The Wentworth Club needs no introduction; after all, the West course is the most televised course in Britain. Even those disinterested in the game of golf have heard of the stylish and famous Wentworth Club. But do you really know how good the Edinburgh course is?
The Edinburgh is not a relief course, it's 100% the real thing. The East and West courses are tough acts to follow, and when Wentworth identified 150 acres of land between the existing two courses and Sunningdale, the heat was on to create something really special. John Jacobs was chosen to design the new course with assistance from Bernard Gallacher (Wentworth club professional for 20 years) and the legendary "Black Knight". Gary Player. Player was well acquainted with the Wentworth property having played in 20 consecutive World Match-play Championships on the West course.
1,500 tons of wood was cleared in record time by a team of New Zealand lumberjacks and, in 1990, after a huge effort, the South course opened for play. The course was later renamed the Edinburgh in honour of the Duke who conducted the opening ceremony.
"For the most part the course winds its way through 'The Great Wood' which does call for straight hitting. However, the fairways are not so narrow as to inhibit the use of the driver, rather to encourage it." Wrote John Jacobs. And he's absolutely right, this is a driver's course and, with a yardage that stretches out beyond 7,000 yards from the back tees, you can't afford to leave your big stick in the car.
There are so many excellent holes that it is almost unwise to single one out, but the long par five 7th is a truly magnificent three-shotter. Many good handicap golfers will struggle to reach this green in regulation. The hole doglegs on and on to the right, seemingly indefinitely. The green remains invisible, hidden by an avenue of pines until you are virtually on top of the two-tiered green.
If you find yourself in the wrong position on these big greens, expect a few three putts and if your driving is wayward, expect a few sideways chips from the pine straw. Host to the Senior Masters, the Edinburgh course is a challenging test. In many ways there is Woburn feel here, reminiscent to the Marquess course.
Wentworth is perhaps the best 54-hole inland golfing destination in the whole of the British Isles. It's by no means the easiest venue to access these days, but it is undeniably a special place. If you haven't played the Edinburgh course attempt to befriend a member immediately.
In 2016 it was announced that Gary Player Design will be spearheading an Edinburgh course renovation.
The Edinburgh course is thought to be the favourite of many of Wentworth's members, and it is easy to see why. The course isn't heathland, which you'd expect to find in the area, but is instead more like Woburn, with tall pines lining each fairway.
The front nine is brilliant. 2 is a lovely short par 3 over a stream, 3 is a great par 5, and 4 is a wonderful par 4 with the approach playing about 20 yards downhill. 5 is a nice par 3, 6 is a nice par 4, and 7 is a very interesting par 5 that doglegs so hard it's almost like a horseshoe. 8 is another nice par 4, 9 is a very good, albeit tight dogleg, and 10 is also a good hole. Like all Wentworth courses, the halfway hut is brilliant and should not be missed.
The course unfortunately gets weaker on the back nine. It still has some really good holes (12, 13 and 15), but for the most part the holes are more average and boring than on the front nine.
If you are lucky enough to be invited to play Wentworth, I would try and play all 3 courses as they're all so different.
I like the John Jacobs designed Edinburgh course at Wentworth (with assists from Gary Player and Bernard Gallacher).
I do consider Wentworth to be the best club in the UK with three courses including the resort of Gleneagles. While I slightly prefer the King’s course at Gleneagles over the West at Wentworth, I have the East course a slight nod ahead of the Queen’s. Finally, I find the Edinburgh course to be superior to Centenary. With regards to Wentworth versus Woburn, while I have not played the Marquess I find both the West and the East to be superior to the Duke’s and Duchess’ where it can sometimes feel as if one is playing the same tree-lined hole yet again. Also, I find the routing, the beauty and the land to be superior at Wentworth versus Woburn.
If I were a member at Wentworth, I would likely find myself playing every ten rounds as five on the West, three on the East and two on the Edinburgh. While the West is the most difficult and the East is the easiest, the Edinburgh has a nice blend of challenge with most of the stress on the tee shot.
I see where some reviewers make the case for the Edinburgh to be on the top 100. I certainly would not include it on the top 100 in UK + Ireland, or even the UK, but I certainly think a case could be made for the top 100 in England. I do not think it belongs but I also think having the East on the top 100 in England is an interesting debate. However, I have not played enough courses in England to participate as I have only played approximately 60 courses.
I played the Edinburgh awhile back, before the Gary Player update. I would hope that the refreshment addressed more tree removal, particularly either in the fairway or close to the fairway. Also, I would hope they would have adding more mix to the contours to the greens as I felt they were benign/redundant and reduced the enjoyment of the golf course.
My four biggest critiques of the golf course were the boring or redundant greens, the suffocation of the trees when combined with doglegs, the doglegs are too sharp on too many holes likely as a result of a compromised routing to save land for building houses. Six of the seven dogleg holes are too sharp. Finally, there are too many trees either in the fairway or encroaching on the edges of the fairway.
I felt the bunkering to be good both in terms of placement and number. I agree with one reviewer who suggested the bunkers could be more interestingly shaped and deeper.
The greens are large which makes sense given the course can be longer than 7000 yards from the championship tees. However, as mentioned, they are dull either in slope or repetitiveness.
The land is relatively flat and do not dictate the holes with the trees being the primary determination of the playing corridors.
I felt the par 3’s to be pretty easy with the longer par 5’s and the long par 4’s representing the bigger challenges.
I did not find a standout hole, but I thought several holes to be good.
The first has three fairway bunkers on the left and a well defended green with four surrounding bunkers. It is a nice starting par 4.
The second is a short par 3 with a lovely stream fronting the green to catch the weak shot. It is another nice hole.
Three is a short par 5 that I felt to be unmemorable. It is the rare hole I felt could use more bunkers.
Four is a mid-length par 4 with a tree in the middle of the fairway which I always think is both stupid and is a result of an architect being lazy. The tree detracts from a finely routed hole to the right with one of the better green complexes on the course with three surrounding bunkers and a fall-off to the left. It’s an easy fix to remove the tree.
I like the fifth hole, the uphill 170 yard par 3 that has four surrounding bunkers and two tiers taking balls towards those bunkers. I felt this to be the best par 3 on the course.
The sixth hole, the number one index, is overly difficult due to the combination of length, the sharpness of the dogleg, bunkers on the corner of the dogleg, a ditch in the fairway, bunkers behind the green…..it’s all a bit too much.
Seven is a long par 5 of 600 yards that is a double dogleg with encroaching trees and another two-tiered steeply sloped green. Much like six, I felt the hole to be unnecessarily difficult.
Eight is a long par 4 with a narrow, tree-lined fairway. The hole has a stream crossing the fairway 50 yards short of the green. It’s an okay hole but lacking definition.
Nine is a short par 4 dogleg left with bunkers on either side of the turn. Again, I felt the dogleg to be too sharp. The bunkers at the green are the same shape and are boring.
The back nine kicks off with an average length par 5 but with another tree too close to the fairway as well as another collection of trees closer to the green on the right side also too close to the fairway. I disliked the use of trees on this hole so much it detracted from the best shaped green on the course.
Eleven is a mid-length par 4 dogleg to the right with bunkers on the left side of the turn and trees and heather on the right. I again felt the dogleg to be too severe and the trees close to the fairway should be removed. The green is tilted towards the bunkers on the left.
Twelve is a mid-length par 3 playing from an elevated tee to a thin, raised green surrounded by four bunkers. I felt this to be a nice hole.
Thirteen is a mid-length par 4 as another sharp dogleg left with bunkers at the corner on the right and trees pinching in on the left. The green is in a lovely setting.
Fourteen is another mid-length par 4 with trees as the defense to the green. The trees should be trimmed back as the hole is a bit suffocating. I felt this hole to be average.
Fifteen is a mid-length par 4 from an elevated tee with a burn in the fairway that the shorter hitter has to contemplate. The green has four bunkers surrounding it. I liked the hole.
Sixteen is a mid-length par 5 that has trees and bunkers for the tee shot. The green is flat. It is an average hole.
Seventeen is a splendid par 3 of 160 yards with a pond and flowering bushes. The green has four surrounding bunkers and a green sloped back to front. It is a nice hole and the second-best par 3.
The finishing hole is a long par 4 and a difficult hole to a fairway sloped left to right. There are a lot of bunkers on this hole, perhaps too many. Fronting the green is a swale with the green angled away from you and sloped back to front. The hole is memorable for its difficulty.
I do not think the course can be improved much to move it up in any ranking due to those six sharp dogleg holes. In addition, there are 3-4 holes that are overly difficult. Despite these critiques, it is a golf course that I did enjoy playing. It is a course that one should likely move up a set of tees from one’s normal tees as it is a golf course built for low-index players.
The Wentworth Edinburgh is a course I have played a lot and I am truly baffled to why it is ranked 93rd in the country as I haven't played either of the other courses but I've played with plenty of Wentworth members and they have all said that the Edinburgh is as good as if not better than the West course. The course is awesome with so many great holes and it is always in fabulous condition. I have a lot of favourite holes such as the par 3 5th, a tough uphill hole with heather all the way up to the green and slopes upwards all around the green with a few well place bunkers which look lovely, the par 5 7th is also a great long hole, with trees all the way down the right making it look fantastic. I could go on as all of the holes are great and memorable, but the 17th in particular is a special hole, playing over the water and onto the green it is fantastic. I want to give it a 6 ball rating however having played other courses which are proper 6 ball ratings such as royal st georges and swinley forest, it does not compare to these and so I will give it a well deserved 5 balls.
Very surprised that this course is not ranked higher. It really is such a spectacular golf course!
I played the course in late July 2018 when England was experiencing somewhat of a heat wave with very little rain. The course was still in immaculate condition and the greens were quick and true, but still receptive even with well hit mid iron shots.
So many holes stick out in my mind even 6 weeks after playing the course! Some fantastic Par 3 holes in the cute 2nd over a stream surrounded by bunkers, the uphill 5th carved out of the woods and beautiful Monet painting 17th. The dog-leg Par 4 4th holes is a wonderful hole which requires a well placed tee shot to the left of the imposing trees in the middle of the fairway in order to see the beautifully set green at the bottom of the hill. The Par 5 7th feels like it dog-legs forever to the right and is a true 3 shot hole. Don't get too greedy with your tee shot at the dog-leg Par 4 11th - you'd rather have a longer iron shot than be blocked out by the woods on your second.
The only reason I hesitate to rank this as "excellent" is our experience with a stuffy member while getting lost trying to find one of the holes in this labyrinth of a golf estate. Still, what a memorable experience!!!
The demanding yet delightful Edinburgh golf course is a John Jacobs design with input from Gary Player and Bernard Gallacher. The idea of a third course at Wentworth, to complement the two created by Harry Colt in the 1920’s, was conceived in the late 1970’s but it didn’t actually open its doors for play until 1990.
Nowadays that door is firmly shut for visitors because an invitation from a member is required to play any of the three courses at this exclusive and private Surrey estate.
The West is a world famous golf course, needs no introduction and naturally receives the most plaudits and the East is often singled out for high praise too. But despite its billing as the third course at Wentworth the Edinburgh still ranks as one of the finest layouts in the county and I’m told is preferred by many of the members. An opportunity to play any of the three should not be refused.
As you would expect of a tight tree-lined golf course it is imperative that you drive the ball imperiously to have any chance of scoring well on the Edinburgh layout. You must be able to hit arrow straight at times whilst at others shaping the ball is required for maximum benefit and to gain the ideal position at a number of the dog-leg holes.
Indeed the test of your driving on the Edinburgh is a relentless one thanks not only to the narrow playing corridors but also strategically placed individual pines which can add to your problems. Fairway bunkers, albeit quite shallow, are also in attendance on many holes, lush thick semi-rough flanks several holes too and touches of tangly heather can be found on parts of the property.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
I was taken aback somewhat to find out that the Edinburgh course hasn’t featured in any of the golf magazine ranking lists because it’s a cracking course in its own right and rightfully sits within Top 100’s current Top 100 chart for England.
There’s a bit of a walk from the 2nd green to the 3rd tee and from the 16th green to the 17th tee as both the two opening and closing holes occupy a separate tract of land close to the clubhouse but fairways on the rest of the course just flow effortlessly around the remainder of the layout.
The general underfoot conditions were more heath-like than on either the West or the East so that certainly helped in terms of distance off the tee and picking approach shots from the fairway. I normally like doglegged holes but the downhill 4th was a bit too “Alpine” for my liking, reminding me of the type of holes I saw on lesser European courses a while back.
On the plus side, the four par threes were an absolute delight, sensibly set up to play between 124 and 153 yards from the regular tees. The 140-yard, water-fronted 17th is obviously the pick of these short holes (it features on the cover of the scorecard) but, for me, I liked the 5th more because it’s so hard to make an uphill par three as attractive as this little beauty.