Tandridge - Surrey - England

Tandridge Golf Club,
Oxted,
Surrey,
RH8 9NQ,
England


  • +44 (0) 1883 712274

  • Andrew Tanner

  • Harry Colt, Frank Pont

  • Chris Evans


Tandridge Golf Club was founded back in 1924 and the genius architect Harry Colt designed the course. Today’s layout is still clearly a Colt classic with wonderful steep faced bunkering, raised plateaux greens and visionary use of the natural terrain. However only one third of Colt’s original 300 bunkers remain in play. “Two new Kentish courses deserve a word.” Wrote Bernard Darwin in The Golf Courses of Great Britain. “One is Tandridge, which, I know, holds a high place in the affections of its creator, Mr. Colt. Here, besides pretty views, are good turf, sharp sand, a bold country that is not too tiring and some very good holes.”

The 21st century Tandridge measures 6,509 yards from the back tees and par is set at 71. It’s by no means a championship test, but it’s a sporting course for the low handicapper and eminently playable for the average player. The layout weaves through extensive mature woodland where some 45 species of trees add a visual treat and plenty of definition to the holes. Through the gaps in the trees and from the higher ground, spectacular views of the North Downs and the rolling Kent and Sussex countryside unfold. Tandridge genuinely is as pretty as a picture.

Going out, the topography is relatively flat but the golfing test is nevertheless significant with a par five and two challenging par fours to start. The drama really starts on the homeward nine which delightfully changes elevation as holes traverse the hills. “One of the best par threes in Surrey” is how the 223-yard 13th has been described. The green is surrounded by trees and ringed around with bunkers. There’s also an alarming fall off to the right hand side of the green which will kick the ball deep into the woods if you miss the green on this side.

Tandridge has quite rightly earned a reputation as a traditional but very friendly member’s club that specialises in society and corporate days but also welcomes individual visitors. Clubs such as Tandridge are few and far between and those with better cuisine are as rare as the dodo.

Architect Frank Pont kindly provided us with the following comments on the Tandridge restoration project:

“Tandridge was my first client in the UK, and as such will always hold a special place for me. They had put me on their shortlist of architects they considered for their course works because I had been mentioned to them by the author of Creating Classics, the book on Harry Colt. In the end I was fortunate to be selected from a list that included 3 well known UK based architects, and shortly afterwards started work.

Any restoration project has two key components, the analysis and the process part. At Tandridge the analysis part was easy because we had an old aerial picture of the course when it had just opened (quite unique, few other courses have that luxury), plus various on the ground historical pictures of the bunkering, clearly showing the original size and style of the bunkers. We were also lucky that many bunkers had just been grassed over in the past, the equivalent of mothballing, so it was easy to bring them back. Tandridge is quite unique for a Colt course in that it had close to 250 bunkers, more than any other Colt course I have ever seen (even Muirfield has about 100 less). Not only that, but many of the bunkers were absolutely huge. The greatest challenge was to get the committee and the club’s membership to realise what a very special asset they were custodians of, and to convince them that for the real character of their Colt course to re-emerge it was crucial to bring back both a large number of bunkers, but also to restore the bunkers back to their original style and sizes. This was done in various stages, and in the end I presented 6 times to different groups of members, about 300 in total to get their buy in. The construction work itself was fairly straight forward, given that most of the site was quite sandy. This made it possible to do most of the work in late Autumn and early Winter, minimizing disruption for the golfers of the club.

I think the restoration as we did it was a very gutsy move by the club. Adam Lawrence of GCA Magazine called it the most ambitious restoration project underway in the UK when we started, and I think he nailed it with that statement. The good news is that we succeeded and the course now both is a lot more fun to play for the membership (due to the fact that we brought back both strategy and width to the course, giving the players choices), and also has become a lot more compelling visually due to the restored impressive bunkers. Further continued tree removal at strategic spots such as hole 18 and 15 right will only further enhance this.

The results have been very satisfying, both in terms of members reactions but also in the rankings. I am confident that in the coming years the course’s reputation will only grow with increased focus on fast and firm conditions and more short grass around the greens. If there is one thing that still needs work on the course it is executing the planned tree removals in certain spots and also bringing back more heather, two steps that could further lift the course yet another notch in quality.”
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Reviews for Tandridge

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Description: Tandridge Golf Club is billed as “the best kept golfing secret in Surrey” but we make no apology for letting the cat out of the bag. Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Reviews: 57
TaylorMade
Andrew Tubb
Great course . With wonderful views , the course was In fantastic condition with very true fast greens, manicured Fairways , fair rough and if you are unlucky enough To go in one top quality bunkers . Our 2 ball Went round in a leisurely 3 hours , no hold ups or slow Play on the course at all .. The clubhouse and its facilities Are outstanding with a great selection of beers .. I didn't eat there but some if the meals I saw being bought out looked top class .. Would recommend playing this course if you are in the area , certainly worth driving to , we are blessed in this part of Surrey with good courses . This one is a definite top 5 . it's a real test of your golf game , easy to find and very friendly to visitors
July 29, 2013
8 / 10
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James
Played a match against tandridge and thoroughly enjoyed it. A stunning back 9 with panoramic views. Varied holes all on slopes. A gorgeous lunch with nice members.
June 11, 2013
8 / 10
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1 person found this review helpful

Stefan
Tandridge has been in a spotless condition every time I have visited. That being said, it has still preserved its natural charm and it follows the landscape beautifully. The front 9 and the back 9 displays two distinct and different characteristics which makes the full round even more enjoyable and the greens presents themselves in the same quality throughout. A splendid course in very nice surroundings.
October 25, 2012
10 / 10
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DENIS COLE
I have played Tandridge many times over the past 20 years, and it has always been delightful. The recent improvements have added to the pleasure of playing there and I look forward to my next visit.
October 19, 2012
8 / 10
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Robert Anthony
The course and clubhouse at Tandridge help make a visit both a privilege and a pleasure. The hospitality of the club's members, and the superb catering, have always been top notch. Recent improvements to the course have elevated the playing experience from good to outstanding.
May 21, 2012
8 / 10
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Andrew
June 28, 2012
Having just played a good (for me) round at Tandridge, I can say I thoroughly enjoyed an interesting, attractive, and very well-maintained course. Only criticism is the shaggy bunker surrounds which simply look rather scruffy.
neil baker
July 12, 2012
Andrew, thats the idea for the bunkers to look rough edged
Bushy
Used to be an enjoyable course to play, excellent greens and some tough holes with the 2nd shot into 17 being a card wrecker. Now opening it up, taking out gorse and digging cloud shaped bunkers for the sake of it in the middle and end of fairways fairways has somewhat spoilt this course. Best change is the new tee on the 14th. Go for the Sunday lunch if you make the trip
May 21, 2012
4 / 10
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oneildunne
Over the past 20 years I have played Tandridge on perhaps 50 occasions and in recent years it has undergone some huge changes. The effort and expense that has gone into the course ‘upgrade’ is commendable but has come at some cost to the members subs. I am certainly not adverse to traditional courses having to make changes to keep their tracks competitive and Tandridge definitely needed it as it was not overly challenging but always a pleasure to play. I don’t think what has been done necessarily makes Tandridge a more challenging test of golf but it does give it a whole new feel and it is without doubt more unique.

As mentioned the course has a totally new look and feel to its more traditional, tree-lined past. In my opinion the most effective and best changes are some of the new teeing grounds and in particular those on the signature 14th will make an already good hole a great one. I was also surprised on my last visit to see the new tees on the 18th but I don’t think they will make the hole any better and in my own opinion the new americanised mounding between the 10th fairway and 18th fairways are not in keeping with the course. The new bunkers are a big talking point and I don’t recall seeing many of ‘colt’s’ masterpieces having bunkers looking anything like the scraggy edged ones that now adorn the course (maintenance of those won’t be easy). There is also far too much sand in them but understandably it will take some time to bed-down. The bunkers in the middle of the fairway on holes 3 and 12 really don’t work and penalise the perfect tee shot, but some bunkers like those on 6 and 11 do frame the tee shot nicely and make club selection more difficult.

The staff are always welcoming and the food and beverage is top notch. Likewise the clubhouse is very traditional and well-kept. In my own opinion the course is strategically no harder now as it was before and the course has without doubt lost its air of charm. I would have given the course a 4 ball score before the changes and I will still do that now (just) but what you give on one hand you take with another. I agree with some of the other comments that it certainly isn’t a 5 or 6 ball and you need to play Swinley, Sunningdale and St Georges Hill to make a decent comparison as to what is a really top Colt designed inland course. Last word, I know some members have written decent reviews, (why wouldn’t you if you are proud of your course) and that is partly why it scores so highly but it is still worth a visit because the changes are a talking point and the course does have some top quality holes.
April 05, 2012
6 / 10
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Niall
April 05, 2012
This is a very good review that makes very valid points and asks some tricky questions. Comparing Tandridge to Colt’s heathland courses is questionable but valid in the context of great design. As Tandridge is not a heathland course, it should perhaps be judged alongside Stoke Park. I’d give both Tandridge and Stoke Park 4 balls because parkland courses cannot really compete with heathland classics.
Neil
May 02, 2012
In the past two years Tandridge has indeed carried out a huge renovation project. Intense research and traditional ideas have been used to restore the course back to its original design. The Course renovation was carried out using money raised by the club but it must be underlined that at no time have club subscriptions been raised to pay for the project, also the club spent time researching an architect who restores Harry Colt Courses, in the form of Mr Frank Pont, as for the comment that the course never had ragged edged bunkers this is incorrect as all bunkers were restored using Google Earth Maps from the 1940s and have been reinstated using the original course overlay. It will take time to bed any project in and maybe the players using this website should carry out their own homework before making negative feedback. As for Course strategy holes 1, 2,3,5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14 all add more thought to the round and re-widening the Fairways was a key focus point of any original Colt design and is evident at all his great heathland courses which was used in not just directing the golfer how to play the Course. It may well be of advised to use the Golf Atlas website to understand the true reason of the renovation at Tandridge.
Roger Newnham
Tandridge is a beautifully kept course with the right level of difficulty for me. Not too much impenetable heather, a few challenging steep hills with views across Sussex, high quality greens with interesting cambers and excellent food and drink.
February 28, 2012
10 / 10
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Rob Mullane
I have played Tandridge a few times in the last year with a friend of mine who is a member. The course is always in excellent condition, it goes without saying the layout is fantastic although they are making some very exciting changes at present. If you have not played it or not seen the changes a definite must for a game in the coming season.
January 17, 2012
10 / 10
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James W
What a lovely course! I had the privilege of playing a 4 ball with great company. Considering the weather the greens were fast and flat! The course presented a good challenge with well prepared greens and tees! I throughly enjoyed the day!
January 10, 2012
8 / 10
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