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: 8.2 out of 10 Reviews: 41
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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
Woking
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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
Woking
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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
Woking
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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
Woking
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Dan
A brilliant course - old school clubhouse with a great terrace for drinks after your round. Really friendly club pro who helped us out when we arrived a bit late. The course is outstanding - I think it's the best of the 3 W's. Spectacular tree lined fairways and lots of quirky and very different holes. They were only playing 2 ball golf on the day we played which made for a very quick and hugely enjoyable round. One of the very best courses in Surrey in my view.
August 17, 2012
10 / 10
Woking
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Mark Alford
Woking is in the best condition I have ever seen it. The green are fast and true and as always deceptive. We have put in two new tees at the 14th and 18th and this has added another 200 yards. If you get a chance and want to play a course that is actually much better than its position in this chart, come and play.
July 29, 2011
10 / 10
Woking
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Hans Berntson
This was the last course we played on a four day trip. The others were Sunningdale (36), Swinley Forest and The Berkshire (36), and Woking certainly fits well into that group. As have been mentioned by others the greens are superb but the rest of the course must be pretty good too as I remember both the routing and all the holes. And those are fond memories. Unlike at Swinley Forest though, I was pleased rather than spellbound.
May 22, 2011
8 / 10
Woking
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AJ
I simply cannot believe this course is not ranked higher up the list - being below Worplesdon for a start is a joke (even 'funnier' as the initial review on this website states Worplesdon as the best of the 3 W's, when it is inferior to the other 2). Rightly, the top courses on this list are links - I love links golf more than any other 'type' and this opinion is shared by the majority of serious golfers. But to rank this place so far below Swinley Forest and St George's Hill is way off the mark. Berkshire Red / Blue courses, Bearwood Lakes, Chart Hills all superior? Are these people serious? I don't even know where to start with Woking, the place has such atmosphere and you feel like you are playing somewhere special. It was the original heathland course (the history adds to the aura) and nothing else comes close in terms of quality of layout - with the possible exception of Sunningdale (which has an inflated reputation owing to it's famous name and also the relative superiority of Sunningdale over the rest - bar Woking). I wont bore with details of the course hole-by-hole, but with the possible exception of the first (a 270-yard downhill par 4 reachable with 3-wood) there is not a single average hole on the golf course. It is classic risk / reward stuff all the way round and unlike other courses in the sandbelt (primary example being the Berkshire) it doesn't consist of 18 (or 36) identical holes flanked by trees and heather. There is an excellent mix of terrain with water hazards (natural), tall pines, heather and sand (minimal bunkering but always placed perfectly) providing a contrasting backdrop for every tee shot and approach. Then there are the greens - if there is a finer set of 18 green complexes in the land then I am yet to play them. What a fabulous mix of shapes and sizes, with innumerable humps and hollows providing a real challenge. Those who argue the course is too short (6,500 yds par 70 is pretty stiff given how tight it is) don't realise that this is the point - in order to find the right level/portion of any green with your approach you must be hitting a reasonably short iron. By all means lay up off the tee and leave yourself a long to mid-iron approach, but find the wrong part of the green (or worse, miss it altogether) and you can quickly rack up the bogeys / doubles. You simply must be hitting short irons in here to get close to the pins with regularity, and that reason alone forces the issue off the tee. I can only recommened that anybody yet to play this course does so at the earliest possible opportunity - you will not regret it and I can guarantee you will feel too, like me, that this course is severely under-rated. Maybe that's the way the members like it. I'm off to fill out an application form...
September 29, 2010
10 / 10
Woking
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Carl
October 10, 2010
A big fan. Myself though I love visiting them all and I don't think any one is greater than any other. When the changes really set in this will be an even greater course. The one thing for me though I would never start on the first ..... the 15th so I could walk straight off the green to the outside bar for a pint of local beer
Ally McIntosh
October 13, 2010
Carl, if you went with that routing, you'd be left with a very awkward walk from 18 green to 1 tees... A possible option could be 13 green to 16, then 17, 18, 14, 15 to finish... Again a bit awkward though... The current routing is best no doubt...
Nigel Bradley
October 17, 2010
If I only had one UK course I could play for the rest of my life, then this would be it. Need I say more.
am
October 28, 2010
An accurate review of quality course which reflects the general Southern/Berkshire/Surrey leaning of the England listing. Royal Worlington, Bowood, Burhill are top 100 ? "I simply cannot believe this course is not ranked higher up the list." At least two lower ranked comparable courses - Little Aston and Sherwood Forest - should be ahead of Woking in the listing and at least three unranked courses - Blackwell, Northants County and Whittington Heath - are of equal merit. To me the three ball score indicates a good course well worth playing, four, one travelling some distance to play, five, one to plan a golfing holiday around and six, one to travel any distance and pay any fee to play in a golfing lifetime. If Woking is worth the very top score how can you rank the exceptional English inland courses - Woodhall Spa, Ganton, Hollinwell, and, with apologies, Sunningdale Old and Walton Heath Old ? On this basis Woking would score a strong four, possible five.
Tom
April 18, 2011
I played here Autumn/Winter last year (2010). I have to say this is this nicest, most charming golf course I have ever played. There is a special atmosphere which surrounds this course, which is rarely experienced. The fairways were a particulaer stand out for me- they were beautifully shaped and conditioned. The greens were also of an extremely high standard, that guranteed some testing putts. My particular favourites were the 5th (a mesmerising view from an elevated tee-box and the second of the par 5s which was framed by the huge pines that are prominent here at Woking GC. A class act which caters for the more refined of golfers. Superb!
Ian Henley
Woking will always have a special place in heathland golf history, being the original track in the Surrey/Berkshire belt. The course certainly holds its position as still being one of the best tracks and whilst less infamous than some of its neighbours it remains comparable in terms of architecture, conditioning and golfing challenge. The club have also invested heavily in making improvements and most notably the redefining which has been done on the 6th including the new green has subtly enhanced the golf course. When contrasted against the “3 W’s” it holds its own favourably and there are an equal measure of great holes on this course compared to Worplesdon and West Hill. We could not single out a weak hole around here although granted that a few of the par 4’s are shorter they are still nonetheless good golf holes. The 18th being a case in point, a beautiful finishing hole with the lake to the right of the green. The challenge up to and around the turn gives this course its toughness, but for us playing Woking was about its history, the idyllic heathland setting and the wonderfully warm and friendly atmosphere generated by the club and its members. Ian Henley
November 01, 2009
10 / 10
Woking
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Chezza
This was my first foray onto the famous sandbelt of Surrey, so it was felt best to start at the original heathland course. Its hard not to echo previous reviews, the welcome from the Pro and Members we meet was warm and helped put you at ease from the off. I'm sure better golfers than me find it short but for myself, off 14, playing from the whites it was plenty long enough with traps and heather in all the right places to gobble up my mishits. My thoughts on the 18 holes were that the front 9 allowed me to use my imagination, while the back 9 seemed to be straighter and ask questions of my ball sticking abilities. The greens will test the best of players, were lighting quick and all 18 could be 3 putted if care was not taken when lining up, i think it would be fair to say they were the best I've played in the U.K this year. As a reviewer so wonderfully said, its a perfect thatched old cottage of an English course. I've always felt that although England has some world class links courses its our great heathland and parkland courses that we do best and along with the classic Scottish and charming Welsh links helps make this tiny island such a magical and diverse place to play golf. The history of Woking makes it a must play course, and one that any golfer really should enjoy.
August 20, 2009
8 / 10
Woking
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