Swinley Forest or the three W's. However as a place to play it is right up there with the best and not impossible to get onto if you book in advance and unlike Swinley the welcome was very pleasant. In terms of ranking I'd put it just above the three W's although maybe on a par with Worplesdon and Swinley but not a patch on St George's Hill, Berkshire or of course Sunningdale.
Date: May 28, 2007