Queenwood Golf Club, in a similar mould to Loch Lomond and the Wisley, is reserved for its small but perfectly formed membership and their very lucky friends. This is the most secretive golf club in the UK, even a logon id and password is required to access the Queenwood Golf Club website. Secrecy is a great marketing ploy and with membership full and a reputed joining fee of £145,000 it’s little wonder that the club is packed full of golf’s high rollers.
David McLay Kidd, son of former greenkeeper Jimmy Kidd, designed Queenwood and the course quietly opened for play in 2001. Jimmy is now the chief agronomist within his son’s design business. According to DMK Design, “The site is tranquil parkland in west London, an area well known for its classic courses, including Sunningdale, Walton Heath, Woking, Swinley Forest, and more. The area had recently seen some expensive private club failures, in part, I believe, because the courses were too manicured and too predictable. My pitch to the developer, Fred Green, was that Queenwood had to be a departure from that modern style and a return to the heathland traditions of the courses noted above, all of which have stood the test of time”.
The Surrey/Berkshire sandbelt has seen precious little golf course development in the last 80 years and Queenwood harks back to the design principles of yesteryear. According to Fred Green, “DMK Golf Designs' modern interpretation of designs from the ‘Golden age of Golf Course Architecture’ in the 1920s has produced results that far exceeded our highest expectations”.
Golf World magazine commented on Queenwood, in their November 2002 edition: “Queenwood is an ambitious and exclusive club for its A-list of invited members, so a mediocre course was never a proposition. They chose a profile designer with fresh ideas on a classic bent, David McLay Kidd. He has done a masterly job considering this was his first course in the UK. It is a triumph of understatement at first glance despite Kidd’s bunkering which is intriguingly shaped and clad entirely in heather. It is not until you stretch your legs and stroll around that you are hit by the detailing, particularly the greens that roll and pitch like a sea swell. This is real class, from the Pro V1s on the practice ground to the chilled apples by the 10th tee.”
If you've managed to play Queenwood, either by sneaking on, or by buttering up Hugh Grant, Michael Douglas or another wealthy member, you’re one step ahead of most of us. We'd love to know what you think about the course. Why not write a review and let the world know how good Queenwood really is?
March 02, 2010