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

Average Reviewers Score:
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
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John Moye
Enjoyable course, cub house and restaurant service.
June 13, 2011
6 / 10
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Mike Wheeler
I have played at Tandridge several times and every time, I enjoy it more. The course is in excellent condition and the addition of more bunkers has increased the level of challenge. The front nine is relatively flat but requires thoughtful placement of the ball. The back nine covers attractive undulating terrain where loose shots attract more severe punishment.The clubhouse has a pleasant traditional welcoming feel to it. The changing rooms are functional although a little dated. Food is very good and there is Harveys on draught with which to slake thirst.One improvement might be to make the signs off the A25 rather more prominent. This would make the course easier to find and help avoid last minute traffic threatening manoeuvres.I look forward to my next round at Tandridge.
May 20, 2011
8 / 10
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Simon Glastonbury
I played Tandridge on a rather cold and wet winters day, however this in no way took away the pleasure of playing such a good looking course. I am a lover of parkland courses and this is one which i hold in high regard. Although at the time it was very wet, the course condition was superb and the greens were immaculate. the clubhouse is very traditional in look and feel, and the food excellent. I was expecting a somehat 'stuffy' welcome being that it is a members club, however i couldn't have been more wrong, a number of members asked what i thought of the course and if i had enjoyed my round, first class. looking forward to playing again when the english weather improves!
May 10, 2011
10 / 10
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Hugh
May 10, 2011
The multiple fawning reviews of Tandridge are detrimental to the club because they will only serve to disappoint golfers who decide to play this course for the first time and expect to play a world-class golf course. 6-ball ratings should be reserved for the world’s best courses (e.g. Sunnigdale, Birkdale, Muirfield and Ganton). Tandridge is a nice course, I have a friend who is a member here and yes it’s a great club and the lunch is exceptional too but it’s only a solid 4-ball course in my opinion when compared to the world’s best. It’s good but not great and certainly not world class. I advise you to treat many of these reviews with a very large pinch of salt. All I can think is that Tandridge members are busy posting or the players who are posting have stepped up for the first time from their local municipal pay-and-play courses.
Andrew Tanner
June 02, 2011
Thank you for your feed back and we value all comments. Earlier this year Tandridge introduced a system requesting Societies and Guests to leave feed back on the Top 100 site. Clearly how they elect to rate the Course and the Clubhouse is subjective. Members do NOT leave feed back. Andrew Tanner, Club Secretary.
Roddy Lane
In April each year the Great XII Livery Companies from London, plus the Merchant Venturers of Bristol, hold a competition amongst themselves. This year, the players were agog with the changes made to the course since April 2010. In all cases they were very happy to see the intention was to get back to the original Harry Colt design as closely as possible. The greens were in excellent order and helped by clearing out many trees to add more light to the grass. The views over the surrounding countryside are spectacular and hardly a building in sight.Now we are all eager to see what happens over the next 12 months.Congratulations to Tandridge GC in taking such a bold step. Roddy Lane 3.5.2011.
May 03, 2011
8 / 10
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Bill R
Up to about 4 years ago I used to play Tandridge about once or perhaps twice a year at corporate golf days and I always rated it as a lovely club and course in a fabulous location. However it used to be somewhat stuffy at times and I felt the course was falling behind technology. I played in March this year and was really surprised at the changes being made. I felt that the changes are a serious improvement- the course can again do itself justice as a test of golf. On the hospitality front the catering and Bar have always been exceptional, but there’s a much greater relaxed and welcoming feel to the place now. To those who enjoy a very good all-round test of golf, but relish the opportunity to do so in what really is a glorious setting, with some breath-taking views around holes 12-14; Tandridge is a “must visit”.
April 28, 2011
8 / 10
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Stephen Hair
I have had the pleasure of playing Tandridge on several occasions now and have always found it to be an excellent course. I am a 12 handicapper and think the real strength of Tandridge is that it is a tough challenge but good scores are there to be had if you play well. The course has always been in superb condition whenever I have visited, even this spring after the severe winter. The 2nd hole is a real beauty - a tee shot requiring a high fade to leave a long iron shot downhill to a tiered green which requires you to hit the right level or face a farily certain 3 putt. New bunkering makes club selection on the 4th hole (a gem of a par 3) difficult. The 5th hole requires a risk/reward analysis off the tee - play safe and leave yourself with a long iron in, or take the "Tiger line" over the bunkers on the left hand side of the fairway to give you chance to attack the pin. The 9th is a real challenge, a par 4 or 5 depending on the tee, with a wide fairway narrowing to a thin access to the well protected green through a narrow valley. 10 is another challenging hole demanding a draw from the tee and an accurate iron uphill to a deceptively sloping green. Holes 13 (a long par 3 protected by woods on one side and a sheer drop on the other) and 14 (the signature hole requring a big drive down the valley to leave a long iron uphill to a raised green) stand comparison with any holes in Surrey. 17 and 18 provide a fine finish to the round. To top it all off, the staff in the pro shop are unfailingly helpful and the clubhouse provides a superb lunch (usually free for me courtesy of my regular opponent at The Ridge who is a somewhat limited golfer - another reason for visiting this excellent course as often as possible). I thoroughly recommend a round at Tandridge and I can't understand why it isn't higher in the ratings.
April 27, 2011
8 / 10
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Ian George
Have been lucky enough to play Tandridge half a dozen times in the last couple of years. Most recent visit in April 2011, the best yet! The course was in fabulous condition and the recent bunker redsign on several holes since has definitely added to the challenge. The vista from the 14th tee is worth the green fee on its own! The clubhouse retains its tradional charm, members are extremely welcoming and the catering is first rate. Surrey golf at its very best.
April 13, 2011
8 / 10
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James Taylor
I have played Tandridge many times but twice recently in February and March 2011. The course was in great condition and for this time of year the greens were excellent. I am a big fan of the recent improvements to the bunkers as they are very appealing to the eye. Once all of the course lengthening and bunker work has finished it should be exceptional.
March 31, 2011
8 / 10
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Ian Snell
Being March, there was limited growth. The ground was dry and the ball was running. I like playing Tandridge which is normally in good order.
March 30, 2011
6 / 10
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Carlo Navato
I have had the pleasure of playing Tandridge many times over the past 15 years and it is never in less than excellent condition. The new front nine changes, reverting holes to the original Harry Colt bunkering, are universally excellent, and increase the premium on good shot making. This is one of the less heralded Harry Colt parkland gems, testing all of a golfer's skills, fairly punishing bad shots and universally rewarding good ones. The views across the Surrey Hills are wonderful, as is the traditional clubhouse and 19th. No TV's, no flashing lights, just lovely wood panelling and quiet spaces to enjoy a post round drink and ruminate on what might have been.
March 21, 2011
10 / 10
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