This classy, absorbing, heathland design now boasts two new holes and three cleverly reworked ones to further strengthen its overall test and flow
Liphook Golf Club Course Review
Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 55
Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 66 2017/18 - 67 2015/16 - 70 2013/14 - 73 2011/12 - 79 2009/10 - 67
Summer Green Fees
Round: £70-£100wd, £120we; Day: £115wd, £140we
Visitor Times: Welcome weekdays (avoiding 10-11am), and after 12pm at weekends
Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,317 Yards
Website: www.liphookgolfclub.com (opens in new tab)
Changes since previous ranking
There have been major changes partly out of a desire/need to find a safer point to cross the road between the 14th and 15th holes. The 8th and 9th are a brand new par 3 and par 4 respectively, while the 10th and 11th have been combined into an excellent long par 4.
A new green on the 11th (old 12th) has allowed that hole to become a 560-yard par 5, while the new tee on the re-aligned 15th has turned it into a straight hole to allow for a safer crossing point near the 10th tee car park. The course has been re-routed after the 6th, and the old short par-4 14th has now gone.
Liphook Golf Club Course Review
Heading south-west out of London down the A3/M3 corridor, there is a tendency for golfers to find so many heathland treasures in Surrey and Berkshire that they rarely cross the next county boundary into Hampshire.
This is a shame, for yet more heathland treasures lie in wait there, not least magnificent Liphook near the West Sussex border, designed by Arthur Croome, with small adjustments by Tom Simpson in the late 1920s.
Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland
This already highly ranked course has undergone a major transformation over the past four years under the guidance of Tom Mackenzie with three goals in mind: 1) to improve safety when crossing the road after the 14th; 2) to create a better routing and flow, and; 3) to maximise the full potential of this glorious heathland terrain.
The project was completed early when lockdown one allowed the final phase to be brought forward.
Change for the better
Mackenzie has cut two spectacular new holes into the woodland, overseen a clever merging of the 10th and 11th, extended the 11th hole (former 12th) by 120 yards courtesy of a new green, and re-aligned the little-loved 15th into a straighter risk-reward hole from an awkward dogleg hole with internal OOB, which cambered the wrong way.
The two brand new holes – the 8th and 9th - are a gorgeous mid-length par 3, and a shortish dogleg par 4 where you must be far enough left off the tee for the stirring approach past water on both sides.
As for merging the 10th and 11th, it seems Mackenzie was finally realising a suggestion Simpson had made to the club by letter back in the 1930s.
Some will always question tinkering with a masterpiece. This was way more than tinkering, yet few would say the end-result has done anything other than further enhance Liphook’s standing.
A super fun test with some of the best heathland course conditioning you are ever likely to see.
It’s always exciting to play new holes on an old course – Liphook’s latest creations don’t disappoint.
This classy, absorbing, heathland design now boasts two new holes and three cleverly reworked ones to further strengthen its overall test and flow.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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