Sunningdale Old Course

There is probably nowhere else in the world where you will have a better 36-hole experience than at Sunningdale. The Old and the New courses sit side-by-side and make up an elegant duo. With two truly majestic golf courses and a rich tradition, Sunningdale is undoubtedly one of England's most prestigious and highly-regarded inland golfing venues. Situated in the beautiful county of Berkshire, a handy 25 miles from central London, it rubs shoulders with the most elegant of neighbours - Ascot Racecourse. With a rich tournament history, a stay at this venue is one all golf aficionados worldwide should experience.

Sunningdale Old course stands out from the crowd with the beauty of its setting. The original design was by Willie Park Junior (1864-1925). Sunningdale was his first course brief of note and his hole design broke fresh ground for inland courses, with their length and imaginative use of the natural landscape. Largely because of his work at Sunningdale, Willie Park Junior has been credited with ‘laying the foundations stone of course architecture’.

That said, there are those who are equally as fond of the New Course. Designed by Colt and Morrison and opened in 1923, the New is more rugged than the Old, often described as being a bit more ‘masculine’ in its characteristics. Largely unchanged since it opened, The New is a rich and challenging experience with some of the prettiest holes in golf.

 

History

Sunningdale Golf Club was founded in 1900 on Chobham Common, on land owned by St. John's College, Cambridge. Its first Secretary was the above-mentioned Harry Colt. The original 18-hole course, set in heathland with sandy subsoil and mixed treed foliage was among the first successful courses located away from the seaside, as many people had thought at the time that turf would not grow well in such regions.

The Open Championship, International Final Qualifying has been held over the Old and New Courses every year since 2004. It was also the venue for the 2009 and 2015 Senior British Open Championship. The legendary Bobby Jones was extremely fond of Sunningdale. He scored 66-68 over it during qualifying for the 1926 British Open, which has been widely described as the perfect round of golf. Jones was said to have remarked afterwards, “I wish I could take this course home with me!" - so you know who you can try to emulate!

The Old Course

The Old Course at Sunningdale is a classic parkland layout where each hole is carved through the mature woodland. This results in a fascinating duel between player and course, demanding true mastery of every aspect of your game. It promises one of the most divine golfing experiences to be found anywhere in the UK. Today’s Old course is basically unchanged from what Bobby Jones played when he carded that famous 66. Drives need to be whacked vigorously or there’s a risk of dying into up-slopes. Furthermore, many of the greens (e.g. the fourth, sixth, seventh, twelfth, sixteenth, and eighteenth) sit well above a player in the fairway.

Highlights

The tenth tee gives you one of the most attractive views on the course. Standing on the tee at the top of the hill, the fairway Is laid out before you in all its glory, with the Halfway House and its friendly reception - make sure to stop and have one of their sausage sandwiches because they are famed for their quality!

The par-4 eleventh hole is widely seen as one of the all-time classic short par 4s. You tee off over a large bunker, with several others to the right. With plenty of thick heather off the fringes of the fairway, you need an accurate drive to give yourself the chance of a birdie.

Click here for more detailed information about the course yardage and hole profiles, plus a bird’s eye overview.

Golf Breaks at Sunningdale

Off-course facilities are second to none at Sunningdale. It is the quintessential English Club and, in that sense, as close to Augusta National as any club in the British Isles. The clubhouse boasts wonderful, helpful staff, the catering and hospitality are of a consistently high standard and the food is delicious. The terrace is a lovely place to watch the world go by and it is well worth having a wander around the clubhouse before or after your round, as it is packed with all sorts of interesting memorabilia.

 

The great Tom Watson once said “Some of the American players have not had a chance to play courses like Sunningdale before, and I tell them it is how golf should be. It is unique and it brings out the child in you”. Don’t miss out on such an experience.

Visit us here for more details about the Sunningdale Old Course Golf packages we offer