Richmond Golf Club was founded on 5th February 1891 at a meeting in the Greyhound Hotel in Richmond and ten days later members were playing on a course staked out on the Old Deer Park.
Problems with the lease resulted in the club relocating to its current location at Sudbrook Park in Petersham, where Tom Dunn set out a new course less than seven weeks after the first ball had been teed up on the original layout.
Sudbrook Park dates back to the early 18th century, with the mansion house completed in 1728 by John Campbell, the 2nd Duke of Argyll. As far as grand clubhouses go, Richmond’s Grade 1 listed building is right up there with the very best of them
The first programme of major course changes was instigated in 1932. The then 1st tee was moved to make way for a new 18th green and the dangerous cross-over of the 13th and 15th was removed. A new 16th green was also created and the 12th hole was reversed.
Tim Lobb carried out an extensive course renovation which focused heavily on re-bunkering the layout in 2012, with the firm receiving a "Renovation of the Year" award from one American golf magazine.
Extending to just over 6,100 yards, the course isn’t long but narrow, tree-lined fairways and strategically placed bunkers demand respect from whoever plays here. Unusually, there are six par three holes in play, three on each nine, measuring between 156 and 209 yards.
Relatively plain course, in fairness I played it in the winter so not at its finest but in comparison to other clubs at the time of year it was not in the greatest condition. That being said would head back to try it again and give it a fair chance and maybe play the other course too.
Mark, are you sure you are talking about the right golf course? There is no other course to try at Richmond Golf Club, there are however two courses at Richmond Park.
This is a pleasant private golf club. The course is old-fashioned and kept in immaculate condition with a stunning old clubhouse to boot.
As noted in the below review, this is a nice parkland layout that isn’t too penal if you’re offline (you’ll probably need to chip out from under the trees) but it packs a punch with the tricky undulating greens.
3 is the first strong hole - a long par 4 with out of bounds on the right - this calls for a long straight drive!
5 was a nice hole with fairway bunkers down the right, you need to choose your line of attack into the green carefully here.
7 was the first par 5 and the fairway landing area is heavily guarded by bunkers. If you negotiate the Drive well though, you can score well on this hole. The front 9 finishes with a pleasant dogleg left which sweeps round to a sloping green which is much bigger than it seems from the fairway.
10 is the best hole on the course - a long straight hole with OB down the left. The green has some tricky run off areas such that bunkers aren’t needed to protect it.
11 was a pretty par 5 before you come across the middle stretch of the back 9 which is very nice but the holes feel a little samey. 14 though is a good par 3 that is well protected by bunkers.
17 was another strong hole which doglegs severely to the right and requires shaping on the tee shot if you are going to reach this green in two.
Overall, this is a pleasant golf course with no outstanding holes but plenty of consistently good ones - all in perfect condition. A great day out.
The best part of Richmond is the quality of the course. The fairways, greens and tees are immaculate which means playing here is very fair. The course itself is a nice parkland course, where hitting a bit wayward will result in finding trees but also finding your ball. I like this as you are typically punished only by having to hit our sideways.
The course itself does not ask a lot, it’s par 5s are all less than 500 yards and it has too many par 3s for me (6). I am not sure in a month or so how many of the holes I will remember.
I appreciate this is a private club and therefore you pay the price if you want to play as a visitor. However, we left the course thinking that if we had played for 30 quid mid week we would have left thinking that was good value.