Puttenham Golf Club Course Review

Expanded and extensively redesigned in the late 1980s, Puttenham Golf Club has a tree-lined and undulating course that is full of joy

Puttenham Golf Club - Hole 13
Rhododendron bushes in blossom as you approach the SI1 par-4 thirteenth hole
(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Puttenham Golf Club Course Review
Round: £40-£70wd
Par 71, 6,220 yards
Slope 131
GM Verdict In a county packed with premium golf, this is a very pretty and thoroughly entertaining alternative
Favourite Hole The testing par-4 13th, stroke index one and running right to left through magnificent trees to a well-protected green

Puttenham was founded in 1894 and as at so many other clubs began its life with a 9-hole course. This was extended to a full 18 just before World War II, and some 50 years later the club acquired a further 44 acres and hired Donald Steel to create five new holes in conjunction with an upgrade elsewhere.

Puttenham Golf Club - Hole 2

The view from the tee at the par-4 second

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The course opens with a risk-reward short par 4 played up over the club’s emblematic oak tree and then another par 4 alongside the neighbouring cricket ground.

Puttenham Golf Club - Hole 3

Big hitters will fancy their chances from the elevated tee at the 281-yard par-4 third

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The 3rd is the easiest hole on the course, a downhill, bunkerless, driveable par 4. A much tougher now follows with an uphill par 4, a testing short hole that is 211 yards from the whites, and a long par 4 to the furthest point on the course. The front nine finishes with the first of the two par 5s and another pair of drive-and-pitch par 4s. If all this sounds a little straightforward, it’s not! There are trees everywhere and placement from the tee and accurate short-iron play are both essential.

Puttenham Golf Club - Hole 10

Looking back from behind the green of the demanding tenth hole

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The first of Steel’s newer five holes comes at the 10th, and it is a real beauty that calls for a solid, straight drive down the slope to have any chance of getting home in two.

Puttenham Golf Club - Hole 11

The approach to the par-5 eleventh

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The next is the longest hole on the course - 526 yards from the whites - and the 13th is a superb par 4 that eases its way gently round to the left to a beautifully-framed green.

Puttenham Golf Club - Hole 17

A hedge of gorse protects the approach to the penultimate hole

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

With only three par 3s, two of them come in the last four holes, and the 17th has an unusual approach because it is partially obscured by a tall hedge of gorse.

Surrey is packed with Top 100 and Next 100 designs which sometimes means that very worthy courses are overlooked. An article on the best golf courses in Surrey could fill a book, so it’s important to remember that clubs and courses such as Puttenham often offer a very appealing, not to mention more affordable, alternative. This is an interesting and engaging place for golf that would be way up the list in many other counties. If you are after a strong course at a friendly club with scenery, variety, and challenge and fun in equal measure, then look no further.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

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 r.smith896@btinternet.com.