The magnificent setting of Sunningdale Country Club is hard to match anywhere else in the greater London area. Being just twenty minutes from Heathrow, it is a natural first stopping point on any golfing excursion. The course is played on what feels like meadowland, making it a very relaxing destination to enjoy a fine round of golf.
Sunningdale is a golf club steeped in history and prestige. Having opened for play in 1901, the course has had plenty of time to mature and grow, with the fairways receptive to a kind shot. With the names of the courses being the Old and the New, it is clear that there is no unnecessary fanciness or pretension about Sunningdale. It is just a host for classic links golf and all the traditions that go with it.
The Old Course was laid out by Willie Park jnr., a multiple major winner in his day. His designs are so well regarded that many of them remain in more or less the same layout that he devised. The course is very green, with plenty of pine, birch and oak trees providing protection from the wind. There are plenty of awkward shots through the round, which will keep it plenty interesting. The final three holes are extremely testing. All long par fours, the eighteenth is known as “the par killer”.
The New Course was opened in 1923 and, after some initial teething problems and renovating, has proven every bit as popular as the Old Course. There are plenty of uphill drives and two-tiered greens, enough of everything to keep players on their toes. Opinion is always split when it comes to which course is better. The only way to truly know is to play both courses at Sunningdale, and join the argument yourself.