Simply amazing. Straight in to my personal favourites in England without a doubt. Beautiful tree lined holes with immaculately maintained greens. Sadly the heather was not in colour but the various flowering boarders where out in full glory especially surrounding the pond as you enter the club and that frames the 18th so well. A memorable evening of golf with some challenging par fours. I will return.
Woking prides itself as a very English club. In many ways it is; no heroic carries, some slight eccentricities (only two par 5s and they are back to back), the clubhouse, but not the roof, is an integral part of the course, a grand history of foursomes and public school golf and, in non-Covid times, a relatively formal but excellent food offering.
Yet, in mid-April 2021 it felt a little American. In a very dry Spring for the south of England the course had very little run indeed. So it was play your shot to a spot, play your next shot and then hope that you’d got the right side of the hole on some huge, elegantly sloping greens.
The lack of run meant that it was a long course. And don’t let the apparent lack of length make you think it’s easy. It isn’t. Off the whites there are 8 par fours of more than 400 yards, stroke index 9 is 450 yards with a second strongly uphill. One of the par 3s (the 2nd) is 220 yards across a valley. And, as mentioned earlier there are only 2 par 5s, with neither being anywhere near easy to reach in two shots.
Where Woking scores is the requirement to be in the right place to hit one’s approach shot to the green, and then the need to put that approach into the right part of the green. Get it wrong on those beasts of greens and three puts await, with I suspect four puts not being unknown.
I’ll keep coming back to Woking, because one day I’ll play it well and walk off satisfied with 32 points. 33 of us played, the winning stableford score was 35 points, the winning gross score 4 over. Don’t ever let it be said that it’s an easy course because it’s not 7,000 yards. Length is not necessary for difficulty, just have lots of par 4s to prevent the long golfer putting for eagle four or five times.
I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about, quite anticlimactic to be honest. 5, 6 and 8 are absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t wait to continue. 9 & 10 were ordinary, 11 starting to get good again and then the 12th green was just ridiculous. A real shame the 16th was redesigned and the green was a bit of a rollercoaster ride bordering on crazy golf.
No doubt it’s a quality course but way over rated in my opinion. How it ranks better than Hankley Common on here is beyond me. Some of the bunkers at Woking wouldn’t have looked out of place on a public course.
Disappointing and over priced.
In October 2018 I represented The Oriental Club at The Bath Cup at Woking Golf Club. I was the youngest person playing by 35 years – easily.
This is an old school club, deep routed in tradition and whilst the public can request to play here, the club would rather you didn’t. Having said that, I am glad that I did.
I have played two out of the ‘Three W’s’ (Worplesdon and Woking – West Hill being the third) and I have to say that the course is undeniably pleasant. There is no doubt that Woking is located in a tranquil spot and the wisteria-embraced clubhouse only adds to the charisma. This is not a championship layout by any means; the course only measures 6,603 yards from the back tees. But Woking is a mature and strategic layout requiring well-positioned tee shots that must avoid the heather – at all costs!
The course has a deep and long-standing relationship with England’s Public Schools. The Club hosts a number of well supported tournaments, such as the Bernard Darwin Trophy and Gerald Micklem Trophy, both public schools team events. I hope to be involved with such competitions in the years to come, however many of these are seniors’ tournaments – suitable as the club is the home of the Senior Golfers’ Society of Great Britain.
The day of the Bath Cup was splendid. A chilly but bright October day highlighted the course’s beauty, unfortunately no beautiful purple heather. The format was 36 holes match-play with lunch in between. Lunch. This was some lunch. Jacket and tie please. Two glasses of Red minimum. And I overate – the food was lovely – three courses plus seconds. The afternoon 18 holes was a right off. Not just for me, thank goodness. We didn’t win – and that’s OK.
I look forward to returning and experiencing this Surrey gem once more.
I payed Woking last week for the first time and was very impressed. It is almost like a hillier version of West Hill with some terrific holes and nice views of the course, particularly from the 11th tee. It is although worth noting the tremendous green complexes! Some huge surfaces with wonderful swales in them and on a couple, you would swear a VW Beetle had been buried there as a feature! :)
The course experience was mirrored by the clubhouse. A super old building with an excellent ambiance and terrific food. I am really looking forward to returning to what is without doubt in my mind, the best course of the 3 W's.
Highly recommended - an excellent day out.
I think Woking is underrated. At 27th in England, to me this seems too low. A ranking of around 15 to 20 is about right. The course is an architectural masterpiece, filled with exciting holes and a cracking front nine especially (although the back nine compared pretty well). While this review talks about the course only, I should say the clubhouse is a beautiful old building and the terrace is just lovely, a place to relax after a quick 18.
Hole 1 is a decent risk reward hole. At only 272 yards it is short, but it is challenging to hold the green sloping entirely from front to back.
I like hole 2. It is a classic par three of 211 yards over a valley with a giant tree short and left. The shortest bunker doesn't come into play so much, but for me was a hazard as I only hit driver 165 yards.
Hole 3 is a fantastic par four of 410 yards uphill. It bends to the right ever so slightly. The bunker in front of the green is a challenging hazard. The green in itself is hardly easy, sloping heavily from back to front.
At 318 yards, the fourth isn't the toughest hole but the famous double bunker down the middle has prominence. The fairway narrows towards the green. A classic risk reward hole.
The fifth is one of my favourite holes on the course, 355 yards uphill to a huge green. Visually this hole is beautiful, framed by pines and a hillside behind the green. Pin position is key here and at 47 yards deep, the green houses a lot of pin positions!
Hole 6 is magnificent, 390 yards downhill from an elevated tee. The heather frames the fairway beautifully. The fairway bunkers 220 yards really pinch the fairway. You then cross a burn to a large green sloping from back to front.
The seventh is a charming little par three of 157 yards with pinching bunkers and a fall off area long. You have to hit the green here. I think this is actually a good, pretty hole.
Woking's finest moment is the 420 yard 8th hole, playing uphill and bending to the right. The four bunkers really complicate the approach shot, but the main interest to this hole for me is the variation in pin positions, with the toughest being back right over the bunkers.
The 9th is the longest par four at 433 yards, and for me was the weakest hole. Not because it is a bad hole, but it has less strategic merits. It bends sharply to the left and climbs uphill to a long, narrow green.
At 150 yards, the tenth is the second shortest of the par threes. It is tough to attack here, and requires a fade as everything slopes to the left. The two bunkers make this hole difficult.
The 11th is a strong 377 yard par four and exposes the open heathland sections of this course. It sweeps round to the right. The corner can be cut a little bit here. Everything on the green slopes back to front.
The 12th is the finest of the three par fours from 11 to 13. It looks so simple, and a long drive will chase down the hill, but it is tough for 385 yards with three bunkers short and a severely sloping green from left to right.
I think 13 is one of the toughest holes at Woking, 423 yards uphill into the pine trees. The bunker short and right of the green has a lot more presence than you would expect. This is a picturesque hole.
14 is the best of the two par fives, and at 525 yards is the longer of them. From the tee it looks simple, and the three bunkers can easily be avoided, but the green complex just two yards in front of the terrace is one of the course's most interesting, with everything sloping from back to front and right to left.
The 15th is the other par five, 501 yards uphill with a large swathe of heather on the left. Just the one bunker here to avoid. The hole has another interesting green complex with two halves sloping in opposite directions.
My favourite par three is the sixteenth, 144 yards over a lake to an incredibly complex green complex. Three bunkers pinch the green left and right, and there is another one short. The green has multiple ridges.
17 is a good par four of 418 yards down the hill with a more simple design. Just the two bunkers to worry about here, and the green slopes from front to back. A classic hole lined by tall pines.
Some say the 18th is a twitchy and awkward hole but I really like it. It's a par four of 328 yards with a pond on the left very close to the green. It can be driven, but with water, bunkers short, a green sloping towards the water and a clubhouse to the left it isn't worth the risk.
My round was very enjoyable and the course was impeccable, and the course conditioning was immaculate with beautiful turf on the fairways, smooth and flat tee boxes, great bunkers and immaculate and lightning quick greens. A must play, worth every penny of its £125. I should say as well the welcome was so friendly and everyone at the club was so welcoming, unlike the stuff other people have said (not necessarily on this website). A delightful place to play golf.
Excellent course and very difficult on a wet English day. Play 36 holes in the day and walked with the bag so was extremely tired. It is a long course with some neat intricate shorter holes to test you also. You dont need to be a big hitter to enjoy the course.
One of my favourite inland courses, Woking is a lovely heathland track just southwest of London. The opener is a classic ‘gentle hadnshake’ from the course easing you into your round. The 3rd has an extremely fun but tough approach that I enjoyed.
The 4th is probably the most famous hole here, fully showcasing the strategy that this course requires, with a centreline bunker leaving the player with some decisions to make. I also think the level of challenge here is another defining quality. The 9th for example, is a tough, long par 4, but it’s bunker less, meaning its playable, and a sign of a course that knows when to push or not with its design.
The 14th plays right up to the clubhouse, and similar to the 18th at Blackwell it’s only natural for the player to have nightmares about thinning a wedge through a window! The closing stretch of 16-18 is also strong, and leaves you wanting more. Overall, an enjoyable, interesting place for a walk.
Woking is a lovely course with some of my favourite all time holes. It is a great old fashioned heathland course with tons and tons of charm.
I was perhaps a little underwhelmed given some of the reviews I had seen before playing but I would still highly recommend this course to any serious golf enthusiast. My slight disappointment may have been partly due to the terrible state of some of the fairways when I played (I played in mid April 2018 after a difficult Winter) so I’m looking forward to getting back when the course is in its usual pristine condition.
The weak holes in my opinion - 9 and 10 which seem out of character with the rest of the course. 1 is often touted as a poor opener but I quite enjoyed the quirkiness of it.
Favourite holes - 5 is great and the start of the real heathland holes in my opinion. 6 is the best hole on the course. Absolutely stunning drive from an elevated tee.
7 is a lovely little par 3 with a great green that seems to move in every direction. 8 is another hole that I absolutely loved. A brilliant uphill par 4 with heather on both sides of the fairway. The huge undulating green is surrounded by bunkers such that a solid long iron/fairway wood is needed to make this green in regulation.
I felt that 11, 12 and 13 were all great holes and 14 is great fun (unless you have a tendency to thin your sand wedge - the clubhouse window could take a pounding!). The final four holes are all good (16 is a lovely par 3 in particular).
Overall, a stunning course and I can’t wait to get back and see it at its best.
Woking was the last of the ‘3 W’s’, having played Worplesdon and West Hill earlier this year.
The course is in excellent condition, particularly the greens: firm, fast and true. Surprising given the time of year and the amount of wet weather we’ve had throughout December. Pretty impressive.
The course opens with a gentle 280ish yard par 4, but then moves into a great mix of long and short holes, playing through charming heather and pine, with some testing elevation changes.
The bunkering is superb, giving both the classic Surrey heathland aesthetic that many of us love and, more importantly, strategic challenge off the tee.
Personal favourites were the 4th, 6th and 14th holes with the only weak hole (IMO) being the par 3 10th.
Although not my favourite ‘W’, it’s a great course and thoroughly enjoyable day out.