- AddressHeath House Rd, Brookwood, Woking GU22 0RA, UK
- Championships hosted
Worplesdon Golf Club is one of Surrey’s prettiest heath and heather courses and it’s arguably the best of the trinity of “Ws” (West Hill and Woking being the other two); all three courses virtually border each other. John Abercromby’s inaugural design dates back to 1908; greens and bunkers were constructed by Willie Park Junior.
It’s not a long course at just less than 6,500 yards, but it’s sufficiently challenging for most and driving accuracy is far more important than length. The front nine plays across near-perfect undulating terrain, so expect some awkward stances. The back nine, however, is sited on relatively even ground, but take care at the greens as they are often fast with subtle borrows and interesting undulations.
Every autumn since 1921, the celebrated Mixed Foursomes competition takes place at Worplesdon. Joyce Wethered won this event no fewer than eight times between 1922 and 1933, with seven different partners. Bernard Darwin lists Joyce’s victorious partners in his book, Golf Between Two Wars: “Mr Roger Wethered, Mr Tolley (twice), Mr J.S.F. Morrison, Mr Michael Scott, Mr R.H. Oppenheimer, Mr T. Coke and an elderly gentleman whose name for the moment escapes me”. In 1933, Darwin (aged 57) partnered with Wethered and won!
The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes features the 11th, a 520-yard par five: “Surrounded by brilliant heathland, this interesting hole has seen its challenges change with the times, but its supreme strategic character remains.” The par threes at Worplesdon are especially strong and the 175-yard 13th is an absolute cracker, surrounded by bunkers and often regarded as one of the best par threes in the UK.
It’s a real privilege to play this quiet and elegant course. The springy fairways roll gently up and down, flanked by many mature trees. The profusion of heather provides stunning seasonal colour and a real challenge in finding the wayward golf ball. The clubhouse is one of the most pleasant in all the land and very welcoming.
Lobb & Partners completed a multi-year renovation programme at Worplesdon in 2021. The final phase included the reinstallation of heather on bunkers, and the restoration of the necklace/horseshoe bunker on the famous par three 13th hole.
“We have had a lot of joy and satisfaction working at Worplesdon,” said Tim Lobb, “Obviously it is local to us, but also it has been a great opportunity to spend three years working on such a well-planned project with a very forward-thinking club. The landscape restoration element of the work, which is something I am very passionate about, has really been embraced by the club, which is very focused on its vision… We are really proud of what has been done, and we're looking forward to finishing with a bang.”
“And so farewell to Worplesdon,” wrote Darwin, “but not I hope for long. If I can once again see the dahlias in the garden by the side of the fifteenth fairway and once again read The Moonstone under the kind roof which has so often sheltered me, I shall be almost perfectly happy.”
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John Abercromby joined forces with Herbert Fowler, Tom Simpson and Arthur Croome; most of “Aber's” work was in collaboration with Fowler around the sandy heathlands of London.