Sunningdale Old quickly leaped into my top 5 and I wasn’t even expecting it too. To be honest golfers in the states don’t respect heathland courses, that’s saying they even know what they are. Golfers dream of flying to the UK not to stay in London but to catch a connection to one of the many links courses.
Onto the course itself, what a treat it is. A genius creation by Willie Park Jr and later the famous Harry Colt added his touch to the design. It’s everything you want in a good course and Sunningdale felt like I was playing the closest thing to Augusta (May be the closest I get to Augusta). The course weaves through pine trees with fantastic elevation changes that makes each hole different. A perfect mixture of long and short par 4’s and challenging one shooters it’s a course you will never forget.
Each hole offers something new and some you want see from the tee box. With a few blind tee shots playing the course for the first time my be frustrating on these specific holes. I personally enjoy a blind tee shot or two during my round as it’s a feature added to protect some holes from low scores. The New course signature hole is number 7 a blind tee shot makes way for a spectacular view into the green after walking over the hill. A hole that plays left then right before approaching the green from the left.
Sunningdale is classy with a very inviting staff. They make you feel welcome with a warm friendly smile. There is a caddy program on site or you have an option for a push cart (5 pounds a round). The course is very walkable and lunch with a pint will be waiting for you at the clubhouse upon your return. A halfway house is located after number 10 which serves the new and old course (has everything you may want or desire/cash only no cards at the halfway house). Caddies are available upon request and a great supply of push carts are available, I never saw a cart during my day.
With the overground train only a six minute walk from Sunningdale’s clubhouse, it’s easy to get to from London by rail with no car needed (I recommend the Citymapper app). There is absolutely no reason not to play Sunningdale while visiting London, it’s also worth playing on any long layovers from Heathrow. It’s that good!
Even though, we could not play the combo Old & New, it was still one of the best golf days ever! The old is absolutely stunning with lots of fantastic holes and very few (if any?) weak holes.
The front 9 is as good as it gets with very different holes and shapes requiring you to hit lots of well thought out clubs.
The little par 4 3rd is a great hole with one of the best bunkering I have seen but the 4-6 stretch offers quite an interesting vista!
The par 4 10th (right before the half way house) offers one of the best views for a Heathland course!
The club house is also a very old fashion, yet more lively place than Swinley to sit and relax after a round (or too)!
For me, the big debate is to know if Morfontaine is a better course or not? :) I'll have to play again both to figure out !