Royal Wimbledon - Surrey - England

Royal Wimbledon Golf Club,
29 Camp Road,
Wimbledon,
London,
SW19 4UW,
England


  • +44 (0) 208 9462125


"The Royal Wimbledon Club was founded some two hundred and sixty years after the Royal Blackheath," wrote Bernard Darwin in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, "and yet golf is still so young a game in England that the two appear of almost equally hoary antiquity. There is an old-fashioned air about the golf at Wimbledon – an atmosphere of red coats and friendly foursomes made up at luncheon, which is exceedingly pleasant."

Did you know that Dr William Laidlaw Purves was a member at Royal Wimbledon Golf Club? The doctor went on to discover and design the course at Royal St George’s and was also one of the founding fathers of the Ladies Golf Union.

Golf was probably played on Wimbledon Common in the early 19th century. Records go back to 1864, suggesting that some of the London Scottish Rifle Volunteer Corps, who were posted nearby, met on Wimbledon Common to form the London Scottish Golf Club. Tom Dunn designed the original course and the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club came into existence in 1882. But there was trouble brewing in the ranks of the two clubs and eventually, in 1907, the Royal Wimbledon Club moved to its present location at Caesar's Camp and Willie Park Junior designed this "new" course.

"A wonderful place is this new Wimbledon course," wrote Darwin, "for as soon as we are on it all signs of men, houses and omnibuses, and other symptoms of a busy suburb disappear as if by magic, and a prospect of glorious solitary woods stretches away into the distance in every direction." Even today, visitors will experience a delightful peaceful atmosphere. But the course we play today is very much the work of one of Royal Wimbledon's many famous members – Harry Colt. Some other well-known members include Roger Wethered and Lord Rothschild.

Royal Wimbledon is a tough test with narrow undulating tree-lined fairways. Accuracy is all-important on this 6,348-yard par 70 course. One of the best holes is the 12th, a long semi-doglegging par four, measuring 452 yards from the medal tees. After a solid drive you'll be left with a tough approach shot to a plateau green.

One of the easiest holes at Royal Wimbledon is the short par four 6th. But we bet you can't match the remarkable feat of the former Royal Wimbledon Captain, Edward VIII. When he was Prince of Wales he holed out in one on this 265-yard par four.

Tom Mackenzie completed phase three of a Course Development Plan in 2018, with work carried out on the 6th, 11th, 13th and 17th holes. Paths were re-routed and re-surfaced, trees were cleared to open out views and promote heather regeneration and bunkers were refurbished to give them more character. Phase four in early 2020 saw the par four 2nd and par three 5th reopen after refurbishment.

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Reviews for Royal Wimbledon

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Description: Royal Wimbledon Golf Club is a jewel in the heart of London. A delightful peaceful course with fairways lined with mature oak, chestnut and silver birch trees, with a little gorse thrown in for good measure. Rating: 6.9 out of 10 Reviews: 17
TaylorMade
Tim Elliott

‘There is an old-fashioned air about the golf at Wimbledon’. So wrote Bernard Darwin back in 1910, but to the course’s great credit it has 112 years later been tastefully brought up-to-date without losing its traditional feel. Royal Wimbledon still exudes a quiet calm, so untypical of its surrounds in a bustling and crowded suburb of south-west London.

The holes are a good mixture of long par fours, shortish well-protected par threes with one or two risk and reward holes and only two par fives both measuring just 500 yards from the back tees. At only 6344 yards with a par of 70 Royal Wimbledon seems an reassuringly easy track, but the significant undulations, shrewd bunkering and sloping greens make for a stern test, as the scores from our Golf Day amply demonstrated.

The fun starts with a daunting long par four with the huge dogleg right only reachable after a fine drive, and there is no let up over the next three holes all over 400 yards. There are two lovely short par fours at 6 and 9 encouraging the golfer to go for the green from the tee, a standard par five at 7 with distant views of Coombe Hill golf course, one excellent par three at 5 requiring a mid iron and a second ‘short’ hole at 8 that we all failed to reach with driver in hand.

There is no let up on the back nine with the magnificent par four stroke one hole at 12, a small matter of 452 yards with a glorious sweeping dogleg to a raised green, and if that wasn’t enough this was shortly followed by a less classy dogleg at 14, still a par four at 469 yards! Two more long par fours are followed by a gem of a par three at 17. This is the shortest hole on the course at 136 yards, with a long narrow uphill green sloping from right to left and jealously guarded by 5 bunkers. Unless you get close with your tee shot this is a three putt waiting to open. And 18 is an unusual finishing hole at only 344 yards, it requires a tidy drive and pinpoint accuracy with the approach shot to another well protected green.

The veritable old clubhouse is a perfect setting to reflect on your game, and how this golf course has passed the test of time and landed in the modern age with scarcely a backward glance.

May 17, 2022
6 / 10
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Neil White

“It is brilliant that, no matter how busy it becomes, London maintains these wonderful green spaces.”

I dwelt on the words of my Aussie compadre as I was stuck for what seemed an eternity in either traffic jams or 20 miles-an-hour zones after departing the grandeur of Royal Wimbledon.

This, and neighbouring Wimbledon Common, make up a divine oasis in the bustling metropolis.

And the welcome at this prestigious club is one of the warmest I have received on my travels so far.

I won a fourball at Royal Wimbledon in the on-course foundation’s auction run by the remarkable Stacey Jeffries in aid of the wounded veterans’ National Golf Club Challenge.

I had struggled to find a suitable time but the PA to the Secretariat (I love this title) could not have been more accommodating and even came to meet me when I arrived.

Before we teed off, the genial secretary walked over with his dog to make sure that we were happy and wished us an enjoyable day.

In the meantime, we had breakfasted on the patio of Royal Wimbledon’s gorgeous clubhouse which has been attended by many a famous face (the royal family have been members) during its illustrious history.

It seemed only fitting, therefore, that we brought along one of our own celebrities in the shape of former England cricket team opener and current TV and radio pundit, Mark Butcher.

Unsurprisingly, he can hit a golf ball for miles and has the rather competitive edge of a real sportsperson. Goodness knows what he made of me having one of my worst games since I began the top 100 challenge.

Butch was our guide for the day, having played at Royal Wimbledon with former England captain, Bob Willis, whose house abutted the course.

He set the tone by smashing the ball down the first hole, a cracking dogleg opener which I attempted to play strategically via a second-shot lay-up.

RWGC has many long par-fours and my pal who hits the ball even further than his cricketer partner commented how many times he needed a fairway wood for his approaches.

The second and third holes pick up the theme – both 400-yard+ par-fours, dotted with bunkers.

Ah, the sand at Royal Wimbledon. My dismal round might have been slightly better had my ball not found the traps quite as magnetic. Even when I thought I had hit a decent shot I found a bunker and then had an uncanny habit of hitting out of them and over the green.

The bunkers are the course’s main protection although the subtly undulating putting surfaces also need concentration which is apparently greater than mine.

Royal Wimbledon is in fabulous condition. Its fairways were as good as any inland course I have played this year, its greens were in great shape and I loved the extended pathways along each hole.

Of its holes, I was most enamoured with the par-threes and its handful of quirky and challenging short par fours.

The fifth which is the first par-three is a beauty and typical of Harry Colt-designed course with the size and shape of the target mostly hidden behind deep bunkers.

The dogleg sixth is the first of the intriguing par-fours and dexterity of mind and shot is required.

Thereafter is a sign which says the course’s site is of national importance because it is that of an Iron Age fort.

Sadly, the irons in my bag were letting me down.

For example, on the doable par-five seventh where I found the inevitable sand and my wedge shot flew over the flag and far away.

By this stage, the Aussie’s back was aching from carrying me around and the proper sportsmen were on the cusp of giving us a walloping.

However, it was game back on after I showed a flicker of life at the long par-three eighth which demands a long carry and slight fade into a sloping green.

The prettiest par-three, in my opinion, is the picturesque 13th, perched up a slope between bunkers. Correct club selection is essential because finding the flag from the knotty rough either at the side of the sand or behind the hole would be very tricky.

The most obvious Colt hole is the 15th with his trademark horizontal sand traps in three parallel lines up to a raised green.

My game had belatedly returned by the last three holes which offered a rather lovely run-in.

The 16th is over a small stream with sand on either side of the fairway. My partner played it beautifully and, by this stage, we were threatening an unlikely comeback.

The 17th is another splendid, raised par-three. Finding the green needs precise club selection but that is only part of the job because the putting surface has fiendishly hidden borrows.

However, the green isn’t as tough as the last – a gorgeous short par-four which demands accuracy off the tee and a cute approach to avoid the swirls which can unexpectedly take the ball from the target.

By this stage, the professional sportsmen’s team were working out putts with plumb lines, such was their anxiety over a potential defeat.

However, they need not have fretted as they snatched a last-gasp victory which would surely have been as sweet as an Ashes win… Well, nearly.

A glorious day in May had been spent in cracking company on a course which is in superb nick.

In truth, it doesn’t have as many stand-out holes as one might expect of a top 100 track but it was certainly a tough challenge and one I would be very happy to repeat.

May 06, 2022
6 / 10
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Chris Griffiths

I'd been wanting to play Royal Wimbledon for a long time, boy did it not disappoint. The club has fantastic facilities (off the course) and friendly staff, with service and experience, hugely important for me at a club.

Immediately off the first tee it's clear it's not going to be easy. With a sweeping dogleg right, leading to a well protected green, the course kicks off as a bit of a bully. The course starts off very heathland, but changes to a parkland setting at various times in the round. it was quite obvious, and quite enjoyable.

What struck me about RWGC was the sweeping nature of the land, with contoured greens, perfectly manicured sweeping fairways, with elevation at the right time, creating some spectacular challenges (especially the 5th hole green approach). Sublime hole.

But I could go on. Each hole was unique from the last. Each with its own identity and determination to be the best. Whilst RWGC might not be the 'best' course I've ever played (it is extremely good), it is one the most fun, interesting and memorable courses I have ever played.

The Par 3's were a particular highlight for me. A mixture of distance, and when short, offered a different challenge, which I just thought was such a great touch. All delivered with creativity, beauty and design at their heart.

Kudos to the team there. They have created a brilliant place to play golf. Impressive.

I can't wait to go back.

May 02, 2022
7 / 10
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Alex Frolish

I am very partial to a Harry Colt design, and on reading about the recent course changes underway at Royal Wimbledon, I had made it a priority to see the results of this Willie Park Jr/Colt gem being sympathetically restored and rejuvenated.

Royal Wimbledon is so close to the centre of London, but the stark contrast between the surrounding metropolis and the tranquil ambience of the club is immediately striking. Your first view as you round the corner of the clubhouse is an impressive expanse that covers the 1st tee and enormous short game practice area; a sight that makes you wish you’d left a little more time for the traverse across the south west London road network. This is a welcoming clubhouse that you want to spend time in and around both before and after your game, and I struggle to think of combination of practice area and 1st tee more pleasing on the eye.

On to the course and it would be a little harsh to call the 1st an underwhelming opener, but I believe it has been changed over the years due to the proximity of the houses to the right of the tee shot landing area, and the regularity of which they were threatened by errant tee shots. The hole now plays as a 90 degree dogleg right with red stakes lining the corner, imploring you to be a little more cautious off the tee. This hole is what it is and while I wasn’t particularly fond of the tee shot, it was more than made up for by the attractive green site and surrounds.

The club has undertaken a major tree clearance and bunker renovation program and this is evident to the first time visitor is while standing on the 2nd tee. This hole is an attractive gentle right to left dogleg with the bunkers playing a starring role in the pleasing aesthetics. The following three holes run through an area that has undergone extensive clearance and bunker work and you can see just how much the ‘opening up’ of the course is going to benefit the overall experience, as it gives you a much better view of the expansive and undulating ground here. The 3rd was probably my favourite hole on the front nine with its downhill tee shot and uphill approach providing both a beautiful and fair examination.

The 5th is the first par 3 and is a wonderfully attractive hole, but the bunkering and subtle run off on the left side mean it is not as simple a test as it might appear. In my opinion, the par 3’s are the standout feature of the course. The four short holes are all extremely attractive, testing (particularly the green sites and their contouring) and display a variety of length that is often so lacking at many courses. Three of the short holes reside within the same section of the property in and around the halfway house, and I think this contributes to the quality of these holes as this is probably some of the best land on the entire grounds.

As you move into the latter half of the front nine, you are greeted by the 6th, another hole like the 1st, affected by the encroachment of housing on the course boundary. It was clearly designed as a risk reward hole but it is now preferred that you not play it that way for health and safety reasons, as errant shots to the right will again bring private homes into danger. It is a shame as I think the shot played directly to the green poses a legitimate and a testing risk reward question but sadly, a mid iron and a wedge are now the order of the day.

Holes 7-10 reside on a piece of land that is the other side of a footpath that dissects the course. These holes are in keeping with the larger section of layout, but I found myself preferring the land at the other side, where all 14 other holes are situated. The run of holes 11-17 is a sustained run of quality golf with character, challenge and beauty mixing to create an extremely enjoyable period of the round. The green site at 11 is particularly noteworthy with the difficult green being bordered by a couple of treacherous runoff areas, particularly the one on the back right of the green. I could wax lyrical about this run for some time as every hole has features of note to highlight. Collectively, it is the strongest part of the course and resides in the area that has undergone some of the most recent work; a testament perhaps to the success of that work to date.

The conditioning throughout and the greens in particular, deserve special mention. They were in incredible condition for the time of year, particularly when considering the weather conditions we had experienced in the run up to our visit.

Royal Wimbledon is a course undergoing a rejuvenating transformation and I believe that transformation is going to cement its position as one of the most attractive golf courses in the south east of England. I am very much a fan of the opening up of sight lines across a property, particularly one as undulating as this, and I feel the right balance is being struck between removing the right trees and leaving the ones that add most to the character of the course. In general terms, the par 70 course is not long, but it is a test of strategical accuracy and the short game examination is also a stringent one. I can certainly attest to the notion that the overly bold visitor may leave wishing they had been more cautious. Very much like it’s London neighbour The Addington, I very much look forward to seeing the continued evolution of this golf course in the years to come.

May 02, 2022
7 / 10
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Craig Robinson

Super golf course just off the common, when you are playing here you feel like you are in the countryside. Excellent greenkeeping, helpful pro shop and great members. It is expensive and so may not cater to everyone's taste and budgets. Course was very interesting but quite difficult to shoot a low score. Would love to return again in a society day in the summer.

February 23, 2022
7 / 10
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Andy Newmarch

For a course that we can certainly call a Surrey great (#19) and also strong in country (#82), Royal Wimbledon does not get the attention of others either in the area or those with a similar ranking – and do you know what, I think the club are very content with that. Visitors are welcome but there are a few hoops to jump through and a pretty strong green fee unless you play as a guest of a member or you live locally. As visitor numbers are going to be way lower than many courses, course reviews/opinions are likely to be less than the competition, hence a slightly under the radar feel but the bottom line is, this is a wonderful course and is a must play, if you can.

There is a note in the course guide from journalist John Ingham about how some people could not understand why the course is not more famous. “The reason is not baffling; the club has never chased publicity – it just lets the course speak for itself. And it does – every round is an adventure and a memory”.

I played here for the first time in September 2019 with the course manager, Nick Paris (ex-Camberley Heath); Nick is one of the new breed of young course managers that just love their work, love course and club history and make the job of blending course traditions with the modern ways look rather easy. Add in the course development work from Tom Mackenzie over the last two years and a very good course has become even better – those associated with the club told me that this is the best they have ever seen it.

The course starts strongly; a big par-4 playing up to 425 yards and dog-legging to the right at about half-way – if you can see the green for your second you have hit a beauty of an opening shot but there is no shame with a bogey at the first at all. The toughness of the opening continues as the first four holes, all par-4’s and all over 400 yards; there is an element of hanging on to a score on this early stretch.

The first par-3 is at the 5th and like all of the short holes is really good looking. 166 yards with strong bunkering short and left – chances for everyone here. Chance too at the short par-4 6th hole – which should be played, 190 yards straight and then wedge one close but there is a 225-yard blind line to the green over a lot of dead ground – it is certainly worth a try but maybe not on your first visit.

One of each par to complete the front nine, with the 9th another short par-4 at 278 yards – as this is a little uphill the best play here is a shot of around 180 yards from the tee just to take the bunker on the left at this length out of play. The front nine is a great collection of holes and a joy to play.

The back nine is not too shabby either – the 12th at 452 yards, stroke-index 1 and slight move to the right is a beast – only two bunkers on this hole; one to protect a miss-hit tee shot at around 180 yards on the right and a lone one short and right of the green – a hole that will have many more 6’s than 4’s I think. The very next hole a par-3 at 159 yards is similar in look to the 5th but the green is tougher with some very steep borrows.

The 14th could be my least favourite – still a good hole and another big Royal Wimbledon par-4 test. 451 yards turning right but with a fairway sloping left and also out of bounds left and right, the left side to protect the practice ground, so it is probably that which is not perfect on the eye. Love the dead ground between the bunkering 40 yards out and the putting surface though, a real optical illusion when playing the approach shot.

The final par-3 is at the 17th – and the shortest of them all, only 136 yards at most but now with seven bunkers protecting (previously five / two new ones built to the left of the green). Also, this is such a fast green from back to front meaning that hitting the green does not guarantee a par on the penultimate hole.

The home hole gives a chance to finish well, under 350 yards and if you can avoid a couple of bunkers on the left at 200-220 yards then an approach to this slim green will be with a short iron.

Overall, Royal Wimbledon as a club and course is right up there with some of the more well-known top courses and the current ranking positions in my opinion are the minimum of what can be achieved in the coming years. Highly recommended for so many reasons and can it be called a classic? Yes for me.

November 19, 2020
8 / 10
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Peter Handcock

RW is simply a lovely course. It's a nice walk, it's not long, and it's not too hard. It has great variety in length of holes, with short par 3s and short par 4s a feature.

I can't stress enough how much you have to play it if you're in the area. Lovely track.

April 28, 2020
6 / 10
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Freddie

Royal Wimbledon is a great golf course and I enjoyed my trip here for many reasons. Firstly the club is great and full of history with an absolutely huge practice green which I thought was very nice. The greens were in pristine condition and rolled very well and there were many interesting holes which I thoroughly enjoyed playing. My favourite hole would be for me the short par 3 17th as it looks beautiful and is a great par 3. In my opinion I think Royal Wimbledon could be ranked higher as it is a very tidy course in great condition however I can see why it isn't as high as a lot of the other golf courses in surrey as it does feel like a lot of the holes repeat themselves and feel a bit similar at times. I would give it a 5 ball ranking as for me it ticked a lot of boxes for a great golf course however I can see why people give it a 4 ball ranking. On this occasion I will be generous as I like the course.

March 28, 2019
8 / 10
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Ed Battye

I recently took the opportunity to play Royal Wimbledon Golf Club in their 36-hole scratch open competition, The Royal Wimbledon Trophy.

It’s a golf course that has long been on my radar to play but the consequence of having to drive deep into London coupled with a hefty visitor green-fee of £155 had delayed the process.

However, following the strong recommendation from a playing partner last year and for the princely sum of just £60, which includes food before, between and after golf, I decided to play The Club’s flagship amateur event in September 2017. Handicap permitting (you must be off 4 or below to enter and this often gets balloted lower) I will be back because this is an extremely good and underrated golf course.

Absent from virtually all of the rating lists Royal Wimbledon is on a par with, and indeed superior to, several of the inland venues that regularly grace the rankings.

It is the third oldest golf club in England dating back to 1865, has a rich history, storied membership and has played a significant role in the evolution of the game of golf.

There are two distinct sections to the course. The upper part of the property is played over a tract of tight, firm heathy land whilst the lower section, which we dip into twice, is predominantly parkland in nature.

The best of the golf can be found on the 13 heathland holes and there some absolute gems amongst them.

Recent tree and shrub clearance, particularly around the green sites but also close to the fairways, is now paying dividends with speedier rounds, firmer ground conditions and improved playing surfaces.

Royal Wimbledon is the real deal in terms of challenge and it also packs a big punch in the entertainment stakes.

The route that the course takes, which Colt altered significantly but not entirely from Park, is very enjoyable. The visits to the parkland holes are well spaced and we’re in and out quickly enough for it not cause a big issue. There is a hub of activity around the 1st green, 2nd tee, 5th green, 6th tee, 12th green and 13th tee as all paths cross and this is also where the ‘halfway house’ is located.

The Club – who I suspect don’t seek nor desire publicity - probably don’t want to read this but Royal Wimbledon should be included in all the magazine and website rankings. It should also be quite lofty and therefore more visitors would sample this fine specimen of a golf course.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

September 05, 2017
7 / 10
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David
July 15, 2018

Just a point if clarifation on the age of the course.

It is London Scottish Golf Club, which neighbours the course which dates back to 1865.

The Royal Wimbledon Course was first set up in 1907 by LSGC members who left the club due to issues between the army regiment and civilians.

The course, more or less as it is now, was laid out by Harry Colt in 1924.

Michael

Royal Wimbledon's inconspicuousness in the echelons of the golf rankings is a classic case of old school, a sign of a club not welcoming commercial partnerships and general outsiders. The facilities all-round are extremely good, David Jones of tour-fame has done a great job in establishing a shop brimming with quality clothing and equipment, plus very welcoming team of teaching staff. The old dining room and the long veranda room intertwine to offer one of the most majestic entertainment areas in SW golf if not the country. There is a long driving range where you can hit off the turf and a new short-game area in construction.

An original Harry Colt heathland course, it is also one of the most savage, unrelenting and least-sympathetic you will ever play; the new green staff has done a great job in returning it to it former glory. You have to have your game switched on for the entire 18 holes if you don't want to shoot hundreds. Not long on the card but many par 4s play down then hit back up, most where you have to hit a good drive to just give yourself a chance at hitting the well-guarded greens. All the par 3s require a well-struck shot to carry the whole yardage.

However its once you're on the putting surface that the fun begins. When Jack Nicklaus described putting as "a game within a game", he'd probably just played in the Spring Meeting at Royal Wimbledon. Large, undulating, very quick at times, you have to be able to read line and length, occasionally you can putt off the front. Basically off first or second shot, there's nowhere to miss, if you dont hit the green you're essentially toast, generally demanding an extremely delicate chip to save par. You will recognise this in the scores in the members' medals.

Pretty at times but also very intimidating, the only relief is the well-stocked halfway hut which as grace would have it you pass multiple times. The two par 5s are the most obvious opportunities to pick up birdies, however par is a huge relief at every other hole, even considering the short 6th, 9th and 17th & 18th. Its a shame about the changes they've had to introduce to the 1st & 18th which if anything only makes them harder. The only downside is the amount of traffic the course gets which makes conditions less playable as the day and season goes on. Which is a pity because at its finest (which is truly is a several occasions during the year) it is a beautiful and unbelievable test of golf.

I wouldn't say its a shame that the club isnt more welcoming to more commercial, competitive and outside event, but as far as a level of challenge is concerned it definitely deserves to be in the Top 30 in England and maybe the Top 50 in GB & I. You will never beat this course.

March 19, 2017
8 / 10
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