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: 72
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robert
Sunningdale remains one of the premier courses around London. Played there on several occasions and always find it quite enjoyable. The heather surrounded bunkers make the shots appear more difficult and the greens were in excellent condition.
July 18, 2011
10 / 10
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David Rimmer
Had the great fortune to play here on 8th June - 2 days after both courses had been used for Open Championship Final Qualifying.This was my 4th visit and in my opinion if there is a nicer place to play golf anywhere in the UK I have yet to find it. There are a few courses around which are undoubtedly stronger, but for the vast majority of golfers these are just too difficult to play day in day out. Don't get me wrong, Sunningdale is a very stiff test of golf, but also a very fair and playable one that will have you aching for a return trip as soon as possible.I played 10 holes of the New in the morning which I think is slightly more deamnding, and then the Old in the afternoon. Sandwiched in between was the legendary Sunningdale lunch which in itself is a very special experience.First of all the greens - apparently they had been 'ironed' yesterday morning and the pro informed us that they were running at a round 11 1/2 on the stimp meter. I can honestly say that in 15 years of playing top quality courses that they were the fastest I have ever putted on. Stories of 4 putts, putting into bunkers and off greens were heard from several players yesterday. A real test and without doubt the best surfaces I have ever seen.The course starts off fairly gently with a straight away par 5. After that there is a fantastic blend of short and long par 4's, par 3's of all lengths and one more par 5 on the back nine. Fairways in the main are reasonably generous, but if you wander into the heather you will beseverely penalised. Bunkering is good both from the tee and around the greens and you really do need to strike the ball well and have all parts of your game in good shape if you want to score well. That said, if you are playing well and think your way around (use the driver sparingly and stay away from sucker pins) then a good score is perfectly possible.All in all absolutely fantastic - if I was lucky enough to be able to choose 1 course to play for the rest of my life then the Old at Sunningdale wins hands down.
June 08, 2011
10 / 10
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Hans Berntson
What a great course! It is one fun hole after another. There is great variety in all aspects; length, shape, uphill, downhill, big greens, small greens etc. And it's all beatifully done. Maybe the course was a little too dry due to the obviously very dry spring, but that is not a complaint, just a note that it probably can be even better.A full day at Sunningdale is a real treat.
May 19, 2011
10 / 10
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Andrew Whiteley
I played the old course on 10th November 2010. As soon as you enter via Sunningdale’s gates you feel that you are somewhere very special, and indeed you are. When you enter The Club House you feel as though you have travelled back in time, the building is beautifully appointed and filled with golden golf memorabilia. The staff were very friendly and helpful from the pro shop caddie master to the bar and halfway house staff. The course is quite simply stunning. I just found myself standing on each tee feasting my eyes on the layout of each hole. The course was in very good condition despite the recent heavy rain. I played the Hotchkin on 1st November 2010 (see review) and Sunningdale old for me is a 9/10 course compared to a 7/10 for the Hotchkin. Sunningdale just has more interesting terrain contours and swales. I also played Sunnindale New later that same day and I could barely split them apart. The New was more rugged and on a larger scale. It has been the greatest golfing experience. I also think you’d have to go a long way to play 36 holes of such quality.
November 10, 2010
10 / 10
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Ivan Lipko
Played it two days ago on a gorgeous day - sunshine and no wind. Absolutely the most beautiful golf course I have ever played and with courses like Bethpage Black, Kiawah Island Ocean, RSG and Valderrama under my belt, I know what I say. Looks like a fairy tale, super natural design and quite challenging esp. off the back tees. The greens are super quick and true and the course is very well balanced, - you MUST think on every shot. All in all the best golfing experience of my life and well worth the 190 pound green fee.
September 02, 2010
10 / 10
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Vorndron
Superb course, setting, and facilities. Best inland course I've played, beating Woodhall Spa, Ganton, Gleneagles King's, Notts and Little Aston. The course is brilliant with stand out holes being 7 and 10 but all the rest are excellent. Not a weak hole on the course. Half way house must also get a mention. The only negative was that the greens were a little slow, but saying that they were very true. Played the New course which is also excellent and if viewed as a course on its own would certainly get a higher ranking if it wasn't in the same grounds as the Old course. A must play if you a serious golfer.
August 19, 2010
10 / 10
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Renragevets
I've played many great courses in the UK including Royal St George's, Royal Cinque Ports, Wentworth, Belfy (Brabazon), Forest of Arden, St George's Hill, The Wisley, London Golf Club, but Sunningdale Old tops them all. It's my personal favourite and one I would chose to play over all the others named above. I've played it three times and it's always been in superb condition. The place just has an amazing aura about it that is hard to describe until you come here and experience it yourself. A truly magnificent place. The New course is equally as stunning. You certainly won't find a better 36 holes in the UK... or even the world?
April 14, 2010
10 / 10
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John
April 15, 2010
Sunningdale - best 36-holer in the world? It's a good thought but I think Winged Foot just has the edge for me.
Anthony Daniels
April 15, 2010
I haven't played the Old yet (planning a visit there later this year), but I played the New a couple of weeks ago, followed by RSG the day after. When you say the New is equally as good as the Old, does this mean you think the New is also better than RSG? I can't see this myself. Whilst I thought the New was absolutely superb, it was not a patch on RSG, which is simply the finest course I've ever played.
Jey
April 17, 2010
At least you can play the great 36 at Sunningdale. Winged Foot is far too exclusive for me to think of it in the same breath. I do agree however that RSG has the edge.
spencer pearce
May 24, 2010
I caddied at sunningdale for fifteen plus years untill the mid nineties and I have to say the old course at sunningdale is by far my favourite course in britain and contrary to what some people say about its length it is and allways will be a great test of golf sunningdale old has an aura all of its own full of tradition and quaintness for me it has to be up there with the best inland courses in britain(personally I think it is the best)and to the person who thinks the greens are flat at sunningdale well they must have changed them a lot since I was there because the first forth sixth eight etc etc all had massive borrows on them and as a previous person said if the boss of the moss loren roberts three putted twice on consecutive holes that says it all I would have to say there is no place I would rather play a round of golf in the world with my mates than sunningdale old its truly magnificent and worth every penny if you haven't played it make sure you do sometime you won't regret it.
max
May 28, 2010
Best 36 holes in the world....?? Have you spent the day at Ballybunion?! That takes some beating.
Dom
February 21, 2011

Having only played both Sunningdale courses recently, I can agree to their quality. Special indeed, however I preferred 36 holes around Royal Portrush last summer, with the Dunluce standing out as a magnificent course, and the Colt designed Valley links a very enjoyable test. Very different courses from Sunningdale, I agree, but great courses, and a true test.

Max
July 24, 2011
Saunton offers a great 36 hole duo. It is hard to beat great Links courses even if you are Winged Foot.
ADRIAN FOSTER
Had the chance of playing the old the day after the womens british open 2008 with the added bonus of playing the same course the ladies had played on sunday.It was a really good test of our golfing skills and so much fun, just walking down the fairways makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck i know some will say it's too short a course for the very best players in the world but having to think your way around is a big part of golf not just hitting the ball along way & this coures makes you think on each hole and for me that's the true test of a golfers game. A great place to play this great game with views from some tees to take your breath away this is how golf should be.
April 13, 2010
10 / 10
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Steve
Well, the previous is entitled to an opinion. the course does perhaps get the benefit of its reputation, but i suspect he misundersands the greens. They are rather old fashioned in being low to the ground and rather oddly shaped. Not outrageously contoured, but still very tricky.yes perhaps it is a taken a tad too seriously, but it still remains an extraordinary golfing experience that is something of a throw back to a diferent age. Not to be missed, but hard to compare to a modern course
October 15, 2009
8 / 10
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josh
In my mind, one of the more overrated courses in the world. A great course yes, but no2 in england, not a chance. Lovely location, fabulous routing, and 3 or 4 fantastic holes, but otherwise .... The greens are the big weakness, generally flat, and almost all perfectly cricular and so present little or no strategic challenge. Yes it is a good course, but if it were in the midlands rather than Surrey, it would be rated 20 places lower. It is a good package, and possibly the best of the london heatlhland tracks (by a narrow margin) but not a patch on the better england links
October 13, 2009
6 / 10
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Chris Jones
October 15, 2009
It would great to understand what inland courses in England you would place higher than Sunningdale's Old. There are certainly a couple that are close but over-rated? I have to disagree strongly ...
Shaun
October 17, 2009
Struggle to comprehend this review, Sunningdale is truly outstanding.
TB
January 25, 2010
The greens are generally flat? Excuse me?! Have you played the course multiple times? Have you ever been above the pin on 4? On the left hand side of 6? On the left of 8? There is a lot of slope to the greens. Indeed last summer Loren Roberts - The Boss of The Moss - three putted consecutive holes for the first time in his professional career. And he's one of the best putters ever. If you do ever play again, just try putting from the back of the 4th green and stopping the ball near the front. Good luck!