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Surrey Is The Premier County For English Golf

By Author: Ian Mullins
Total Articles: 2

There are some wonderful golf courses in Surrey and it is the premier county for English golf with more courses in the Top 100 than any other county. There are no fewer than 115 golf clubs affiliated to the Surrey Golf Union, so it is also one of the biggest golfing counties in the UK. On the chalky North Downs of Guildford, golf began in the region in 1886 and then spread to Epsom and Banstead, before Woking became the first heathland golf club.

St George’s Hill Golf Club (also one of the oldest) is one of the prettiest of the heathland courses on the Berkshire/Surrey borders and is a Harry Colt course which opened in 1911. The land here sweeps majestically up and down, and the view from the front of the clubhouse is nothing short of stunning. You really can’t wait to get out on to the first tee. The course has three loops of nine holes called, Red, Blue, and Green. The Red nine and the Blue nine comprise the main course, the Green nine being somewhat shorter than the other two.

One player who reviewed the course earlier in the year said that he has played a lot of big named courses over the years, and that St. George’s Hill is the best course he has ever played on. He and friends played all three nines and said that the entire 4-ball agreed there wasn’t a weak hole in among them. He also rated the bar hospitality and the restaurant very highly and can’t wait to return.

Woking Golf Club was first designed and laid out in 1893 and was the brainchild of a group of barristers who were tired of playing on muddy clay. At the time, nobody thought that land with heather and gorse all over it was suitable for golf and Woking was the first experimental heathland layout. The course is 6,602 yards and requires that your tee shots must stay out of the heather and in play whatever you do.

The first hole is a par 4 of 277 yards with the fairway sloping down towards the green. The second is a par 3 of 221 yards across a valley to a green with a bunker short and right, and the green slopes back to front. The 4th is a par 4 with centrally placed bunkers which needs a strategic decision off the tee. 8 and 9 are par 4’s and both very difficult, while 10 is a short hole, but it slopes sharply to the left.

The best of the back nine is the 14th which is par 5 and the green is situated right next to the clubhouse terrace. The 18th is a par 4 of 362 yards, but the green is guarded by a large tree on the left and a pond on the right, and it has a ridge running through it. One reviewer’s final comment about Woking Golf Club and Course was that if you are after tradition, charm, and beauty, then the course delivers it in spades.

Hindhead Golf Club was first opened in 1904 and one of the original founders was Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (also known for his love of East Brighton in Suusex). The club is set in the Devil’s Punchbowl just outside Hindhead and is overlooked by the second highest hill in the county, Gibbet Hill. The first nine wanders through these deep valleys, while the back nine is on the hillside heathland plateau.

The views are nothing short of breath-taking. The signature hole is the brilliant short par 3, 6th, which is played downhill. The 12th is another great hole which is a 424-yard par 4 and is guarded by an angled hazard of heather and a severe drop off right in front of the green. The 18th finishing hole has the drive framed by two lovely bunkers and the green is guarded by deep bunkers and out of bounds to the right.

Golf tee time booking in the UK for any of these clubs can be done online through one of several websites where a variety of discounts may be available including www.thesocialgolfer.com. Many allow visitors to book and pay for a round online. They say that clubs can increase green fee revenue by allowing booking 24/7 and note that some 40% of all bookings are now made outside office hours, so from a club’s point of view it is worthwhile getting themselves listed.

The Social Golfer is an online golf club that offers members the opportunity to play at many clubs throughout the UK and the rest of the world. One can also do Golf tee time booking in the UK from their website. Special deals are available to members, especially at clubs in the Home Counties.

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