Hindhead Golf Club boasts a quintessential, traditional, heather and pine-clad course - Rob Smith enjoys a return visit
Hindhead Golf Club Course Review
I first played with societies at Hindhead Golf Club way before I started to work in golf, and I’ve always enjoyed this extremely attractive course in the south-western corner of Surrey. A tranquil, pine-clad, heathery backwater not far from the A3, I have always felt there is a hint of Augusta, especially on the front nine.
The course is a favourite in the Golf Monthly Next 100 and you can immediately see why as the opening hole leads you away from the clubhouse along higher ground that leads to the start of a thrilling sequence of golf through two ancient, glacial valleys. The blind tee shot at the dog-leg second is a thriller, hopefully ending up way below you before you turn right for the green, and the third is an excellent short hole with bunkers to the right and the land falling away on the left.
The fifth is another fine hole, moving gently right to left to the far end of the first valley, whilst the sixth is a very inviting par three played from an elevated tee to a green that is protected by a garland of bunkers.
The closing three holes on the front nine are all strong and run back up the second valley, with the ninth playing longer than its yardage up to a lovely, natural green site below the welcoming and well-stocked halfway hut.
Ten is another delightful short hole made even better by recent changes, and the twelfth has also benefitted from new tees to transform from a straightaway par four into a dogleg left to right.
Whilst fifteen and sixteen perhaps offer the chance of a birdie, the closing pair of holes are absolute crackers. Seventeen calls for a drive over heather that counteracts the right to left slope of the fairway, and the home hole back up to the clubhouse is as strong a finish as you will find with plenty of sand to capture the short or wayward approach.
If you are lucky, you may spot a deer or two, and even if your game is not quite as you would like it, the magnificent pines and alluring setting will more than compensate. Peter Alliss has long been associated with Hindhead where there is a timelessness that makes it very appealing. I always look forward to returning to this lovely JH Taylor design.
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. 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 seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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