Out of all the great Surrey heathland courses Woking is the one that retains it’s old world charm the most. There is a real feeling of intimacy, timlessness and permancy about the whole club. The pot holed car park, tree lined fairways and wooden pavilion all add to its charm. As the first of the heathland courses it is of course not a modern day test of golf, despite the recent and ongoing work to lengthen some of the holes. But then even when these courses were built they were not meant to be championship tests, they were meant to be membership clubs and they were designed that way. I personally don’t think this is a problem, the heather and the trees will keep most of us mid handicap players fully in check and it’s very nice to play a course where the normal golfer can be flattered by hitting driver - wedge on some par 4’s particularly the 1st………… as long as we hit it straight enough that is! The course itself is in transition, the fairways and greens are immaculate, but there is an ongoing plan to remove trees and encourage the heather. This I think is good, you can definitely see that the trees have encroached far to much onto the course and as a result the heather has suffered badly in some places. There is also a bunker rejuvenation plan in place and I think the one criticism I would have of this course is the bunkering, it needs to be more difficult up near the greens, like New Zealand. My greatest praise though is for the greens, not just their conditioning but their overall design, they are small but multi tiered with some really vicious pin options. This was my first visit to Woking and it is a wonderful place to play golf and if I lived close enough this would be the course I’d want to be a member of, it’s charm and beautiful clubhouse would swing it for me, even though Worplesdon of the three W’s is the better course. I think if you were flying in from the States the best way to describe this place is the perfect thatched old English cottage of a course ……….. visit and enjoy.
Date: June 27, 2007