Wrotham Heath - Kent - England

Wrotham Heath Golf Club,
Sevenoaks,
Kent,
TN15 8QZ,
England


  • +44 (0) 1732 884 800

  • Laura Farrelly

  • Donald Steel

  • James Skelton

Wrotham Heath Golf Club is a real mixture of a course. It sits on the sand belt which runs along the old A25 just outside Sevenoaks. It started as a nine-hole course but due to declining member numbers the club decided to invest in some available land which they gave to Donald Steel to place a golf course on. This was a wise choice as the land they bought was quite majestic, deeply wooded with chestnut, pine and oak and very undulating.

There is probably no other person more capable than Donald of making the best use of England’s natural heath and links land. The new holes are only just over 10 years old but you would have thought Colt laid them out some hundred years ago such is their natural feel. The course now mixes the new in with the old but mainly the new are in the early middle of the round and it is the predominant reason for visiting the course.

The course starts and ends its front nine in a field in front of the clubhouse. From the view of the first hole and the two other holes that share this field you will wonder why this has been nominated or indeed how they can seriously have the word Heath in their name. You will realise why though as the course starts to build on the second and then really comes alive on the third. What a hole this is, more reminiscent of The Addington than in fitting with the early view of this course, it is a par five with a narrow fairway and deep chestnut woods either side. You drive off over a deep hollow onto the narrow fairway, the second shot is then probably 200 yards before the fairway drops precipitously down to a green perched on a little rise at the bottom of the hill. In fairness you would probably play two good five irons and a seven iron and it is not necessarily a very fair hole but it is great fun to play.

The next four holes then wind their way through heather and woodland with blind drives and awkward doglegs. You finally have some respite at the turn as you return to the front field before it once again becomes a heathland course until you reach the 18th back in the field. Apart from the few holes in the front field accuracy is an absolute must, miss the fairways and you are in the woods, bracken or heather. It is worth saying the course is still in transition and there has been a tree clearance programme underway to give more space and a chance for the heather to grow. The heather at the moment is a sprinkling with only a few of the holes really having a lot of noticeable heather. However if they get it right and the heather returns it will be a beautiful course in many places. If they were brave enough to go for serious heather planting on the front field then they really would have a course which would jump up the rankings.

Only around the 13th and 16th where the fairways cross do you have a feeling that the course has been squeezed into its space (these are some of the other old holes). However some of the magnificent views, from the new nine and some of the old nine, make this a worthwhile trip for a reasonable green fee. Even if it is not a complete enough course to make it anywhere near the Top 100 it is a quirky and fun gem of a course with a warm welcome, I really enjoyed my day here and will enjoy returning some day soon.

Article by Carl Tushingham

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Reviews for Wrotham Heath

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Description: Wrotham Heath Golf Club is a real mixture of a course. It sits on the sand belt which runs along the old A25 just outside Sevenoaks. Rating: 4.7 out of 6 Reviews: 7

Whilst it’s never going to be on the radar for the bucket-list golfer, Wrotham Heath is an enjoyable, sporty course and offers much more to a visiting golfer than what you’d expect given its lowly position in the Kent county rankings.

For sure, there’s a scattering of very ordinary holes at Wrotham Heath. The opening and closing stretch of land is typical flat treelined Wrotham Heath Golf Course - Photo by reviewer parkland that you find at most inland courses up and down the country and I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the holes where you cross the road on the back nine either, but boy, there’s a few gems out there too that make Wrotham Heath worth the visit. I’m mainly referring to the elegant and undulating heathland stretch on the front nine that starts at the third. It’s a shame that this hole comes so early in the round as it’s undoubtedly the real standout hole. It’s reminiscent of a couple of par fives at the Addington with position being key; a well struck five-iron is all you’ll need from the tee with the primary strategy being to avoid your ball ending up on either side of the heavily banked fairway. The next shot is then played completely blind with an enormous drop-shot to the green. The fourth hole then reminded me of some of the early holes at West Sussex as again, an iron off the tee is the smart play here leaving a wedge into a green that’s surrounded by pine trees. The 5th is an absolute gem of a par three played between a steep heathery valley before a sharp dogleg par four takes you to the end of this glorious stretch before you climb up and out of the heathland.

The par three 7th then skirts this heathland stretch, playing over a gulley in front of a raised green that proves deadly if you push Wrotham Heath Golf Course - Photo by reviewer your approach shot right. 8, 9 and 10 take a break and return back to the parkland whilst 11 and the short 12th again return to skirt with the more interesting heathland stretch of property. Of the remaining holes, 16 offers the most interest, it’s yet another peculiar dogleg hole where an iron off the tee should suffice before hitting up to a raised green sitting proudly on top of a hill. The walk to the next tee is some hike, but the 17th tee provides glorious views of the surrounding hills, albeit the hole itself is relatively uninspiring from the tee. The green however is surrounded by hidden pot bunkers, so raising the teeing ground could bring the hazards into view thus making a simple improvement to the appearance of the hole.

Overall, I enjoyed Wrotham Heath. It’s full of quirk where positional play is king and there are pockets of the course where the quality of golf reaches a very high standard, it’s just a shame the course couldn’t be more consistent throughout. Sometimes I’d prefer to write a review without providing a rating, and this is one such case, so please excuse the three-ball score as admittedly the course deserves better. An average this course is not, I just can’t justify putting the course alongside other more superior courses that I’ve put in the four-ball category.

3 / 6
Wrotham Heath
October 19, 2018


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What a fantastic day we had at Wrotham Heath last Friday. We had booked a tee off last minute and were welcomed by a very friendly member named Brian. He arranged for some breakfast for us and walked us to the tee telling us all about the course. The course is very enjoyable to play and although the greens had recently been hollotined you could tell they would be very true in the Summer. There are some cracking holes - most notably the third. Lovely views and some very good par 3s. I thoroughly recommend playing a round here - you will not be disappointed and the welcome we got from one of the members was absolutely first class. Many thanks.
5 / 6
Wrotham Heath
October 12, 2015


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Wrotham Heath is a Gem of a Course! Its a Beautiful layout, a short course yes. However a true test of golf that would test every part of your game. In the recent couple of years, the new greenkeeper has got the course up to championship classification. It fairways and greens as good as a any course in the country. Bernhard Langer once referred wrotham heath “as the best greens he has ever played on!” With some fantastic holes, that vary, meaning the player will always face a new challenge standing on the next tee. Many say its the best course in Kent, with its generous green fees that you should snatch at any opportunity, it is well worth the money! You will be more pleased to play Wrotham Heath and paying £30 than you would be playing The London Golf Club at £120! Wrotham Heath in my opinion is a more exciting and testing golf course that is in equally good condition. Its one downfall is maybe its length, not very long at the moment. However the golf club is looking to extend it by some 300-400yards, there is space to extend the already long par 4 8th and the Par 5 9th. The 13th has space for a back tee, as does the par 3 14th. The par 4 18th is a great finishing hole, a drivable par 4 measuring 330 of the backs with out of bounds all the way down the left and 6 bunkers around the green, picking up any wayward shot. There is space to extend the hole however taking the aspect of the risk and reward hole is not favoured by the members. In conclusion i would 100% recommend this GEM of a course! Great small, members club with a very welcoming array of members. A truly great golf club, with fantastic people, fantastic course and “Perfect Greens!”
6 / 6
Wrotham Heath
July 31, 2012


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Charles King
December 03, 2013
It was a pleasure to return to Wrotham as a guest having played it many years back and I have to say the condition (summer 2013) was very good indeed especially after the hot weather. I couldn't agree with the 6-ball ratings from others however (enthusiastic and loyal members of course) as it's hardly Walton Heath or Sunningdale! However it was good fun and by keeping the driver in the bag all day I was able to get it round in one over; it's a course that makes you think of improvised shots all the time and tests the long irons off the tee or even the 6-iron off the tee at the third! The short holes all require a club more than you think and a half-swing and with it you have a course that you don't need to fight for length and can actually help one's rhythm. Very pleasant indeed and I'd give it a worthy 4 stars and perhaps I'll get a chance to return sometime soon.
At 6000 yards this is not a long course, but the course record (amateur and professional) stands at 64, the Old Course at St. Andrews is 62, so this must say something about the course's defences over the past 100+ years. The driver probably comes out about 5 times in the round, the five short holes are all a delight, but the signature hole is the long 3rd; you either love it or you hate it, a card wrecker for sure, and coming as it does, so early in the round, and flanked by five other holes that require careful planning, pat yourself on the back if you still in contention for the monthly medal standing on the 8th tee. The club is a fine old traditional members club, with very few visitors and society days, get a kindly member to invite you along as a guest, play matchplay, and enjoy the empty fairways without a care in the world, nor that dreaded pencil in your hand, and take in the views.
5 / 6
Wrotham Heath
February 13, 2011


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I don't know why i like this course so much, the members are unfriendly, the last 7 holes are poor, the condition is mixed;from average to poor but the first 11 holes, particularly the front nine, are special, they're short but thrilling, this is my favorite string of nine holes anywhere.The third hole is also the best hole i've ever played, the ground between tee and faiway drops away to the right about 30ft, the fairway runs left to right and is very narrow, sloping into the trees, the fairway then plummits down and left 30ft or so to the green-great hole!
4 / 6
Wrotham Heath
February 12, 2011


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H Dorling
February 15, 2014
Some strange comments here that are totally out of kilter with all other reviews. Comments such as 'unfriendly members' and 'last 7 holes are poor' do nor feature in any other review and are quite frankly inaccurate. I have read many other items and will dismiss the comments from this individual.
HC
February 19, 2014
I''ve played here on a number of occasions and I can agree, for the most-part, with the review above. I have come across several unfriendly members in my time, although it must be noted that the welcome received is getting better and better as time goes on, as the reputation of the club builds and the acceptance of visitors increases. As for the closing 7 holes being poor (I would personally say closing 6) I think they are not in harmony with the opening 11/12; the course seems to go from being beautiful, isolated, treelined heathland into being, arguably cramped at times (though probably more accurately labelled as being more open/less tightly treelined) parkland. I might argue that the closing holes are worse than the opening ones but I think it is equally a case of them not fitting in with the rest of the course. The course almost seems to ''run out of steam'' by the end and this is somewhat disappointing. This being said, it is a cracking course and I actually wanted to join here when I was younger so I would certainly recommend playing it; I always tried to play at a time where we were forced to start off the tenth so as to save the best till last. As other reviews have suggested, this isn''t Sunningdale or Walton Heath but its significantly cheaper and incredibly fun so well worth a visit.
Backswing
June 05, 2014
I feel I must say these comments are harsh and un-constructive. I belive i'm correct in saying the 6-7 holes described as poor actually form part of the original course dating back over 100 years and have stood the test of time. The 9 holes favoured (front 9) are actually the newer half (although these are the most heath-like). I consider 14th and 15th to be a great test, 16th is a classic course management hole and view from 17th tea is as stunning as you will see in Kent. The members have never been anything other than welcoming on my visits and the course has been transformed over the last 3-4 years to be one of the best in the area. Walton Heath / Sunnigdale it is not but neither does it charge the green fees of such high end clubs. Give it another try and review again if you can. I rarely comment on these sites, but felt the club was at the wrong end of some bad comments here.
Jeffrey Millins
August 17, 2014
I was surprised to read in this review that the Members are unfriendly, I have been a member for nine years and do not recognise that statement. I have been amazed how friendly the membership is, are you sure you spoke to some members?
I left Hever Castle to join Wrotham in March and it has been one of the best golfing decisions I have ever made. The greens are outstanding, the pace of play quick the members friendly and the course wonderfully challenging. Yes it is short and yes you can sometimes get some awful bounces but that it all part of the challenge. The 2nd, 5th 11th, 12th, and 16th are wonderful golf holes and there is so much variety. Each hole is very different and with the woodland management programme it is slowly returning to its heathland roots. The chap who gave it one star is simply a fool with no idea of the traditions of golf. Blind shots are all part of the beauty of golf and anyone who has played a links course will testify. It has a few but not too many.Don't think the length will make it easy, it has holes that can kill you without even losing a ball. It also has a 2 tee start time that means you will never get stuck behind a 4 ball.
6 / 6
Wrotham Heath
June 18, 2010


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I've played hundreds of courses and there is no doubt that Wrotham Heath will never make a Top 100 list but it’s a cracking course in its own right. Wrotham is a course with an incredible front nine and a back nine which is more traditional. It’s a little quirky in places with fairways that crisscross but it’s a Kentish gem for sure and a course I’d personally be happy to play every weekend. Wrotham is a lovely little track.
4 / 6
Wrotham Heath
September 08, 2008


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