Golf Club Road,
St George’s Hill,
- +44 (0)1932 847758
M25 J10, A3 towards Byfleet
Contact in advance – handicap cert required
Class. Everything about St George’s Hill was an absolute delight. Driving through the estate on the way up to the incredible clubhouse, you know you are in for a special experience.
We played the traditional Red & Blue courses and from start to finish had an absolute blast. The course was in fantastic condition, despite the recent wet weather and cold conditions. Greens were running true and Harry Colt uses the elevation changes and perfectly positioned bunkers to create a real challenge in stunning surrounds. The variety of long and short holes, false fronted greens and abundant heather is so engaging.
Particular highlights on the Red include the first (perhaps the best first hole I have played this year, equalled only by Saunton East’s), the fifth with what seems like bunkers everywhere, the stunning par three eighth and the ninth back up the hill to the clubhouse (make sure you play to the right green on this one).
The blue nine was probably the stronger of the two, weaving in and out of the towering pine trees. The first four holes on this route were all brilliant, testing different parts of your game in a beautiful surrounding.
We played Woodhall Spa on the following day and I know in the rankings it sits above St George’s Hill but for me, SGH is every part it’s equal, if not the better of the two.
We all commented that we would love to come back and play in the summer to see how much more run-out you get from the fairways and see the heather in full bloom. I can’t wait to play it again.
St. George’s Hill was the first course of the famed Surrey healthland belt that My friends and I have played.
The customer service You receive at this club is second to none. We didn’t know what to expect as We drove through the gated community that seemed to be littered with gated houses that were well out of our price range. Upon arrival We were greeted by down to earth normal people! From the staff in the club house (that served a tasty and generous cooked breakfast) to the club professional in the shop and Vince the 1st tee starter everyone made Us feel welcomed!
The course played long..... but that is partly down to the cold conditions but also down to the fact that most of the long par 4’s on the course have cleverly designed ‘false fronts’. As a group We found this a very satisfying and intriguing test!
The variety of long and short par 3’s and 4’s really make this course special. Blind tee shots and the most heather I have ever seen on a golf course!
This course and club deserves all the plaudits it gets and We cannot wait to come back in the summer one year to see it in full bloom! If anyone is planning a treat or wants a memorable round of golf. I would absolutely recommend the Red/Blue course at St. George’s Hill.
My favourite "tree lined" course I have played. St Georges Hill does a rare thing in my opinion, which is to offer a memorable tree lined course where 2 weeks after playing you can remember a good majority of the holes as they dont all look or feel the same. The fairways are fairly generous and if you are a bit wide but not too wide, you can still score on this course. An outstanding course definitely worth a visit.
Wonderful British Course draped in so much history, managed to play with a member as their guest. If you get the opportunity take it as it is a great golfing experience.
Great course which maintains a traditional feel (perfect for the sunningdale crowd who still prefer requirements for knee socks, etc). Marvelous clubhouse and a real golfer's club - many affluent golfers in London who maintain memberships at the most extravagant clubs in the UK and globally, belong here and actually play a disproportionate share of their rounds here if they are honest. Other reviewers have noted that there are some holes that are not stunning and I'd agree but this place is decidedly not about impressing outsiders. While on the premises as a guest (which is how I have played), this is a club that is welcoming but I never once felt like anyone was trying to get me to join or even that my opinion was relevant. The golfers there are passionate about the game and are proud of the course, and I suspect are among the least concerned members amongst the Top 100 concerned about their ranking from year to year.
St Georges Hill sits on some of the finest land you could possibly build a golf course. It is hilly and sandy, and designed by the genius Harry Colt. It really is a perfect recipe.
First off, the clubhouse is extraordinary. The castle sits high above the opening and closing holes, and is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside.
The course as you can imagine is fantastic. Its standout holes are 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13. The first might be the best opening hole I've ever played, and is beautifully bunkered, as are all of the holes. The bunkering on 4 and 8 is especially good, and like something you'll have never seen before.
My one criticism is there are a couple of forgetful holes amongst the brilliant ones, which is why I wouldn't place is in the Top 70 in the world, but maybe closer to 100.
A must play if in the area! Oh, and enjoy the mansions on the estate which you'll drive passed before you reach the clubhouse.
I have been fortunate enough to play this amazing course a number of times and the only way to describe it is “an experience”. From the drive through the Oligarch Mansions on the estate, to the jaw dropping clubhouse with some of the friendliest staff you’ll meet, to the food, to the view from the veranda. It all just feels special…and that’s even before we talk about the course.
If you play this course, get here early and enjoy a drink on the patio from the castle clubhouse that overlooks the 1st and the 18th holes on both the Red and Blue courses. You could get lost for hours with the view.
The course (made up of three 9’s: Red, Blue and Green) is as good an inland course as you will play in the U.K. and one of my favourites so far on my journey through England’s Top 100. The Red & Blue are the signature courses, but work is being done on the Green to bring it up to the high standards of the other two.
Every hole is different and there is genuinely not a bad hole on the course. The undulation changes, use of heather and excellent bunker placement makes this course one of prettiest you can play. The 1st on the Red is one of my favourite opening holes anywhere and special mentions go to the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th on the Red and 3rd, 5th and 7th on the Blue. I genuinely found it tough to narrow it down to the 10 photos that Instagram allow.
This is a Harry Colt masterpiece and in my view, he is the master of the Par 3’s. The 8th on the Red is one of the best and most beautiful I have ever played. It’s worth the trip alone.
Overall and incredible golfing visit to one of the best courses in the world. I cannot wait to come back.
For all photos of reviews, please follow Chris’ Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/top.100.golf/
Some say St George’s Hill Red/Blue is H.S. Colt’s masterpiece, rating it above Swinley Forest and Sunningdale New. This higher position is due to the routing which had to successfully incorporate the many hills on the property. I do not share this opinion as I rate those other two courses higher as well as Rye Old, even if Rye has been modified by others. However, St George’s Hill is an outstanding golf course.
It is a long debate as to which course in the London area is the superior. Note that I believe that a scratch player who hits a ball 300+ yards with his driver and 160 with his wedge will likely choose a very different course than most people; probably Walton Heath Old, Wentworth West, The Grove or Queenwood. But for most players the debate would be among: Sunningdale New, Sunningdale Old, Swinley Forest, Woking, or St. George’s Hill. Members of a few other clubs would likely include the two courses at The Berkshire, Hankley Common, West Hill, The Addington, or New Zealand.
Personally, I have Sunningdale Old as the number one course in the London area but there is a close call as to which is the second best among Swinley Forest, Sunningdale New and St. George’s Hill (this is my order). If Walton Heath Old changes the first hole and replaces it with a good hole, then it would come under consideration. I do not have a high opinion of Woking and although I like Worplesdon, The Berkshire, and New Zealand, I do not see them in the same class. I have yet to play West Hill, The Addington and Hankley Common. But one should play all of these courses and play them more than once such is the beauty of these courses, the quality of their routings, the naturalness of the designs, the shaping of their greens, and the overall joy.
Much like driving into Sunningdale or Wentworth, the heart begins to race as you see the St George’s Hill clubhouse as it is magnificent. But as good as the clubhouse is, it is not a match for the golf course which kicks off with a strong starting hole where the fairway narrows as one climbs towards the green. If one does not find the fairway, then one is bringing a double bogey into play. One has to avoid the two bunkers left which I did by pulling my drive even further to the left into the trees. There is a small bunker on the right and two well placed bunkers short of the green. The green is slanted back down the valley. It is a short par 4 of 387 yards but plays closer to 420. It is perhaps the best starting hole of the courses surrounding London with perhaps only Wentworth East’s course being superior.
If the first was not difficult enough, the second certainly is as a 458 yard par 4. It is a somewhat blind shot over a brow in the hill down to the green. There are only two bunkers on the hole, both nearer the green. Longer hitters have to consider the stream crossing the fairway. The green is slanted back to front and anything short of the green will not make it on the surface.
A longer par 3 at 198 yards is next which plays a little shorter due to the elevated tee. The green has bunkers surrounding it and is two-tiered. I found this to be my second favorite par 3 on the course.
A decision awaits one at the short par 4 fourth hole, playing downhill and only 272 yards. Does one try to drive the green or at least get as close as possible, or does one sensibly lay up in front of the green, wedge on, and try to hit it close for a good look at a birdie? A series of bunkers form a stern blockade shaped liked a “V” in front of the green with trees pinching in from the left side. Another bunker is on the back left. The green has a defined spine almost like another “v” running through it and is speedy to the lower level. It is one of the finest short par 4’s one will ever play.
The fifth is a short par 4 less than 400 yards but because the land goes back up near the green it plays a club longer for the approach shot. Two bunkers are on the left for the tee shot with a large cross bunker short of the green. The green has multiple defenses with a bunker left and right, a false front, and it a fair amount of undulations. After playing the hole, I thought it was not quite as memorable as the four before it, but it is a strong hole.
Six is the longest par 4 on the Red side at 468 yards and the most difficult due to the carry over the heather, the tightness of the tree lines on either side and the bunkers fronting the green. The green is tilted back to front and is one of the trickier ones on the golf course. I think it is an excellent hole for players of all abilities.
Seven is a short par 5 of 476 yards. Six bunkers are scattered on this slightly downhill hole with two fronting the green and one each on either side. Simply put, technology has made this a par 4 which would make it possibly the best hole on the course. As a par 5, it is one of the weakest holes on the golf course, despite the beauty and the wonderful shaping of the bunkers. Some might say that par for a hole is a somewhat arbitrary number, when the most important number is the total score for the round. Indeed, Gil Hanse at Ohoppee Match Club has introduced the concept of half par’s to put the focus on enjoyment of the game rather than the plus/minus par for a hole or round. Indeed, Alistair Mackenzie proposed a similar concept in his day. But for me the reason par for a hole is important is that it dictates how a hole ought to be played. At the time that St George’s Hill opened, a 480 yard par 5 that is well bunkered would have been a daunting hole. Now it is not.
Eight is the second par 3 on the golf course and the most memorable hole of the entire 18. It plays at nearly 180 yards across a chasm with three bunkers fronting the green built into the side of the hill and one on the left nearer the green. The bunkers are set well back from the green so they are really only there for intimidation purposes. The green slants towards you at the front but is relatively flat. Going long is to be avoided. I understand that at one time the hole was even better before they changed the front bunkers. That is a pity as this could be one of the finest par 3’s in the world instead of perhaps one of the best in the London area.
Nine is simply fabulous starting with the wonderful elevated tee with a view of the hole and the grand clubhouse behind. I say the tee is elevated on this 389 par 4 playing about 425 but it really is not since the fairway goes steeply uphill after one clears the valley. One cannot miss with their first shot to the left due to the bunkers and the out-of-bounds while if one tries to play it too safely down the right but misses they will be in tall grass. The green has a bunker right and because it is very elevated one cannot be short or they will come very far down the hill. The green tilts down towards the low ground with various humps and borrows in it. It is a splendid finish to the front nine.
The Blue nine starts off with a bang. As good as the ninth hole is, the tenth is its equal, if not better. It plays downhill at 434 yards with a semi-blind tee shot to a fairway sloped left to right. There is a cross bunker and a large swale filled with heather to be avoided. The green is well defended with two bunkers on the right and two tiers on a green sloping right to left. The aim to the green should be to that left side as the ball should release slightly to the right. Much like the rest of the course to this point, the routing takes full advantage of the terrain.
Some might like the short eleventh at 119 yards. It is pretty and has adequate defenses with a bunker front right and left and another bunker on the left as the right side has a steep hill that will take a ball very far away from the green likely leaving a blind shot. A smaller hill awaits the shot hit long. I feel the green is too flat and too easy to hit so I do not really value the hole.
I also did not think highly of the twelfth, a short par 4 of 348 yards with a fairway and green sloped left to right. There are three bunkers near the green and one cannot miss to the right of it as the ball will scamper away perhaps even into the trees. However, I feel the hole lacks strategy and sufficient challenge.
The thirteenth is a nice par 4 that plays slightly longer than its 427 yards as the green is elevated. The drive must avoid the bunker on the left and clear a mound on the right. The green is well defended with three bunkers near it as well as a false front. The green is sloped back to front but I do not find it a difficult one to judge the pace. It is a good hole but at this point has one played too many straight holes because land was saved for housing?
Fourteen is the longest par 3 at 211 yards but plays downhill. Still, one does not want to be short of the green as there are two bunkers and a pitch at the front of the green. There is a pond and a bunker well short of the green that rarely will come into play. The green has a hump in the middle. It is a nice hole but for me not the equal of the two par 3’s on the Red nine. I was not inspired by the hole standing on the tee.
Eight bunkers await the player on the longest hole on the course, a par 5 of 547 yards. I liked the hole due to the placement of the bunkers but also because the green has more subtlety to it as well as a nice right to left slope.
Sixteen is my favorite hole on the Blue nine, a par 4 of 438 yards. It feels like it is a slight double-dogleg given the tilt of the fairway from right to left and two bunkers left. Approaching the green one has to get over the cross bunkers coming from the right side. There is another bunker on the front left and a steep fall off on the left side. The green is tilted back to front. It is a gem of a hole offering difficulty, decision making, requiring good shot execution, while being very pretty.
Seventeen is a fine golf hole, a par 4 of 452 yards (we played the 417 tee). Everything on this hole goes slightly to the left. There is a mound to clear on the right side (difficult from that back tee) and two bunkers on the left. A single bunker on the right awaits at the green. This is a good hole from 417 but a much better hole from the back tee.
Finishing the round is another sharply uphill par 4, although not as pretty as the end to the Red as one does not see the clubhouse until they arrive at the green. This dogleg right is listed at 390 yards but can play 425 much like the ninth on the Red. One simply cannot go to the right as they will end up in trees or a pot bunker. I went right and tried a heroic shot that if I would never try again. There is a bunker short right of the green and the left and back side are surrounded by bunkers. Much like the ninth on the red, the green is steeply sloped in line with the terrain going down to the lower ground. It is a lovely end to an outstanding golf course.
St George’s Hill is an outstanding golf course with a routing that takes full advantage of its terrain whether going uphill, down to lower ground, or playing alongside of hills. The bunkering is quite good and the greens are interesting both on their surfaces and with the many fall offs, false fronts, and swales nearby. I can see it as a World top 100 course for those reasons but for those who do not see it that high one can understand their likely point of view. The par 3’s are good on the Red but not nearly as good on the Blue. The Red course has one truly weak hole which is the seventh while the Blue has 3-4 weaker holes. Nevertheless, this is a fabulous golf course and the members can be very proud of it. There is a lot of acreage on the property, much of it with trees, so perhaps there is a chance to lengthen a few of the holes to bring the strategic elements that Mr. Colt designed back into play.
In my opinion any debate about what the best golf course in England is should be a horse race between Sunningdale’s Old Course and St. George’s Hill. There is a reason George Crump selected H. S. Colt to work with him as he designed and built Pine Valley, the man is a design genius. St. George’s Hill has everything a great golf course should have: beauty, a varied routing, a strategic design with long and short holes, challenging greens and changes in elevation. What puts St. George’s Hill over the top compared to other courses in England are the massive hills he had to work with. The course starts off with a bang on the challenging par 4 382 yard hole that plays from an elevated tee down into a sweeping valley, to a green situated at the top of another hill. The third is a beautiful Redan style hole that fits perfectly into the landscape. The short 272-yard par 4 encompasses one of Colt’s design principles to perfection, which is, a short par 4 should have an elevated, well protected green. What should be an easy hole becomes anything but when you stand over your wedge shot and contemplate hitting such a small target. The course reaches its zenith at the par 3 eighth hole, one of the best one shot holes in the world. The setting is large, the green is large and the bunkers in front of the green are large. The visual beauty of standing on the tee is breathtaking. Colt also uses his signature cross-bunkering at St. George’s Hill, most notably on the 5th and 10th holes. They are set at an angle to the fairway and create complete deception because they are set far back from the greens, but they create an optical illusion and throw off the golfer’s perception. Darius Oliver ranks St. George’s Hill as the best course in England in his Planet Golf book. I might give a slight nod to Sunningdale, but it is a photo finish.
As soon as you ascend from the carpark to the fabulous clubhouse and view the heathland below you know you are in for a treat, and lets face it a top heathland course in Surrey with a Harry Colt design is going to be good.
Course condition was excellent. Really enjoyed the greens which were of good pace and had just the right level of difficulty with their size and incidence of subtle slopes and more obvious ridges. Fairways were a touch on the long side which mean't there was little roll and I thought made the course play quite long (par of 70 for in excess of 6500 yards on the Red/Blue nines). The heather was a picture and never have I played a course where it was so abundant and healthy; having said that I thought the fairways were very generous and therefore the heather didn't really come into play that much. Bunkering was phenomal and very much a hazard, particularly those running across the fairways in front of the greens; another test when playing the course for the first time was the number of uphill slopes/runoff's on the green approaches.
Thought the par 3's were the pick of the holes, all four of them being excellent varying from the very short and beautiful 11th (119yds) to the 179 yard downhill signature hole at 8 and the two longer ones at 3 and 14 both from a raised tee; can't be many courses with a better set of par 3's. Only two par 5's, both fairly straight and I thought these were possibly the weakest holes on the course. The remainder of the holes were all of good quality, many with raised tees and many with undulating fairways. Not sure any of the par 4's stood out (ie. all good), but just from a personal point of view my favourites would be the 1st, 10th and 12th.
St. George's Hill is obviously a quality course. It has quite a bold and brash feeling and (unexpectedly) as good as it is I'm not sure that it moves into being one of my favourite heathland courses as it doesn't really have the charm of somewhere like West Hill, Parkstone or even Camberley Heath. At times it felt like playing two nine hole (Red and Blue) courses rather than taking you on a journey like some eighteen hole courses do. For me Notts Hollinwell remains my favourite heathland track.