What we say
Sunningdale Golf Club's New Course is one of the best golf courses in England. Golf World Top 100 editor Chris Bertram explains why the Harry Colt layout is so special.
Sunningdale’s New was designed by Harry Colt, who has an intimate connection to the club given he was also its Secretary as well as architect of one of its courses and adviser to the other.
The New Course sits on land that was the original site for Sunningdale Heath, a nine-holer built in 1911. It was taken over by Sunningdale and used by Colt to create the club’s second main course.
It opened in 1923 to relieve the strain on the Old, whose popularity significantly increased as people became more mobile as a result of cars being more widely used.
Colt’s original holes from the 6th to the 10th were not popular due to their steep undulations and the amount of climbing involved so in 1934, Tom Simpson was called in to advice on amendments.
Simpson built four holes on new land and created a clockwise loop. The course was renamed the Jubilee course in honour of the King’s Jubilee but the members didn’t take to this quintet and five years later Harry Colt and John Morrison were asked to revise the holes. They reversed the loop, created the 6th dogleg and built several new greens for the 7th & 8th while the 10th hole was revived as a par 3. It was re-named the New and has remained largely as it was then to this day.
It sits on similar land to its sister but is more raw and although it has fewer bunkers and trees down the fairways, do not think it is easier. It is widely regarded as more difficult, with fairways instead lined by heather leading to small and frequently elevated greens.
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Outside of the opening and closing pair of holes, which disappoint, the more open New provides an admirable, and arguable more consistent, counterpart to the Old.
The dog-leg seventh, seamlessly draped over a diagonal ridge, otherwise swallowed in heather, may be the best hole at Sunningdale.
It is part of a wonderful run from the 4th, a par 4 to a sloping green which is followed by an epic par 3 across a valley and then the 6th is a brilliant, slithering par 5 that is the epitome of risk-reward.
The back nine starts before the famous halfway house with a strong but scenic short hole and after you’ve had your sausage sandwich you can enjoy the sporty 11th and the delightful short 14 on a back nine that maintains its tempo superbly before a slightly lower-octane finish.
The New might well please stronger players even more than the Old, which might just edge things for charm. But we are talking fractions.
- TG Rating
- Players Rating
- Address Ridgemount Road, , ASCOT
- Tel 01344 621681
- Website www.sunningdale-golfclub.co.uk
|Green Fees||1 Apr - 31 Oct: £180; 1 Nov - 31 Mar: £105|
|Course Length||6,443 yards (5,891 metres)|
- Course has: Bar
- Course has: Buggy Hire
- Course has: Driving Range
- Course does not have: Practice Green
- Course has: Pro Shop
- Course has: Restaurant
- Course has: Trolley Hire
- Course does not have: Dress Code
- Course has: Club Hire
- Course has: Handicap