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Foxhills Golf Club & Resort Longcross Course Review
GF Round: £120 Mon-Thu 11am to 4pm (£85 for residents), £150 Fri-Sun 12pm to 4pm (£120 for residents)
Par 72, 6,463 yards
GM Verdict – A very pretty and enjoyable course where you are in among the pine trees almost from start to finish, with more changes in elevation on the back nine.
Favourite Hole – The long par-3 11th where there is perhaps a little more breathing space but a long carry to negotiate across a wide dip to a green some 200 yards away
There’s no shortage of top-level golf just west of the M25 from junctions 10 to 12, with some of the best golf courses in Surrey like Wentworth, Sunningdale and The Wisley all within a few miles of the busy orbital motorway, and some of the best Berkshire courses like Swinley Forest and The Berkshire not a million miles away either.
Foxhills Country Club and Resort near Ottershaw may not be as fiercely exclusive or quite so well-known as its illustrious neighbours (Queenwood, one of the UK&I’s most exclusive clubs lies very close by) but it does boast a well-earned reputation for the quality of its golf and breadth of its facilities. In addition to 45 holes in its beautiful Longcross, Bernard Hunt and Manor courses, it also offers tennis, cycling, a superb health spa and luxurious country house accommodation in the Manor House.
The Foxhills name comes from politician, Charles James Fox, who came to live in Surrey in the late 18th century. Between his death in 1806 and now, the estate passed into various hands before the potential to turn it into a grand golf club and resort was realised in the mid-1970s.
Both the 18-hole courses are unceasingly pretty. The Longcross course plays through avenues of pines almost throughout, while the Bernard Hunt layout opens out a little from time to time and enjoys more changes in elevation. Despite towering pines being your almost constant companion on the Longcross course there is a little more room to manouevre than it may at first seem, especially on the back nine, and if you do stray into the trees you will probably find your ball more often than not as things are generally kept pretty clear underfoot once you venture beyond the treeline.
Sometimes you may need to shape the ball a little to reap maximum advantage. If you can fade it a little around the dogleg it will make the approach much easier on the par-4 2nd, for example, while moving it the other way could allow you to adopt a more aggressive strategy on holes like the short par 4s at 8 and 13.
The front nine starts with a relatively gentle downhill opener and ends with perhaps the hardest hole, a 431-yard par 4 that plays uphill at first and then round to the left to a green set close to the club’s driving range and superb short-game practice area.
The short par-4 10th may well be in range for some in certain conditions, with the final approach dropping down to a well-protected green. The par 3 that follows is one of the visual highlights – a little less enclosed than some holes and stretching to over 200 yards off the tips across a wide dip.
The two par 5s coming home are both memorable too, the 14th playing steeply downhill from a launchpad tee, with the left half of the hole slightly obscured, and the 18th then sweeping up and round to the left to a vast double green shared with the last on the Bernard Hunt course right beside ‘Nineteen', the club’s brasserie-style restaurant and bar.
Tour pros Paul Casey and Anthony Wall both came up through the ranks here, while the Senior PGA Professional Championship was played at Foxhills from 2014 to 2019. The Longcross course also hosted the PGA Cup – a Ryder Cup-style contest between GB&I and US club pros – in 2017 and will do so again in 2022.
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 even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, 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 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
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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