West Hill - Surrey - England

West Hill Golf Club,
Bagshot Road,
Brookwood,
Surrey,
GU24 0BH,
England


  • +44 (0)1483 474365

  • Patrick Dawson

  • Cuthbert Butchart

  • Guy Shoesmith

West Hill Golf Club is the youngest of the trinity of “Ws” located in this most beautiful corner of Surrey (Woking and Worplesdon being the other two). Cuthbert Butchart, a Scottish professional from Carnoustie, laid out the course in 1910 on the instruction of the founder, Mrs Marguerite Lubbock, a keen golfer. At the time, ladies were not allowed to become members at other local Surrey clubs, so she decided to form one of her own. Butchart went on to become West Hill's first club professional and he also made a name for himself as a fine, forward-thinking clubmaker. His drivers were revolutionary, superbly balanced and fitted with innovative lead weights.

Butchart is not a household name in golf course architecture, but he created an excellent course at West Hill, which has remained virtually untouched ever since (except for some recent bunker refurbishment). The course is routed in an out and back fashion across undulating sandy ground. The fairways are lined with pine, birch and, of course, tangly heather.

Measuring slightly more than 6,350 yards, West Hill is not long by today's standards, but with only two par fives and a lowly par of 69, it represents an enjoyable and testing challenge. The key to scoring well at West Hill is the successful negotiation of the five short holes and the best of these is undoubtedly the 15th, which measures 212 yards from the back tees. British golf luminary Henry Cotton felt that the 15th was one of the best short holes in Britain and, for a while, Cotton shared the West Hill course record with a 67.

West Hill is home of the famous Father and Son Foursomes Tournament, which was first contested in 1931. The Times and The Telegraph report on this event as it progresses each year. The winning team become proud holders of the Geoffrey Lubbock Challenge Cup, which was donated by the husband of the founder Marguerite.

If it's charm that you are looking for, then you need look no further than West Hill. This is a truly delightful golf course.

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Reviews for West Hill

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Description: If it’s charm that you are looking for, then you need look no further than West Hill Golf Club. This is a truly delightful golf course. Rating: 7.9 out of 10 Reviews: 43
TaylorMade
Max Monroe
Another beautiful course, a lot of nice to good holes, a little on the short side in length but that makes for a pleasant day out. Course needs serious bunker retooling, they are not the style nor the severeness you would expect to find on a top rated heathland course. The bunkers could really frame up the course nicely if redone.
July 24, 2011
6 / 10
West Hill
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Graham Methold
Surrey is blessed with a lot of great golf courses and as an all round golf club West Hill is up there with the best of them. It has a great blend of everything a golfer could hope for: a challenging course with a variety of holes and features, active membership and competitions, great putting surfaces and the ever elusive "atmosphere". The more I've played West Hill and the more courses I've played at home and abroad, the more I appreciate just how good the original design was. It hasn't change very much in over 100 years. There is something very satisfying about being challenged by a course that was created without the aid of modern landscaping equipment that was created making best use of the natural landscape and by moving a minimum of earth.

For me, four things about this course stand out. Firstly, length. When people refer to the relative lack of length of West Hill (and other similar courses such as New Zealand and Woking) compared to modern day courses, they are missing the whole point of the course and, in many ways, of amateur golf generally. The key to a good round of golf at West Hill is simple - hit it onto the fairway! If you are marginally out of position with your tee shot (particularly on the par 3 and 4 holes), then this really limits your options and requires creative shot-making to make a par. 6,400 yards may not be long enough for the touring pros, but for 99.99% of the golfing population it is a non-issue.

Secondly, the lack of gimmicks and "signature holes". It has all the elements that should be in any golf course - challenging variety of holes; difficult par 3s; a short par 4 (12th) and a great finishing hole. There is something reassuring about playing a course that is just a very solid test of golf.

Thirdly, the opening and closing holes of the round. I've played many of the top 100 courses and it is amazing how many of these have - relative to the other holes on the course - weak opening and closing holes. A good opening hole and, even more so for a golf course where club competitions are played week-in, week-out, a challenging closing hole is a real plus for any golf club. West Hill opens with a very picturesque hole over the brook. However where it really excels is the 18th hole. Of how many courses can it be said (hand on heart) that the final hole is the best hole on the course? The 18th hole at West Hill has the lot - a great view of the clubhouse from the tee; challenging bunkering, a very difficult approach to the green (if you pull it left you are done for) and a great view for spectators from the patio! It isn't possible to relax until you have sunk that final putt on the 18th which is exactly the way it should be.

Finally, the greens. They are fast and true and a lot of thought is required to navigate these successfully. As with all those familiar with the area I suppose I should contribute to the three Ws debate . . . I don't spend hours thinking about which of my three kids I love the most and I'm not about to start with the three Ws. All great - just enjoy!
July 11, 2011
10 / 10
West Hill
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Medius Viridus
May 10, 2016
Played the course yday,& that echoes my sentiments entirely.How a course should feel and play
Matthew Adams
To play a round at West Hill in glorious sunshine on a pleasant day is one of life’s treats. I did so for the first, and so far only time, in June 2011. The course is easy enough to get to by road from London although the entrance could hardly be more understated. The welcome was cordial and professional, and this, along with the ample practice facilities helped me start my round well. The course merits its ranking due to a timeless design coupled with fabulous presentation. The course has enough undulations and changes in elevation to keep the interest of the more proficient golfer, but could be a little daunting for the newcomer. West Hill Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe course gives the golfer numerous options off the tee and into the greens, unlike some target style courses. With the help of a course planner the first timer should find the course a fair test with excellent greens: both receptive of well-struck approach shots and true-rolling for putts. The course is relatively short by modern standards with accuracy from the tee frequently being the best policy. I find it hard to pick the standout holes as the overall quality is so high although the quirky 11th, an uphill par four, is a personal favourite. The hole offers a generous piece of fairway to the left or what appears to be a mere sliver of fairway straight ahead, followed by a semi blind approach. It may be easier to select the weakest holes with only the par3 13th, being a minor disappointment, although it would be a welcome addition to many courses. The setting is tranquil with no roads with fast-moving traffic nearby so tyre noise is no problem. For some, the proximity of the railway may be a problem but for me it wasn’t here as indeed it wasn’t at Liphook, North Hants, or Woking. Railway lines also serve as adornment to course such as Dundonald, Western Gailes, Royal Troon, etc. Of the three neighbouring 'W' courses I found West Hill a close second to Woking and marginally ahead of Worplesdon. For the record I am a member of a club that has no links to West Hill: more’s the pity.
July 01, 2011
8 / 10
West Hill
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Hugh
July 02, 2011
I agree entirely with this review regarding the railway debate. Classic golf courses and railways go hand in hand, the railways were here before the roads, without railways many golf courses would never have been built. The three Ws are always so close to call. My preference is Worplesdon but that's purely down to personal taste. All three are great courses.
Andy
July 03, 2011
Always a great debate about the 3 'W's and it is difficult to disagree with any order to be honest. For the record mine would be West Hill, Woking, Worplesdon.
Nick
July 11, 2011
I have to agree entirely with your comments having played here in March this year (when we had the good weather). I think the course is fantastic and would happily go back. I would have to say that my order would be Worplesdon, Woking, West Hill, but I have no idea why, maybe it was the way I played that determined my favourite.
Ina
We drove from London to this golf course to have a quite afternoon. Unfortunately, at the first few holes and at the last holes you constandly hear the train (you also can see the train) and the main road. This was absolutely annoying to me.However, the course is in very good condition and not easy to play. But for me the balance between price, distance and expectations is not good enough and so I wouldn't recommend this course.
June 30, 2011
4 / 10
West Hill
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James
Yes, it's quiet. Yes, it is a bit old-fashioned. Yes, it is not mountainously long. But it is beautiful, comes with an unobtrusive and genuine welcome, and a really clever golf course that test every shot in the bag, and insists you think on every shot. By the way, it may not be long, but if you get anywhere near the par of 69 you have done really well. when firm and fast in the summer, I imagine the greens are very difficult. All good holes, few great ones. The short par 4 before the hut is a classic risk/reward hole, and the final par 3 brilliant. A great place to play, and a bargain at the £50 winter rate.
March 30, 2011
8 / 10
West Hill
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David Wilkinson
West Hill is a haven for those seeking a traditional, challenging and classy golf course. The clubhouse is understated and there is no state-of-the-art driving range. Don't expect a palatial locker room or a gallery of champagne-quaffing dignitaries on the patio either. This is a golfer's club.You'll find eighteen very challenging holes, several of which do not require driver from the tee, but demand a long iron or fairway wood approach. The routing of the course has remained mostly unchanged for a hundred years, but the intelligence of the design means it plays a lot longer than the 6,322 yards on the card. Expect your short game to be tested by the fast, undulating and often expansive greens. Also, prepare to be creative with recovery shots, many of which will undoubtedly be from the thick heather that grows on most of the holes. West Hill boasts five excellent par-3s, ranging from 140 to 215 yards long. Each of them has perfectly-positioned bunkers and greens which require precise placement, rather than the usual safe shot to the middle. Indeed, if you end up the wrong-side of the large whale-back which runs through the centre of the 15th green, you may wish you had missed the green completely. With only two par-5s on the course, your performance on the par-3s can make or break a round. The lasting memory of a round at West Hill is inevitably the superb closing hole. Playing all of 440 yards uphill to the clubhouse, the par-4 18th is defended by two banks of severe fairway bunkers. Topped with heather, the narrow traps effectively turn the hole into a three-shot approach for many. With the Secretary's office and clubhouse dining room lurking just a few yards from the regular pin position at the back of the green, there are a few extra nerves associated with the final approach shot.Whether you ask a member to take you out or write to the Secretary, a round at West Hill will show you English inland golf at its finest.
November 16, 2010
10 / 10
West Hill
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Kevin Aitken
Played this course yesterday and I have to say I was very impressed. The 1st hole is currently undergoing some drainage work so had to play a temporary green but all other 17 holes were in fantastic condition. Greens were very smooth and fast even with the wet weather during the night. Lots of heather lurking off the fairways to catch your ball, many tree lined holes however the fairways were always fair and enticing you to always bring out the driver. Clubhouse was a little bit disappointing, but still full of old character. Definitely worth playing.
August 27, 2010
8 / 10
West Hill
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richard young
I have played here twice this year and found it to be really superb. In particular West Hill has a top class set of challenging and very well designed par 4s the best being #18 which I believe to be possibly the finest finishing hole in Surrey because it is long, difficult and perfectly framed by heather right, pine trees left and the club house hard behind the long 3 tier green. Condition wise the course was excellent especially the greens which were speedy and very true. In terms of criticism I would say that whilst #4 and #15 are excellent short holes #7 and #9 are trifle dull by comparison. Overall the club has a lovely understated classy feel to it and the course has so much variety that I could not imagine ever becoming tired of playing here. This course is often compared to near neighbours Worplesdon and Woking both of which are also fantastic in their own right however West Hill is in my opinion the most difficult of the 3 Ws.
December 22, 2009
8 / 10
West Hill
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Max
A terrific course in the mature Surrey heathland. Not very long or tough but once in the heather if you find your ball it is only a hack out. Undulations, giant trees, streams and woodland were some other prominent features. It was extremely pretty but the greens had just had some hollow-tining done so the greens were slow and bumpy. The bar afterwards was quiet and had no character. Apart from these things however the course was fantastic and I would highly recommend it.
November 08, 2009
8 / 10
West Hill
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Patrick franklin
Played the course in late April and enjoyed the round enormously. A real feel of space and privacy once you are passed the railway adjacent to the 3rd. Fantastic par 3's with great bunkering. On any of the par threes you are punished by being left, right or short and sometimes also if you are long. I found the much criticised stretch from 12 through to 15 very interesting - 12 being a cleverly bunkered drivable par 4 with a very tricky 2 tier green and 14 being a long dogleg which requires a very good tee shot. The greens were subtle and but the condition of them only average. I'll be back, hopefully when the cousre is in full bloom
May 15, 2009
10 / 10
West Hill
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