Sunningdale (Old) - Surrey - England

Sunningdale Golf Club,
Ridgemount Road,
Sunningdale,
Berkshire,
SL5 9RR,
England


  • +44 (0) 1344 621681

  • Golf Club Website

  • 0.25 mile from Sunningdale Station off the A30

  • Contact in advance - Not Fri, Sat, Sun or public hols


The Old course at Sunningdale is one of the British Isles’ most aesthetically pleasing inland courses. Arguably, it was the first truly great golf course to be built on the magical Surrey/Berkshire sand-belt. The land was (and still is) leased from the freeholder, St John’s College, Cambridge. It is a Willie Park Junior masterpiece and opened for play in 1901, becoming known as the Old after the opening of the New Course in 1923.

Lined with pine, birch and oak trees, it is a magnificent place to play golf. The emblem of the club is the oak tree, no doubt modelled on the huge specimen tree standing majestically beside the 18th green. It’s incredible to believe that originally the golf course was laid out on barren, open land. Harry Colt was a big influence at Sunningdale; he was Secretary and Captain in the club’s early years and redesigned the Old course, giving it a more intimate and enclosed feel.

The Old course at Sunningdale has seen many great rounds of golf, but these three rank amongst the very best:
1. 1926 - the perfect 66 by Bobby Jones in Open Qualifying.
2. 1986 - a remarkable 62 by Nick Faldo in the European Open.
3. 2004 - an incredible eagle, albatross start by Karen Stupples in the Women's British Open.

In 1926, during qualification for the British Open, amateur Bobby Jones played the Old Course perfectly, scoring 66, made up of all threes and fours (taking 33 putts). This type of scoring was unheard of in those days. Bernard Darwin brilliantly summed up Jones’ round as “incredible and in decent”. “Few joys in this world are unalloyed”, wrote Darwin in Golf Between Two Wars, “and though Bobby was naturally and humanly pleased with that 66 he was a trifle worried because he had 'reached the peak' rather too soon before going to St. Anne's.” Jones went on to Royal Lytham & St Annes and won the 1926 Open by two strokes, beating fellow American Al Watrous.

If you have already played the Old course, you will surely remember the elevated 10th tee, a fabulous driving hole and one of our all-time favourite holes. By the time you have putted out on the 10th, you will be ready for refreshments at the excellent halfway hut that sits welcomingly behind the green. What sheer delight! The 5th, a lovely par four, is beautifully described in The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes: “From an elevated tee, the fifth is clearly defined. The fairway is bordered by heather, golden grass and dark green forest. There are two fairway bunkers in the right half of the fairway; a small pond and four sentinel bunkers protect the green. Success calls for two pure shots…” The 15th is also featured in the same book; it’s a superb par three, measuring 226 yards.

Many people regard Sunningdale as the perfect golfing venue. The Old and New courses taken together are probably the finest pair of golf courses anywhere. On a sunny autumn day, walking on that perfect heathland turf, surely there is nowhere better to play golf with a few friends. “If we have not been too frequently ‘up to our necks’ in untrodden heather—nay, even if we have—we ought to have enjoyed ourselves immensely,” as Darwin said in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles.

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Reviews for Sunningdale (Old)

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Description: The Old course at Sunningdale is one of the British Isles’ most aesthetically pleasing inland courses. Arguably, it was the first truly great golf course to be built on the magical Surrey/Berkshire sand-belt. Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Reviews: 73
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Javier Pintos

It was a long awaited visit and for sure I got even more of what I was expecting. After and extense Tour which included The Open, playing in the Liverpool area, then driving to Sandwich to play all 3 and then back to London for a final 36 holes day before my departure to Buenos Aires. Not only the golf course was awaited, as I was going to play along with Schalk Brits current Saracens Rugby Player and former Springbok Legend.

Sunningdale (Old) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerArrived early after a 5am wake up at Prince's Lodge and met Schalk, who was really excited to finally tick one more of his pending bucket list. We met in Argentina during his match for the Rugby Championship 2014 and our round together was a pending issue which we finally could do in this rainy morning. It was not only the chance to play with him but also have 4hs to listen and learn what the day by day of a high performance athlete is. So couldn't ask for more.

Rain bothered, yes, but what can you expect in the UK in Summer? Just don't complain and go play the course. We had a terrific time and a great match won by Schalk 3/2 (he is a 5 handicapper and can hit it a long way!), but that is just a detail of how much we enjoyed the Old Course at Sunningdale.

My first thumbs up goes for the three short par 4s (3rd, 9th and 11th) all measuring around 300yds but where you have to be extremely accurate if going for it, if not just lay up and go for the small bird. If wanting the big bird you might end up with a bogey or worse. I got +1 in the addition of all 3 which was very disappointing, but the price of hitting drive in all three!

Sunningdale (Old) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

More thumbs up go for the par 3s, specially both at the front 9 with not much of lenght but both uphill and accuracy needed.

Then the tough par 4s 2nd, 10th and 17th were after a good drive the problem is still to be solved, the approach shot is even tougher where 2nd downhill green makes it tough to hold the ball, then 10th uphill shot breaking left to right makes it extremely difficult to aim the shot and finally 17th where a missed drive got me in a mess but was lucky to get off the trees with a very nice cut stinger from 180yds..

And finally 18th facing the big tree is the perfect end to a great course, not long but good and challenging enough to still host top amateur and professional events.

I have already made the review of New, but have to say that this 36 holes Private Club has to be the best in England for sure and maybe in the UK or even Europe. Top Class Club House, extremely helpful staff, charming Locker Room and Members always making sure you are welcome at every corner of the Club.

Some final details of the Course: greens despite rain rolling true and fact, heather being a nightmare to get out (don't be greedy, hit a wedge!) and the mix of forest plus some blind shots make it a true jewel of the game.

If never been here, it is time to do it. Combine it with Walton Heath, St George's Hill and the 3 at Sandwich to make it one of the best experiences golf can give you!

August 01, 2017
10 / 10
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Cameron Roy

Wow. Simply wow.

I was fortunate enough to play both courses on Thursday last week. The whole place just oozes class but without an ounce of stuffiness.

Every single staff member I encountered was extremely friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome.

The course itself is simply superb. It is surprisingly playable and stunningly beautiful. Stand out holes for me were the 7th where the view back along the previous holes is gorgeous and the second shot is simply simply lovely and the 10th. Where the view off the tee is amazing. The par 3's on the Old are not as good as those on the New and this is the only small criticism I can make of the place.

The clubhouse is full of memorabilia and is worth a visit on its own.

Those people lucky enough to call Sunningdale home are truly blessed

August 01, 2017
10 / 10
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Sam Mendoza

Simply Sublime. The Best inland course i have played in England, beating both Woodhall Spa and Ganton for me.

Every single hole is brilliant and the conditioning was amazing.

I think the 8th is one of the best most challenging holes on the complex whilst 10 is also a close challenger.

the 17th and 18th with the clubhouse in the distance were a perfect finish to a wonderful 36 holes of golf

Just wish i could have played the course from tees further back than the yellows as i think it would have futher improved the experience.

July 20, 2017
10 / 10
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Ed Battye

What pleases me most is the notable difference between both the Old and New courses. On my first visit I expected each course to be very similar in style and design. Indeed they are both truly superb heathland courses but the New course poses an entirely different set of questions to that of the Old.

The Old is simply an awe-inspiring journey through magnificent wooded heathland. There is a great variety of holes, perfectly encapsulated in the opening four; a reachable par five, a demanding par four, a driveable par four and a fantastic uphill par three. The course continues in similar vein with each hole unravelling delightfully to present something different.

The 12th hole is possibly my favourite on the course and is one of the most beautiful holes you will come across. I believe the falling par three 13th to be the weakest hole of the entire 36 but the 15th is a very good short hole (although it can play up to 239 yards!) whilst the closing three holes will test the best with accurate driving and precise iron-play required.

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

June 26, 2017
8 / 10
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Patrick Slamin
January 29, 2018

Can I ask why only the 5 ball?

John Sabino

As the club describes themselves, “Sunningdale is the quintessential English Club and as close to Augusta National as any club in the British Isles. Golf is the only thing that matters at Sunningdale.” Golf is sometimes referred to metaphorically as a walk in the park; in the case of Sunningdale, it is literally true. The course is surrounded by deep woods and is idyllic and peaceful. It has a stately English clubhouse, a “Stockbroker’s Tudor,” and there are walking paths around the course where people stroll with their dogs in peaceful solitude. Visiting Sunningdale is one of the finer experiences in the world of private club golf. There are few things more satisfying than sitting in the Stockbroker’s Tudor after a round with a pint in hand, reflecting back on a brilliant day’s golf. Sunningdale is among a small group of clubs that combine the best of everything; a world-class set of golf courses with a historic, warm, and inviting club.

John Sabino is the author of How to Play the World’s Most Exclusive Golf Clubs

November 07, 2016
10 / 10
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Kevin Henley
Wow - shelled out the £160 winter rate for both courses today as had yet to play either ....and it was worth EVERY penny !A warm welcome in the clubhouse and the first of two complimentary meals.... A very nice bacon roll on a platter with yoghurt and a cereal thing and with pastries too .... A nice start to the day.Played Old first .... Two good shots on the first into the wind and almost made the (par 5) green (not talking about the 3rd or 4th shots though !!!) the reason I am telling you this..... The second, a par 4, 27 yards shorter than the first .... Driver, three wood, wedge !!After that it is not a long course, but every hole is interesting and has its own challenges.I went out early and I wish I had counted the green keepers I saw, ALL working too, and the results, even in November, show.Beautiful course.............on to the New........
November 11, 2015
10 / 10
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James Kenyon
Beautiful, pretty, cute, quaint, astonishingly enjoyable, challenging but emminently playable. The second best inland course in England. The best? Its baby sister, the New. Play them both at whatever cost. Tip - play both in the winter months for a significantly reduced 36 hole visitor fee. We teed off at 7:30 on the New, and then 12:30 on the Old. Magnificent day.
October 27, 2015
10 / 10
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James
After an ephemeral morning on the New, we then considered this golfing Elysium from the sun drenched terrace. We passed by the beautifully bordered and emerald putting green following the members on to the Old. Suitably availed of ample sustenance Sunningdale (Old) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerand fortified by a noon day libation we were ready for the Old and its heathery cosh. The ethereal nature of this routing, through avenues of mature forest and majestic undulations, hammers the senses time after time. The bunker complexes and greens feel very different to the new and rise up from the greensides and fairways like bearded waves rolling on a calm, green sea. Sometimes they transcend into plateaus as if on some weathered granite shore. These aren’t twins these courses. Perhaps they are lovers? Holding hands as they do, at the half way hut, mingling on the fringes but never entwined. She is an elegant and pretty creature compared to the New. The lure of her curves and mercurial whim, drawing you ever, helplessly in. JCB LAY
October 12, 2015
10 / 10
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Guy HUnt
What a course! I went and played Sunningdale Old Course mid March and played in a group of 3 people and the course was in really good condition for coming out of the winter period. It has to be up there with one of the better courses I have played, both visually and technically with 18 great holes with views to match throughout. The greens are in decent shape and while some of the greens are flat and fast, others are challenging and require some touch to get a 2 putt.Distance control is prime on this course with plenty of chances only to hit a long iron or fairway wood off the tee as driver can put you in trouble.The club really make it a day out including some afternoon tea after the round of golf and a really nice half way house to have a sandwich and drink. I would definitely go back at the drop of a hat to experience the course again and would look at trying out both the old and new course in the same day.
March 29, 2015
10 / 10
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Carl Tushingham
Sunningdale Golf Club is for me the best golfing venue in England with two stunning heathland courses. Sunningdale Old course 10th holeThe picture is of the 10th on the Old that is one of the greatest holes in the country.

I have always received a warm welcome from the members and all the staff. If you haven't played here yet then you do yourself a favour and treat yourself to a day here, fairly pricey but you won't regret it.

Difficult to choose between the Old and the New so play them both and see what you think!
February 04, 2015
10 / 10
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