New Zealand Golf Club is a beautiful private golf course situated on the outskirts of Woking and is another superb inclusion in the famed Surrey Sandbelt.
Everything about New Zealand screams “understated” and this is clearly the intention. Prior to my obsession with Golf, I lived in Woking for 7 years and often drove down Woodham Lane and was oblivious to the fact I was driving past a Top 100 Golf Course. The entrance offers a small sign and nothing more. Past the gate you are met with a friendly old school clubhouse, where the members sit with friends, whiling away the hours with their Labradors nestled at their feet, pre-ordering their fish pie before a stroll across 18 heather framed aesthetically pleasing holes.
The course is short, playing just over 6,000 yards and has only one Par 5. For an accurate plotter it’s a very scoreable course, but find the heather and you have to be an efficient scrabbler. There is also excellent bunkering throughout, that comes into play on most holes. The course is flat, so makes for a very leisurely walk and the routing is fun, with three holes situated around the fantastic halfway hut. If you pass this and don’t order a Gin Pimms you have made a mistake! They grow the mint at the hut and it tastes as fresh as you’d expect.
Most of the holes play in isolation from each other due to the woodland that the course meanders through and although I would argue there are no standout holes, there are certainly no weak ones, with 18 strong and pretty holes. My favourite was the long Par 3 16th with the green seemingly an island tucked behind a sea of heather. There is also some restoration work going on by the wizards over at Clayton DeVries & Pont, so the course only stands to improve from here.
When sat on the terrace, post round, enjoying yet another Gin Pimms, you can’t help but admire and enjoy the club. It’s full of character, set up perfectly for its average membership and it has no pretence. It’s not chasing any rankings or notoriety, it’s just a fantastic club with a very good course and somewhere I would love to grow old and knock it around with my friends and my dog in tow.
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Date: May 15, 2021