Woking - Surrey - England

Woking Golf Club,
Pond Road,
Hook Heath,
Woking,
Surrey,
GU22 0JZ,
England


  • +44 (0) 1483 760053

  • Golf Club Website

  • 3 miles SW of Bagshot

  • Contact 7 days in advance – no weekend visitors

Woking Golf Club has a charming Old England heathland course, laid out by Tom Dunn in 1893. The club was intended to provide relief for a few golf mad barristers who were sick and tired of playing on muddy clay. We must thank Woking wholeheartedly because nobody thought that heather and gorse-strewn land was viable ground for golf and this was the first experimental heathland layout.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were only a few heathland courses around London and Bernard Darwin described them as “the stars of sand and heather”. He had a soft spot for Woking Golf Club because it’s the oldest and one of the best. He went on to say, “although my judgement may not be strictly an impartial one, I think it is still the pleasantest of all upon which to play, and the golf is undeniably interesting.” Darwin was once a mad barrister himself and also a member at Woking for more than sixty years.

Woking Golf Club is listed in the catalogue of Simpson & Company Golf Architects, but we don't know what work Tom Simpson may have carried out.

There is absolutely no doubt that Woking is located in an idyllic spot and the unusual pavilion clubhouse only adds to the charisma. This is not a championship layout by any stretch of the imagination; the course only measures 6,602 yards from the back tees. But Woking is a mature and strategic layout requiring well-positioned tee shots that must, at all costs, remain out of the heather and in play. We recommend that you leave your driver in the boot of the car to avoid any temptation.

Woking is not riddled with bunkers but those that are there are adroitly positioned. In 1900, a controversy raged when Stuart Paton dug two bunkers into the 4th fairway. The members were mortified that they might be penalised after hitting a good straight drive. Looking back at this, Woking was a pioneer in architectural terms, forcing the player to make a strategic decision, lay up short or bravely aim on the right line.

In 1926, a match involving captain Bobby Jones and the rest of the American Walker Cup team took place at Woking. The Americans were beaten 6-3 by the “Moles Golfing Society”. The British Amateur champion was captain of the Moles. Woking was also once home to the Alba Trophy, a celebrated amateur competition. These days, Woking is used to genteel peace and quiet in Surrey’s suburbia. This is definitely a course for the connoisseur. Or as Darwin said in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, "I can only end as I began by asserting that there is no more delightful course whereon to play golf."

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Reviews for Woking

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Description: There is absolutely no doubt that Woking Golf Club is located in an idyllic spot and the unusual pavilion clubhouse only adds to the charisma. Rating: 8.1 out of 10 Reviews: 47
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Patrick McGarey
The last of the Three Ws is certainly no disappointment, starting with the decades old wisteria bush winding its way through the pillars on the restaurant terrace. What a classic venue, and well worth the effort to find it down several country roads! After a short par 4 opening hole, the balance of the course provided a good balance between comfort and challenge. I was annoyed with myself for butchering the 351 yard 18th hole after a perfect tee shot, but there is plenty of peril both left and right of that water-threatened green. Modern course designers could learn a great deal by playing this course and other turn of the century heathland layouts around London. Short holes which can either be birdied or double bogeyed and deceptively long par 4s which require a lot of swing confidence on the approach. Conditioning was excellent on the day I visited, and I suspect this is not the exception. Great staff as well. do yourself a favor and visit.
May 21, 2015
6 / 10
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Arthur Jennings
September 10, 2015
You may be interested to hear that Woking regularly plays host to 'big name' modern course architects who come to have a look at this classic design. This year both Donald Steel and Michael Clayton (who works with Geoff Ogilvy and is advising at the nearby Berkshire) have popped in to have a look and enjoy the course - and perhaps learn some lessons. You are right about the conditioning - I have played here quite regularly for around 5 years and it's always stunning. So much so that this year I have joined the club as a member and can confirm that week-in, week-out it is nigh on perfection. It really is a must play for serious golfers who enjoy the challenge of heathland golf and wickedly sloping greens. It has played relatively short this summer with the lack of regular rainfall but firm and fast fairways make finding the heather a lot easier. If you enjoy varied, interesting and thoughtful golf, Woking is surely for you.
David Davis
I played Woking on a beautiful Sunday morning during their member show up and play tournament. I was lucky to be hooked up with an excellent playing member of their greens committee who knew the course as no other. I have to say Woking was one of the wonderful surprises of my extensive visit to the London area. The course is short but absolutely full of brilliant strategy. Starting off with a very short and driveable 277 yd par 4 with quite a bit of danger behind the green for those that go long, it’s quickly followed up a very long 1 shotter of 221 yds which is very tough, at least for me so early in a round and being a bit of a slow starter. Immediately after a long uphill par 4 of 445 yds requiring two excellent shots to reach the green safely. I thought the course had a great flow to it, a very easy walk with short distances from greens to the next tee. A brilliant set of green complexes as well full of gentle undulations for the most part. I didn’t run into a hole I didn’t like until the new par 3, 16th. To be fair I have to say it certainly isn’t a bad hole but to me it just doesn’t’ fit at all to have this Florida like heavily bunkered par 3 over water in the finishing stretch, or any stretch on this great classic course. Now I know this is just an opinion so I’d be curious what others who have played think of this hole.

My favorite holes were 3, 6, 8,9 and 18. 3 because of the strategy required off the tee and with the approach and how the safe play away from the OB brings the left fairway bunker very much into play on the drive. However, anything right leaves you with a tricky angle of approach straight over the bunker to a front to back sloping green that is very firm. 6 and 8 are great par 4’s requiring two excellent shots to reach and both having fantastic greens. 18 is an excellent finishing hole.

If I’m really critical the par 5’s are a little underwhelming compared to the rest and especially the extremely strong set of par 4’s. However, I like that they are reachable with two good shots, but both are relatively straight. My preference goes to the 14th but this has to do mainly with the green complex, its location and ones ability to run up a longer iron or wood onto the surface.

The terrace at the 19th hole serves as a great place to watch other players come in on the finishing stretch playing the par 5 14th and starting on the 15th – there is also a pretty good view of 18. In fact, the location of the 14th green really gives you the feeling you are in the heart of the action while sitting on the terrace. To me Woking seems to be a very underrated course in the London area and it certainly provides not only a great atmosphere but also a wonderful strategic golfing experience on a great classic course.
September 29, 2014
8 / 10
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Hugh
September 30, 2014
The pond at the par three 16th isn't new, at least it was there back in the 1970s when I first played Woking. I think it's an attractive feature that is about as far removed from Florida as Woking is from Melbourne.
Arthur Jennings
September 10, 2015
Interesting review. I think you are confusing the 3rd with the 4th, which is one of the great short par-4 holes. 6 is spectacular (like 10th at Sunningdale Old, but better) and the 8th is the best hole on the course for me. Lots of members don't like the 9th but I think it's a very strong, long par-4 where 5 is not a bad score. Perhaps the green needs softening just a touch. I particularly enjoy the 11-13 stretch, where each hole is a similar length but all play so differently and you will not hit the same club off any of the tees. 14 and 15 are potential birdies or doubles depending on the strength of your driving, which I like on a par 5 hole. For me, the 16th is situated perfectly. It is stunning set back in the trees and the bunkering is in keeping with the rest of the course. The only problem is the 'knobbly' green, which I suspect will be flattened out in the not too distant future because certain areas get 'scalped' by the mowers. The Pond has been there as long as the course and is where most of the natural hazards feed into - I don't think it resembles Florida in any way I'm afraid! Then you have 17 and 18, both lovely par-4s to finish. What I really like about Woking is the fact you can step onto every tee and enjoy the challenge, with birdie a distinct possibility and bogey or worse lurking if you hit a poor shot. It's just fun to play, and that is why I started playing golf. Too many courses have lost sight of that in recent times, desperately trying to add length to protect old man par.
Hugo Mendez
Having last played Woking about 10 years ago, I was pleasantly stunned to see the difference those years have made on the course. It is in fabulous condition! Make no mistake, this is a top quality course deserving of some serious recognition.It strikes me that the members at Woking have a very simple and enjoyable golfing life. Rapid two ball golf, an absence of tee times, numerous starting tees, an ample social scene and a divine course which has essentially defined heathland golf. It is challenging, interesting and beautiful.
August 12, 2013
10 / 10
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James
Sorry, but for me there is no sane way that this can rate below some of the courses above it here. 20 years ago it was in terrible shape, but still a great track. Years of loving tree clearance and green work have it the best shape now.The key here is this: so undulating and quick are the greens that you simply must be on the right side of them. This in turn means that you must hit great iron shots, or drive it so far and straight to leave only wedges. This can be done, as the course is not massively long, but is no small feat, with huge penalties for missing.Many criticise the first, but actually a good risk reward short par four as anything long is awful. Thereafter, every hole bar the ninth, which requires a controlled snaphook off the tee, is top class. Personal favorites are the very subtle par three 7th, where anything to the right is likely to lead to a big score, and the clever par 5 15th, where the undulations on the green are so great as to make it probably the hardest wedge in you could wish to see. Add 17th, which requires an utterly precise second to hold a green running away, and you have the picture.Nice members, a good clubhouse and ample facilities. For me better than either course at the Berkshire or either other "W", if that gives perspective.
August 09, 2013
8 / 10
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Cédric
By a country mile, the better golf course of the 3 Ws: better golf holes (apart from no.1) and greater challenge than the other 2. West Hill is more scenic, but apart from that Woking ticks all the boxes. Very old fashioned club house and club, where only 2 balls are allowed. This place is sheer delight... Cédric
June 22, 2013
8 / 10
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Lee Hills
Played this brilliant track as part of a society in 20 degree May sunshine. Very friendly and welcoming pro shop, impeccable lunch and comfortable (and slightly unusual!) clubhouse. Now to the main event, the course..Someone told me that it's a pretty simply course. It's not. At 6,600 yards it's not exactly short for a par 71 and the greens are very tough. You need to be a good putter to shoot a good score here, without doubt.Hole Highlights:#3 - Long dog leg par 4 with a tough green. Tempts you to cut the corner but it's easier said than done!#6 - Absolutely stunning par 4 from elevated tee. Heather in abundance and water just short of the green. Breathtaking hole#8 - Best hole on the course in my view, very long par 4 with water, heather and sand. Hit it short on the 2nd shot like I did and dice death with the bunkers. Tricky green.#10 - Lovely shortish par 3 with a sheer drop on the left edge to catch any pulled shots. #12 - 11/12/13 all excellent par 4s, 12 is the pick of the three due to the fact the fairway is a nice large target and the second shot is downhill to a very undulating green#14 - Long par 5 playing directly in front of the veranda, very easy to hit it off the back into the clubhouse!#16 - Strong last par 3 over water, new hole is apparently opening very soon, looks good (if not quite similar to the current setup?)Bits I wasn't a huge fan of:#1 - Slightly disappointed by the lack of length on this short par 4. Green slopes downwards and in the hot weather it's basically impossible to stay on the green unless you hit it well short and let it roll on.#9 - Actually a delightful hole for the serious hitters but it's almost impossible to reach in 2 for even the decent players. Unless you can hit the high power draw and cut the corner you leave yourself with a 230 yard uphill 2nd shot, good luck. Could easily be a par 5 but regardless of the challenge, a love or hate hole.Stroke indexes appear to be unrelated to the difficulty of the hole (age-old tradition?) which could be frustrating for handicap matches.Condition-wise: 10/10. Superb conditioning, best greens I've putted on in the south of England in a long, long time. The whole course has been lovingly attended to and it's clear from your first shot to the last. This was the first time I'd played Woking since about 2005. The club really has made significant improvements and I'd put Woking right up there at the forefront of the golf courses in Surrey. Very much looking forward to a speedy return to Woking..I'd give this a 5.5/6. Considering the unbelievable condition of the course, I'll bump it up to 6 ball.
May 11, 2013
10 / 10
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James
Visitors to Surrey have a hard choice. Sunningdale, Wentworth, St Georges Hill Those in the know will head for the three W's or the Addington, Maybe Coombe Hill in June when the Rhododendrons are in majestic full bloom or Royal Wimbledon if you can't take too much time out of London? They are all less than half the price of the lauded links but all are fastidiously maintained to an enviable standard and far less busy. Having played the other 2 W's that bless this corner of Surrey, Worplesdon and West Hill being the others, Woking Golf Course - Photo by reviewerIt was high time I sought the pleasure of Woking's oldest club. The clubhouse is as pretty as a picture and has an old world charm dripping with history perfectly in keeping with the course. I enjoyed a very nice steak under the ancient wisteria whilst overlooking the closing holes from the terrace before my round, £11!!! This course does not feel short by any stretch and the holes are given plenty of space between them. Mature Trees and heather frame nearly all of the fairways and classic well placed heath land bunkers and running streams influence your strategy and please your eye as you lose yourself on the gently undulating heath. Whatever troubles you brought here, you leave in the car park. There are plenty of standout holes that are achingly pretty and inviting. Overall there are no filler holes. I particularly enjoyed the 6th and the 8th. I can remember every hole too and look forward to returning. It is a must play course. It's as simple as that. As quintessential an old English Golf course as you will ever play. The greens will really test you here. They are fast, fair and true. Not to mention devilishly contoured and lovingly maintained. Everyone should try and rate the three W's but there is not much to pick between them although they are all very different. I'm going for Woking, Westhill and then Worplesdon. Seriously though, that could change very easily!! JCB LAY
May 05, 2013
8 / 10
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Paul Bostock
A stunning course. Woking really is the sort of course you could happily play every week for the rest of your life - beautiful, challenging, rewarding.
April 30, 2013
10 / 10
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Marcus
I played as a guest of a member last week - fortunately we had a sunny and dry day! This was my first time playing Woking and it really is one of the elite courses in England. How Swinley Forest is #9 in the ranking (played three weeks ago) whilst Woking is #38 is just plain laughable!So - firstly, the greens are the best inland greens I've ever played. In the past 4 weeks I've played Walton Heath, Sunningdale, Swinley Forest and none of them are anyway comparable to the state of the greens at Woking. Not only are they in fantastic condition, the contouring of the greens is truly unique and makes it very difficult to score even if you're hitting greens in regulation. Aesthetically the course is right up there - not quite as pleasing on the eye as Sunningdale's 36 holes but certainly a real treat. For me the best holes are the 6th (par 4 from elevated tee), the dog leg, severely uphill 9th, the beautiful 11th/12th/13th par 4 stretch and the 16th short hole over water (although apparently a new hole opens in the summer). The 14th/18th holes play by the veranda of the clubhouse - there were lots of people eating lunch and having drinks outside so it added some nerves - needless to say everyone applauded even though i missed my short putt!The only criticism I would have is that the length of the course won't test the very best of players, even though the black tees make the course about 6600 yards. However, the testing greens should make up any difficulty lost from reduced length.There is something very special about Woking. The bunkers are placed so strategically you find yourself trapped frequently. The heather is abundant and tricky, but playable. The clubhouse is unique, quaint and historic. An excellent day at an excellent course!
April 20, 2013
10 / 10
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Vorndron
Woking is a wonderful course with a delightful setting and the condition of the course is truly excellent. The course itself is very good and after a relatively easy opening hole the course then gets going with a long par 3 and a couple of strong par 4s were par is a good score. The course has alot of changes in elevation with abundant heather which gives the course defination. Best hole for me was probably the 10th and the 18th is a fantastic finishing hole. In my opinion slightly better than its neighbour West Hill.
August 19, 2012
8 / 10
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