Woodhall Spa Golf Club Hotchkin Course Key Information
|Header Cell - Column 0||Header Cell - Column 1|
|Address||The Broadway, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, LN10 6PU.|
|Phone Number||+44 (0)1526 352511|
|Green Fees||£185-£205 May to Oct; £105-£120 April|
|Visitor Times||No stated restrictions. Discounts for England Golf members and iGolf subscribers|
|Par||Men: 73 blue, white, 72 yellow; Ladies: 73 red|
|Slope Rating||Men: 152 blue, 151 white, 149 yellow; Ladies: 149 red|
|Designed by||Stafford Vere Hotchkin, Harry Colt, J.H. Taylor, Harry Vardon, Tom Doak|
Golf Monthly Verdict
Tom Doak’s highly acclaimed renovation has elevated the course’s status yet further. Doak was guided by a vision to restore more of the Hotchkin’s original heathland character. Many holes now play over relatively open heathland once more, while others, especially on the back nine, venture in among the trees a little more – and plenty of trees remain!
The Hotchkin is famed for its bunkering, which integrates beautifully with both fairways and heather. Bunkers are well placed throughout and a great deal of thought is required off the tee. This is not a course where you can smash driver on every hole!
REASONS TO PLAY WOODHALL SPA (HOTCHKIN)
- One of the most sympathetic renovations of a great heathland course in the UK
- A chance to find out how good your bunkers skills are from some of the UK's most demanding traps
- A fine example of how to create interest and variety throughout on relatively flat terrain
UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 13
Among the inland courses in our Top 100 golf courses in the UK and Ireland rankings, only Sunningdale Old and New eclipse this respected heathland layout in the Lincolnshire spa town, where the well-received Tom Doak renovation project came to an end in 2019.
As with many heathland courses, the vision has been to restore much of the original heathland character, with trees, shrubs and gorse removed where appropriate, bunkers returned to their original, more natural style and other long-lost ones re-introduced.
The bunkers are, of course, what this fine course is most famed for. They are as testing as on any inland course within these shores, with perhaps only Ganton coming close. But the course is about so much more than just its bunkers, hence its lofty status in our rankings.
The club dates back to 1891, with Messrs Vardon, Taylor, Colt and Hotchkin involved in its evolution over the early part of the 20th century. Many holes play over relatively open heathland, while others, especially on the back nine, venture in among the trees a little more.
There are doglegs, heather and pines at nearly every turn, but the real key to scoring is still perhaps to steer well clear of the deepest bunkers, nowhere more so than on the modest par-3 5th, where first-time visitors have the slight mental advantage of not knowing just how crucial it is to hit the target.
There are many, many good holes, but the long par-3 8th to an elevated green sets up particularly magnificently from the tee. There’s a great selection of holes to negotiate around and just after the turn including a very strong run between the 9th and 14th, with the 11th one of the finest and most attractive heathland holes anywhere.
The Hotchkin is a classic, heathland layout where the premium really is on accuracy. Yes, it may be a little off the beaten track some way east of the A1, but those who make the effort will not be disappointed, even more so since Doak’s excellent renovation work was completed.
What The Top 100 Panel Said
Woodhall Spa is possibly one of the most exacting examinations of golf to be had on an inland course anywhere. Tom Doak has done a brilliant job returning it to a more natural course. When I heard that 10,000 trees had been removed, I originally feared for one of the best courses in England. However, it is an improvement and the course can breathe again.
Woodhall Spa is a fabulous venue. I cannot see anybody walking off the course thinking they have not had a thoroughly challenging, yet entertaining game, irrespective of playing ability. The restoration has opened up the course, allowing light and air to circulate, which also brings back the open views across the heath. It’s not breath-taking - there are no stunning views. But there is a feeling of space and rugged grandeur, not dissimilar to Walton Heath.
Woodhall Spa Golf Club location
Woodhall Spa Golf Club Hotchkin Course Green Fees
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Visitor||England Golf member||iGolf subscriber|
|April 2023 - weekday||£105||£80||£90|
|April 2023 - weekend||£120||£90||£105|
|May to October 15th 2023 - weekday||£185||£130||£165|
|May to October 15th 2023 - weekend||£205||£145||£180|
Woodhall Spa Golf Club Hotchkin Course Scorecard
Best Courses Near Woodhall Spa Golf Club
Lincolnshire’s finest seaside course plays over a slender links strip south of Skegness. The opening holes flank the road down to Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve. Perhaps the toughest tests heading out are the 7th and 8th, with the latter teasing you into flirting with the road to set up the best angle in. Coming home, the par-5 13th is an interesting hole - it’s not immediately obvious where the green is!
Every so often you stumble across an unexpected golfing treasure, and this lovely course just outside the famous horse-racing town is a prime example. It offers a mix of heathland and tree-lined golf plus a lovely secluded setting a little way out of town. The par-4 10th ranks among the standout holes, a dogleg left where your approach is played over the River Rase, which crosses the fairway after hugging the left side early on.
Best Places To Stay Near Woodhall Spa
Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa - Book now at Booking.com
The Petwood Hotel, just a few minutes from Woodhall Spa Golf Club, has a wonderful old-school feel. It’s packed with history too, not least from its World War II role as the officers’ mess for the 617 ‘Dambusters’ squadron. An evening stroll through the beautiful grounds with a drink in hand is the perfect way to end the day after dinner.
The Golf Hotel Woodhall Spa - Book now at Booking.com
Built in 1880, The Golf Hotel Woodhall Spa next to the golf club is set amid seven acres of well-kept gardens, lawns and woodlands. With dark wood furnishings, rooms at The Golf Hotel each have a satellite TV, trouser press and free tea and coffee. Each private bathroom includes a hair dryer.
Woodhall Spa Golf Club Hotchkin Course Gallery
WOODHALL SPA HOTCHKIN COURSE HISTORICAL TOP 100 RANKING UK&I
- 2023/24 - 13
- 2021/22 - 18
- 2019/20 - 20
- 2017/18 - 22
- 2015/16 - 18
- 2013/14 - 18
- 2011/12 - 19
- 2009/10 - 18
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Woodhall Spa's Hotchkin golf course the best in Lincolnshire?
Yes, according to the Golf Monthly UK&I Top 100 rankings and most other observers. Indeed, it is the only Lincolnshire course in our Top 100, with Seacroft on the coast near Skegness making our Next 100 list. Not only is it the best course in Lincolnshire but also the third highest-ranked inland course in our UK&I Top 100 behind only Sunningdale Old (9th) and Sunningdale New (10th)
Is there a second golf course at Woodhall Spa?
Yes, the newer Bracken course, a Donald Steel creation, opened in 1998. It has a different feel to the Hotchkin course, starting off Woburn-style on the opener before merging parkland with occasional heathland moments over a series of holes that demand clear strategic thinking off the tee. Water makes its presence felt too on a number of the early holes in particular.
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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. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. 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 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. 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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