Whittington Heath - Staffordshire - England

Whittington Heath Golf Club,
Tamworth Road,
Lichfield,
Staffordshire,
WS14 9PW,
England


  • +44 (0) 1543 432317

  • Jenny Burton

  • Harry Colt

  • Mike Raj

Whittington Heath Golf Club is tucked away on an elevated heathland plateau in middle England where there are delightful views across to nearby Lichfield Cathedral. The course has never appeared in a Top 100 list but we think it's well worth its Staffordshire Best In County ranking status.

It's one of the oldest clubs in England, originally founded in 1886 when a rudimentary nine-hole course was laid out on a former horse racing circuit. Whittington Heath really came of age between the Wars when Harry Colt was commissioned by the military club owners to extend the course to 18 holes. The military connection remains strong and the club was known for many years as Whittington Barracks.

The result of Colt's work is a challenging 6,490-yard par 70 course, which provides a real test for golfers of all levels. The club has hosted a number of top amateur events, including the 1986 Women's Home Internationals, which saw the Irish team emerge victorious.

Sandy, springy ground is ideal for golf and there's plenty of it here at Whittington Heath. The course wends its way through tangly heather and gorse: you'll need to keep on the straight and narrow to score well. The opening hole is relatively gentle, a short par five. In fact, the front nine is the place to make your score. The back nine is a much tougher proposition, with no par fives and four par fours, stretching out beyond 400 yards in length. A word about the greens - they are extremely well protected by bunkers and tough to read.

Whittington Heath is a completely underrated and relatively unknown heathland delight. It's a quintessential "hidden gem" and should be savoured alongside its near neighbour, Beau Desert. However, the club is directly in the path of the new HS2 (High Speed Two rail link), so if you'd like to experience the original Colt course, we suggest you make a beeline for Whittington Heath immediately before part of it disappears forever. Plans are afoot to relocate the clubhouse and build five new holes on adjacent recently acquired heathland.

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Reviews for Whittington Heath

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Description: Whittington Heath Golf Club is tucked away on an elevated heathland plateau in middle England where there are delightful views across to nearby Lichfield Cathedral. Rating: 4.3 out of 6 Reviews: 8

Enjoyed Whittington Heath very much. Although not too much heather in evidence (compared to Surrey heathland courses) it was very pleasant with a number of holes where strategic placement of the drive was important. Condition was generally good, albeit greens were on the slow side and some bunkers had a lack of sand. Absolutely loved the narrowness of the fairways (can't think of any narrower ones I've played), which with the narrow width of semi and then penal rough plus the excellently located fairway bunkers made it a really good driving course. Quite a few dogleg par 4 holes, including 5, 6, 8 and 11 which were probably my favourites, although the well bunkered par 3 7th was also very good. I thought the front 9 had more variety with two par 5's, with the 18th possibly the least interesting hole. I guess the big test for WH will be how the changes due to the HS2 manage to keep the classic Colt style of course. Until then at least well worth a visit

4 / 6
Whittington Heath
May 28, 2017


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As a stop over on the road between London and Glasgow, we were looking for a top 100 course to play. Couldn't get a booking at Little Aston or Beau Desert, and thought that Whittington Heath might be a poorish 3rd choice. How wrong we were! This is a great fun course, not overly long but strategic and sporty. A little congested in parts with tees and greens overlapping. Much work has clearly been done in the past few years, clearing away undergrowth and allowing heather to flourish. Greatly enjoyed our round, much more than playing at Woburn earlier on in our trip. I do think this course should be in the top 100 English courses, if only for the fun and enjoyment factor.
5 / 6
Whittington Heath
September 11, 2014


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This course is in great danger - ironic that in the year it made 'the top 200 golf courses' was also the year that the proposed route of the new high speed rail link was announced and disects the course.Unless the opposition is effective, it will be WHGC RIP.
3 / 6
Whittington Heath
January 16, 2011


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thomas
December 06, 2012
Whittington Heath is an extremely good sand-based course and a very good test of golf. I can't think of any weak holes. It's a Harry Colt design so plenty of thought is needed in course management. Miss a green on the wrong side and you're unlikely to get up and down. It plays firm and fast and has lots of bunkers and lovely greens, the 10th, 12th, 14th and 16th greens being particularly evil to putt on. The par-3's are all strong. I liked the fact that the rough, which is by no means penal, has been tapered in slightly at 250-300 yds off the tee which makes things a bit more interesting. I thoroughly recommend this course. A great shame it's under threat from the new HS2 railway line. All the best to WHGC in your campaign to have the proposed line re-routed.
This once was a beautiful course and deserves the accolades awarded here.Unfortunately a great deal of the forestation has been removed much to the detriment of the course. Tree removal is understandable if they damage the tees and greens by starving them of light and nutrients. But this goes far beyond that with whole swathes of tress, many of them substantial, removed adjacent to fareways.The unique definition of each of the holes has been lost. No longer a gem I'm afraid.
3 / 6
Whittington Heath
February 06, 2010


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In and Out
April 28, 2010
The tree removal which has been going on for three years is part of a long term project to re establish the heathland credentials of the course. Heather is encouraged to grow again in many places but this is a slow process and will take years. I note the reviewer played in the winter when the rough is cut. During the summer the fairways are defined both by the trees and mowing. There are enough trees left to define each hole but hopefully they will now not compete with the heather so much.
To Whom It May Conce
April 29, 2010
Colt’s design at Whittington Heath is one of the most varied and crafty in the Midlands. There are problems with trees not allowing light to the greens such as on #s 6 & 7, but for the most part the fairway corridors are very generous. For some reason the club sees fit to grow very penal rough well inside the tree-lines, sometimes constricting fairways to approximately 20 yards wide in the driving zones. Often times, there is more rough than fairway in the corridors! This style of course presentation has in essence robbed much of the joy this great design has to offer. Here is hoping the club realizes what a gem of a course it has and continues with the heather regeneration by cutting back most of the rough.
Ally McIntosh
May 04, 2010
Intriguing to see differing points of views here... I congratulate the club on tree removal and trying to reintroduce the heathland feel... Why do we need trees to "frame" the holes? Aside from the loss of heather and sunlight, heavily tree lined courses can become monotonous to the eye, something that never occurs with long distance open vistas... Not to mention negating the effect of wind... For interest, you should look at as many old photos as you can of some of England's heathland gems... Mostly open with very few trees to be seen...
pbt
November 23, 2010
Well done on removing the trees. Far better to have the heather and some open views, than some arbitrary "definition".
I did'nt know what to expect from this course, but was greeted with a pleasant suprise. This is a really nice, traditional course that is pretty challenging but not too long. I think this could be in the top 100 in England, although maybe I should play a few more courses before stating this. Loads of interesting holes here, particulalry the par threes and some of the short par fours. Play it!
5 / 6
Whittington Heath
August 13, 2009


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Played here (for the first time) on Thursday 21st May in a Society day I had organised. A real "hidden gem" that was in superb condition. The opening par 5 saw me standing on the tee looking at a fairway that from where I stood looked about as wide as a postage stamp! Some severe rough in places, and if you found yourself in it be prepared to drop a shot (or two). And the bunkers!! Loads of them, guarding every green from every angle. Played 27 holes and enjoyed every one of them (except the 5th which I messed up both times!) Some gorgeous sweeping fairways and the greens were nice and quick and evenly paced. Will defintely be going back to play again next year...there were 36 players in our Society and not one complaint. Everybody commented favourably on the condition of the course, the welcome in the clubhouse, etc.My only "negative" comment would be that a couple of holes see you hitting over the top (or very close) to other greens so you have to wait for them to clear before you can drive off. But a small price to pay to play here.Highly recommended
5 / 6
Whittington Heath
May 23, 2009


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Whittington Heath (Barracks) is a good pick as a hidden gem. In fact the course wouldn’t be out of place at the bottom end of the Top 100 in the Isles. The terrain moves just enough to be interesting with fairways that are often crinkled so the ball can sit up or down to complicate matters. And because the fairways have this small movement, most of the greens have subtle little folds and rolls that take some skill in reading. Lots of quality golf here with the finishing stretch 12-18 being perhaps the best. All the par 3s are excellent and there’s a good mix of greens that encourage a shaped, run up shot. The only thing I didn’t like was a redone, pushed up, 6th green that sticks out like a sore thumb. The course would benefit greatly from tree felling to get the HEATH back in Whittington.
5 / 6
Whittington Heath
September 02, 2007


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I'd never heard of Whittington Heath and I decided to visit this course after it was added to this website and I like playing the hidden, less well known courses.This is a just a super course, very understated but a truly memorable experience and great value for money. It's not the longest track, but it's a challenge finding the well-guarded greens. I'd definatley like to come back here and play it again, it's such a relaxing experience.
4 / 6
Whittington Heath
December 02, 2004


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