Let me start by saying Walton Heath is not my favourite style of golf course. I do like a heathland but in terms of personal preference, my eye is more suited towards a West Hill, Hollinwell or Liphook. With that being said, it's hard to look at Walton Heath as a place and not love it. There may be an element of bias as I'd shot +5 off the white tees, the best round I'd had from my two year hiatus but Walton Heath does not dissappoint.
It's held some very prestigious tournaments, the Ryder Cup, British Masters, Senior Open and a catalogue of serious amateur competitions. Most being held on a combination of the 36 holes Walton Heath has to offer. Not to mention James Braid, renowned architect and professional, being the head pro the same time old Winne Churchill was a member here.
The moment you drive in there is a lot to take in, it did take me a minute to figure out where I was supposed to be going! But past the Artisans club we headed, golf bags in hand around the corner to witness probably the biggest putting green I've ever seen. One thing I love about this, which a fair few top 50 courses don't tend to manage, is the communal feeling at the golf club. Whilst you can't see the first or eighteenth of either of the two courses from the clubhouse, it's a lovely communal looking area with the patio looking over the enclosure in which the giant putting green and professional shop sits.
One thing I do love about Walton Heath, is the view you get after the fairly poor first hole. You cross the road and you instantly have a panoramic view as far as you can see of golf holes. 35 of the 36 are right in front of you on this giant piece of land, and whilst down the opposite end you may be surprised how close to the M25 you get, the sound of cars whizzing past didn't bother me in the slightest, I was in a trance!
Playing with a good friend and a member definitely helped. He hit the ball a similar distance to myself and Walton Heath is definitely a course you need to plot your way around. Very easy to lose golf balls even a few meters off the fairway which puts a huge premium on accuracy so it was incredibly helpful to have someone telling me what I could and couldn't do around here!
Everyone who knows me knows I do love a moan, and can find a negative about everything! Although there were many great things about this place I feel that there weren't too many holes that really stood out. Whether that's down to the consistent quality of good holes (believe me none were by any means poor) or if it's just the kind of place they all kind of blur into one, my memory is usually quite good a few days after however I couldn't tell you which hole was which.
The 3rd and 16th were the two I'd probably pick just above the rest as being memorable, maybe because I managed to leave myself a 20 ft eagle putt on the driveable Par 4! It is nice to see even with the purple tees, measuring a stupid 7300 yards, that this hole is still 290 yards even for them! The 16th however I did not score as well on! The wind tends to stay the so I'm told and this downwind par 5 measuring 510 yards off the whites is definitely reachable. A great bunker right of the green is ready to swallow up and short approach shots, very cleverly designed which must be 10 ft deep! A par would have to suffice for me!
Overall, you can tell this place is a fantastic place to be a member at. Heck I'd even consider it myself. The standard of good players here is very very good. Our host for the day plays off 2.0 and was the 70th best golfer there. Just a quick look at the latest medal comp, showed 6 players playing off + figures. More than any I'd seen for just a simple medal! Definately worth a visit, not so sure about the £225 green fee however!
Date: July 30, 2021