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
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Patrick Dawson
Had a thoroughly enjoyable round at this lovely course. A tale of two nines. The front flatter but tough with some long par 4's whilst the back 9 has some beautiful views and great holes with far more undulation. Given the time of year the greens were in excellent condition and lucnch was top rate.Definatlely worth a visit.
March 09, 2011
8 / 10
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geoff
A charming, friendly golf club where the staff went out of their way to welcome us. History pours down off the clubhouse walls and you will experience a classic Harry Colt course design at it’s best. A course of two halves to some extent. The front nine is very good, but the back nine is in my opinion excellent, as it is where the topography really comes into it’s own to create holes of true character. The course features repeated changes of elevation and dog legs, so an ability to work the ball is encouraged for the better golfer. The front nine features some new bunkering, which is both visually very dramatic, and tightly in keeping with the original Colt design. All told, the course I would join if I lived in the area.
January 25, 2011
8 / 10
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Richard Holman
I have been a regular visitor to Tandridge for some 30 years and visited earlier this month (Jan 2011). It has coped well with the snow and exciting developments are now afoot as they have embarked on restoring the bunkers to the design and placemet originally set by Harry Colt. It is going to make the course even more challenging.It alway was in my view something of an unsung star, unfairly in the shadow of some of the other more well-known Surrey courses
January 20, 2011
8 / 10
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Simon Bale
I had the pleasue of being invited to Tandridge GC in mid August after an extremley dry July. The course had suffered slightly from the lack of water but it didn't detract from a truly enjoyable experience. We started on the back 9, which for a player who fades or cut's the ball can cast doubt an caution on virtually everytee shot. The run off areas to the right hand side of many of the greens would leave misplaced teeshots in no-mans land and double bogeys could easily be common place. The moist noticable feature of the course was the bunkering and the quality of the sand. Any well struck shot would be rewarded.The front 9 seemed slightly more forgiving although still very challenging. The greens ran fast and true throughout making the course a very fair and enjoyable test of golf.There any many changes planned to future proof the course which will no doubt add substantial length.
September 11, 2010
6 / 10
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Mark Jeffery
I've just spent a day at Tandridge (good value at £67 for the day) in good weather and had a nice (not great) enjoyable day. The course is nicely laid out with some excellent holes and some not so good. The soil is that dry, sandy soil you'd expect of this area but when we played (22 June) the greens were as hard as concrete (no pitchmarks at all all day!) and every approach had to be run in from the fairway or very front edge. The course is not long and we were left with nothing more than a 7 iron approach all day. Btw, I'm guessing they had a comp on the Sat/Sun before our visit as the pins were all in ridiculous positions, or is that how they try and make it tougher? Hmmm...in an area of stunning courses, Tandridge has the land, soil and design to be a good 2nd-string course...and that is what it does.
June 23, 2009
4 / 10
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josh
Nice track. I think it is important t assess Tandridge on what it is rather than what it isnt. It isnt a world class course, but it is an excellent members course. Played in glorious sunsihine in June and I cant recall a better conditioned course ever in UK. Greens were supurb and the fairways are that lovely sandy turf you find on a top links. It is great fun and that is a compliment. The downside is that this is supurb golf terrain, but the course is let down rather dull greens and bunkering. It is good, but on this site it could be so much better
June 14, 2009
6 / 10
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max king
Quite how Tandridge is rated in the top 100 I don't know. Played here last weekend after reading the reviews on this site and I can only conclude the majority are written by members! Its an OK course with 2 or 3 really good holes but the rest of the course is an average track. The greens were slow and bumpy which is understandable for this time of year (although the good courses i've played recently like Cinque Ports and Wentworth the greens were superb) but the layout is dull and no better than a host of other parkland courses in Kent and Surrey. I played Hever Castle the following day and that was a league above Tandridge and its not even rated on this website! Tandridge is not bad but just not very good either....its ranked 78th; Princes has a similar ranking and its certainly not in the same league.
April 03, 2009
4 / 10
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Carl Statham
Tandridge is one of those old style clubs where jackets and ties are worn in the the lounge, log fires are lit in the winter and your name is printed on your locker once you finally get one. It has a real charm and exudes that Surrey wealth, even the spike bar is wooden paneled with not a TV in sight. However despite the old fashioned nature it is a very welcoming club. I visited Tandridge on a beautiful autumn day. The many trees common to this sand belt running along the A25 were all turning from green to rich gold's which really added to the courses picturesque nature. There are some stunning views from the course, although the tree growth is beginning to obscure many of them. The course has a real feel of spaciousness, it's not that the holes are isolated or that the course is hugely long (6,400yds off the whites) it just feels big for some reason. It is a fine course with good tight fairways which with the sandy soil will remain dry whatever the English summer throws at them. The design uses the undulations well with the last few holes offering some really impressive changes in elevation, particularly the 13th where you drive off the side of a steep valley onto a fairway which seems rediculously far away. Over all it's an impressive and challenging course, well designed, well bunkered with an exciting finish. Typically with a colt design the bunkering is strong and the green placement relatively difficult, it is definitely worth a visit as a very good parkland course. One of the outstanding golf courses in Surrey? Probably not, there's to much competition. For example you are only 10 - 20 minutes from Royal Ashdown Forest, Crowborough Beacon, Knole Park, Wildernesse and Wrotham Heath all arguably around the same quality, some better, if all entirely different in nature. I see Tandridge as just one of the best parkland courses south of London and well worth the visit for it.
October 16, 2007
6 / 10
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Peter Davies
I am a member of one of the best regarded courses in Australia. I have been travelling to the UK for a number of years now and have played at Tandridge on a number of occasions. I have always enjoyed the layout, which presents some good golfing problems, particularly the stretch from 13 onwards.I played this year just as the rains finished at the end of August and was struck by the quite superb condition of the course given the sustained rainfall. Of course, this resulted in a lusciously green vista but the absence of soft or boggy spots was remarkable and a testament to the Course Superintendent.I would have no hesitation in recommending Tandridge to anyone as an interesting and fair test of golf on a course which is clearly maintained in tip top condition
October 02, 2007
6 / 10
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Michael Church
I have played the course twice, and on both occasions found it to be in excellent condtion. It is challanging, yet not excessively difficult. There are some wonderful views on the Back 9.The catering is superb with attentive, friendly staff.
August 06, 2007
8 / 10
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