Royal Wimbledon is the third oldest club in England and its heathland course is an excellent Harry Colt design
Royal Wimbledon Golf Club Course Review
The historic club at Wimbledon was founded in 1865 and granted Royal status 17 years later.
By then, club professional Tom Dunn had extended its original course to 18 holes.
Harry Colt, a member here, designed the course we play today, and it opened for play in 1924.
From the charming and characterful clubhouse, you head to the first tee past the enormous practice green and the chipping green.
The par is 70, and the course is nearing the end of an extensive, long-term upgrade by Tom Mackenzie.
This has focussed on trees and bunkering, and the result is far more visual and photogenic.
The Front Nine
It opens with a quartet of testing par 4s; the 1st a pronounced left-to-right dogleg where a 4 is almost one up on the card.
The next three, all testing two-shotters, head down and then back up again before you come to the very pretty par-3 5th.
Not particularly long, it is arguably the first real chance of a birdie.
A tempting short par 4 comes next, before a reachable par 5 that is slightly downhill raises the hopes still higher.
The 8th is the toughest of the four par 3s, stroke index 4 and usually calling for a long iron or wood.
Even if you make it, three putting is all too easy as the perilous green is more than 40 yards long.
The front nine concludes with another short par 4, one that is greatly improved by the recent changes and requires far more than sheer brute force.
The Back Nine
The 10th is the second of just two par 5s, and the 11th heads down to a green that MacKenzie has increased in length to getting on for 60 yards.
The 12th is a cracking, left-to-right, long par 4 with a scary Road Hole-style bunker in front that will catch any mis-hit approach.
The 13th is the first short hole on the back nine and its green was once shared with that on the 17th.
Three tough par 4s in the valley will test the long game and are the final holes being upgraded.
You then reach the shortest hole on the course - the picture-perfect, short-iron 17th.
The final hole is a strategic, short par 4; play just right of the bunkers and there is every chance of a par or better.
Royal Wimbledon (opens in new tab) is home to an absolutely delightful course with endless variety and interest, presented in excellent shape.
The recent improvements have transformed its appearance, and it is a course that any keen golfer will fully enjoy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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