West Byfleet Golf Club began life as Bleakdown Golf Club in 1906, with the club’s professional, Scotsman Cuthbert Butchart, laying out the holes across a narrow 105-acre tract that runs alongside the railway line from London to Woking and beyond. Butchart also designed the acclaimed West Hill in 1910, located at Brookwood only a handful of miles to the west.
The course was turned over to agriculture during the Great War, with the clubhouse becoming a small hospital. It was reported in the Daily Herald in May 1922 that the club “would be known as the West Byfleet Golf Club from 1 July and it was hoped that the full 18-hole course would be opened shortly.”
The club engaged Mackenzie & Ebert to produce a course audit in 2011, which was updated six years later. Several holes now have bunkers renovated annually, and new back tees are also being installed in a multi-phased program of improvement work. The 11th green was also re-shaped in 2020.
Hard to imagine a) why I am the first to review West Byfleet and b) why it’s ranked so low. In my view it is better than at least six courses listed above it in the Surrey rankings.
It was still work in progress when I played WB last year, but when the bunker renovation is complete I see no reason why this course should not be considered for a Surrey Top 20 position.
The pond-fronted one-shot 13th is every bit as good as Worplesdon’s 10th and Woking’s 16th. Built on pure Bagshot sand, the only thing missing is the heather that defines the aforementioned courses.
West Byfleet is underrated.