Burhill Golf Club is home to two fine courses and headquarters to several more - Rob Smith plays the Old Course
Burhill Golf Club Old Course Review
I’ve played the Old course at Burhill (opens in new tab) on and off since way before the arrival of its younger sibling in 2001, and despite my wayward driving I have always enjoyed its tree-lined fairways and tricky (at times perilous) greens.
Designed by Willie Park and opened for play in 1907, little seems to have changed although the trees are presumably a little more intrusive in places without ever being too penal. The first three holes allow you to let loose, running away from the clubhouse, back again, and then away into a distant corner.
More thought is required at the short par-4 fourth where you can block yourself out on the right (as did I), and five is another longish two-shotter before the pretty, heathery, par-3 sixth. Here, if you are above the hole, you can create Augusta-like embarrassment for yourself as you putt down… and off the green, turning a birdie chance into a triple-bogey.
You need a good drive up the right-hand side of the fairway at seven to see the green which itself offers another roller-coaster ride, and the first half finishes with attractive holes at eight and nine.
The tenth is a long par-3 up the hill, and twelve is a real birdie chance, especially for the longer-hitters.
Thirteen is another good-looking short hole with its green in a wooded glade. The second par-5 comes next with a drainage ditch awkwardly placed some way short of the green that makes you think carefully about your lay-up.
I very much like the penultimate hole with a its relatively small green waiting for you watched over by yet more mature trees.
The New Course makes for an excellent contrast and it has hosted a number of top-quality events, as well as the recent staging of Golf Monthly’s photo and video filming for a series of features designed to combat slow play (opens in new tab).
The Burhill fleet has now expanded to become BGL Golf (opens in new tab) and it boasts 22 courses in ten locations across the southern half of England. With two quite contrasting but complementary courses back at base, great practice facilities, a fabulous rabbit-warren of a clubhouse and plenty of off-course activities, Burhill is one of a new breed, with the Old Course its flagship.
Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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