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.
Date: August 06, 2020