The South East of England has it all for golfers, from the historic, classy links of the Kent coast to the wonderful array of heathland courses of the Home Counties – Wentworth, Sunningdale, The Berkshire, Walton Heath… the hallowed names trip endlessly off the tongue.
Obviously playing top courses costs top dollar so on your behalf we scoured the area in search of quality courses you can enjoy and experience without having to break the bank to do so. And we reckon you’ll be both surprised – and delighted – with the results. For under £30 you can tee it up at super Surrey pair Pine Ridge, plotted within a pine forest on superbly draining sandy soil, and Traditions, a cleverly-designed Peter Alliss parkland layout. For a bit extra you can experience the likes of Camberley Heath, a century-old Harry Colt classic, and Crowborough Beacon, a stunning Alister MacKenzie heathland with fine views in neighbouring East Sussex. Kent is dominated by links legends Royal St George’s, Royal Cinque Ports and Prince’s but nearby Littlestone is a championship links in its own right and boasts great greens.
Further inland in Kent, Hever Castle is well worth trying – especially if you take advantage of the winter warmer deal that consists of coffee & bacon roll, unlimited golf and a one-course meal for £36pp (Nov 2014 - Mar 2015). Dorset’s jewels include Ferndown, Broadstone and Parkstone but the Isle of Purbeck – once owned by ‘Noddy’ creator Enid Blyton – is pretty special too. Awash with charm and character within an exquisite heathland/nature reserve, it’s always in great nick and you can play it from £30 this winter.
There is plenty of good value in Hampshire too, with the Bell Inn, New Forest, winter packages, comprising a one-night stay and round of golf costing from just £82pp. Brocket Hall, just off the A1 in Hertfordshire, is an outstanding all-round venue with two contrasting 18-hole courses (Palmerston & Melbourne) and provides a memorable golfing outing whatever the time of year. So it’s worth noting that large groups (minimum of 12) can enjoy a round, coffee and bacon roll, two-course buffet-style meal and a pint of beer from just £65pp (Jan & Feb) and £75pp (Nov, Dec & Mar).