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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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!
Nick Roy
simply the best inland golf course in the british isles (i'm sorry loch lomond but you are a close second)....if you have not played it ..PAY UP !!! you wont regret it.
September 20, 2009
10 / 10
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Cédric
The minute you enter the big front gate, you have the feeling of Sunningdale being a big place. And so it really is...The greens were the best I've putted on in a long time. The question always remains? Do one prefer the Old or the New? I don't have an answer yet. The Old is meant to be easier but I scored better on the New! The Old is a little quirky in places, so it probably gets easier when you know all the lines on the blind tee shots. I thought hole number 2 was quite uninteresting, but the 17 others are really top class. 10th is an obvious favorite, but 3rd to 9th are also very strong and the rest of them pretty much also too. I thought the New was a bigger golf course, but the Old is probably prettier, more cute. And the clubhouse is very impressive!! Loved every minute... Cédric
May 14, 2009
10 / 10
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Carl Tushingham
Played the Old and the New, 36 super holes can't think you can get a better days golf at any other venue. It has a timeless feel to it here, especially when your out on the course feels like your miles from anywhere. A number of short par 4's get you thinking of the tee, but beware trouble lie's in wait for you in the form of heather and the many deep bunkers. The 5th and 10th get most of the fame here and you can understand why, but I would say the 7th is the equal of these after a blind tee shot over endless heather you walk over the top of the hill to a stunning hole surrounded by huge oaks and manicured bunkers, just awesome. I played Woodhall Spa a month ago and they are hard to split, maybe Woodhall just has the edge?? Our group were made to feel very welcome and we all hope to return next year, its pricey but worth every penny.
April 22, 2009
10 / 10
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JAS964
Played the Old in the afternoon after playing the New in the morning. Not sure how much was down to personal fatigue/concentration but the Old came across as a subtely more difficult challenge (the conditions also deteriorated as the day progressed). Loved both and both were in excellent condition for the time of year considering the winter we've had. Felt the Old asked a few more questions... especially along the lines of...are you sure you want to take driver here? Several driveable par 4s but only opted for the driver on 1 (the 11th - and got my birdie). That immediately made me want to go back to the 3rd & 9th tees and get the big stick out - decisions decisions, questions, questions. That's what the Old does from start to finish. Finished the day 2 under my handicap on the New but 4 over it on the Old. Would be interested to know how typical (or not) that is.
March 23, 2009
10 / 10
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Antony Eden
Played Sunningdale Old & New last April. Both are fantastic courses, however the Old is a touch of class. If you get chance to play, don't forget to stop off for a sausage on the 10th!
January 23, 2009
10 / 10
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Phil Bonsall
A great course and a great atmosphere.Golf as it should be.Played here a couple of times, and also watched the Ladies Open here when the standard of golf was amazing.Would love to play it again.
September 25, 2008
10 / 10
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Kevan Voce
Golf how it should be. Not an ego-plate in sight in the car park - the members here know they don't have to show off. The clubhouse is tremendous, a real old colonial feel to it. A pre-round breakfast is a must, the eggs benedict to die for. The course is up there with Woodhall and Hollinwell, a real test of golf and glorious scenery. It's also a proper golfers course, no members allowed > 14 handicap and, more importantly, your dog can accompany you on the way round. The half-way house has the obligatory dog bowl outside. Striclty no BMW drivers!
May 12, 2008
10 / 10
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SR1
Great Course - Comparible to Woodhall Spa and Hankley Common for design and heather alike. How anyone could compare this to Brocket Hall is a joke!! Must be a member of Brocket I guess!
August 15, 2007
8 / 10
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Smythp
Easily the most beautiful course I've played in England. Played it in Aug 07 with the heather in full bloom. Absolutely stunning. Every which way you looked there were hills lined with heather. Much prettier than any of the Wentworth courses. Some great views from some of the tees (7th, 10th). They had hollow-tined the course the week before and treated the fairways but it still didn't detract from the enjoyment. Can't wait to play the New course.
August 13, 2007
10 / 10
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