Best Golf Courses In The UK (South East)
August 29, 2018
Welcome back to our trip around the UK, picking out the best golf courses this wonderful country has to offer. Last month we focused on the South West which you can read here. This month we are heading to the South East, so let's see just what it has to offer.
Royal St George’s Golf Club
Located in Sandwich, Kent, this is one of the courses on the Open Championship rotations. It has hosted 13 of them since 1894. The course itself is not a traditional out and back layout, each nine is pretty circular, a loose figure of eight if you will. There is also nothing artificial on this course which makes it look picture perfect. The natural course blends beautifully in with its surroundings with wildflowers and with commanding views over Pegwell Bay and the white cliffs of Dover ensure of an engaging experience.
Sunningdale Golf Club
The Old course at Sunningdale is one of the British Isles’ most aesthetically pleasing inland courses. Arguably, it was the first truly great golf course to be built on the Surrey/Berkshire sand-belt. Lined with pine, birch and oak trees, it is a magnificent place to play golf. Many people regard Sunningdale as the perfect golfing venue. Combined with its new course they are probably the finest pair of golf courses anywhere.
Swinley Forest is a charming golf course. The course has been through some developments over years since it was first opened in 1909. Today, the course is much longer than what it was and more back tees have been added, extending the yardage to 6,400 yards, which may still not sound long by today’s standards, but with a par of 69 it will surely test as well as delight not only the scratch golfer but also the high handicapper.
St George’s Hill
St George’s Hill Golf Club is the prettiest of the many heathland courses in the Surrey area. It is worth mentioning that there are three loops on nine holes, called Red, Blue and Green. There was once a time when this course was a 36-hole complex but sadly this is no more. The main course is comprised of the Red nine and the Blue nine. The Green nine is somewhat shorter.
Walton Heath Golf Club
This is a course that favours the lower handicap golfer. Some of the carries across the heather are quite lengthy, and if you don’t hit the fairways, you can often wave goodbye to your ball.
There are some pretty strong holes on this course, one of the best of the outward nine is the 5th, cracking, 391-yard par four that demands a solid drive that must avoid the rather thick heather surrounding the fairway.
West Sussex Golf Club
This golf club is one of the favourite inland courses, due to the fact it’s a sheer delight to play on. The course occupies a priceless, stunning, undulating site on the northern edge of the South Downs. Every hole on this course demands thought and attention, there is, however, a great deal of variation to the holes and many are memorable. There isn’t a signature hole as such, but golfers especially like the 6th, a 224 yard downhill par three with a pond lurking just 40 yards in front of the green, and to make matters worse, the whole area of the pond is out of bounds too.
The Berkshire Golf Club
Many people say that there is nothing better than a day’s golf amongst the forest, heather and turf of the Berkshire Golf Club. Both the red and blue courses are as charming as each other. The Red course is considered to be the more senior of the two, but frankly, there is little to choose between them. Indeed it is likely that they will both merge into one unless you have been sufficiently fortunate to play them more than once.
Queenwood Golf Club
The Queenwood Golf Club is reserved for its small, yet perfectly formed membership and their very lucky friends. This is the most secretive golf club in the UK, even a login ID and password is required to access the clubs site. Secrecy is a great marketing ply and with a membership full and a reputed joining fee of a hefty £145,000, it’s no wonder that the club is packed full of golf’s highest rollers. If you have ever managed to play Queenwood, either by sneaking or by buffering up an already wealthy member, then you’re one step ahead of a lot of people so props to you.
Hankley Common Golf Club
Hankley Common Golf Club is situated on the North Downs, in a preservation area or to be accurate, a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. There is an overwhelming feeling of spaciousness on this course, so much so that it seems plausible that a second or third course could be intertwined between the existing 18 holes. The course occupies 164 acres, but the club actually owns more than 850 acres of perfect heathland. If you are looking for a memorable, testing and expansive golf course with true greens then seriously look no further than Hankley Common.