Sunningdale Old Course is arguably one of the best designed heathland courses in the UK. It is located approximately 10 miles from Heathrow Airport and just 25 miles from the centre of London.
Amongst its many accolades Sunningdale’s Old Course has been ranked by Golf Digest Magazine #12 amongst courses outside the United States in 2009. It was also ranked in the most recent Top 100 Golf Courses of the World poll in 2009 as #2 in England, #10 in the UK and #19 in the world.
History of the course
Sunningdale has two stunning golf courses, the Old Course and the New Course. The Old Course, which opened in 1901, was designed by Willie Park Jnr and it has changed very little since then. Sunningdale is also lucky enough to boast a second course, called the New Course, which opened in 1923 and was designed by Harry Shapland Colt
Hosting the Senior Open Championship
Sunningdale Old Course has served as the site of some of the most important and momentous tournaments in Britain. Bobby Jones famously said of this course “I wish I could take this course home with me” after he successfully scored 66-68 over it during qualifying for the 1926 British Open. His round, which consisted of 33 full strokes and 33 putts, with every hole played in either 3 or 4; has often been described as the perfect round of golf. Events held at Sunningdale over the last decade have includes the qualifying competitions for the British Open, multiple Women’s British Opens and in 1987 the Walker Cup was played here for the first time ever on an inland course in the UK.
For 22 years The British Senior Open has been played at links courses around the UK so it was a bold move by the R&A this year to move the competition inland for the first time. It is a decision which has the backing of many of the best golfers in the world class field which includes Watson, Faldo, Norman, Funk, Torrance and Woosnam as it presented them with the perfect inland challenge.
During this episode I also met up with David Edwards who featured in episode 6 at the London Golf Show. He was invited by the European Tour to perform his golf trick shots routine during the Seniors at Sunningdale. During our chat David told me he was enjoying attending the Seniors not only as a performer but also it gave him the opportunity to watch some of the great players he used to play alongside.
The Old Course
Sunningdale’s Old Course boasts being home to some of the best springy golfing turf in the world of golf. Beneath it is ideal sandy subsoil, which is a feature of heathland golf courses. This course was amongst the first successful golf courses to be located away from the seaside, as many people thought that turf wouldn’t grow well in such an inland region. Sunningdale’s glorious fairways are set amidst trees, mostly pine and silver birch, and beautiful blooming heather which is everywhere in the rough.
Every hole at Sunningdale Old Course provides golfers with a combination of fantastic greens, fast-running fairways and stunning views. The standout holes which I feature in this episode are the 5th and 10th holes.
The 5th hole is a superb 419-yard par 4. With its elevated tee, which gives you a fantastic view of the fairway, this is one of the best driving holes I’ve ever seen – I’m not surprised this hole is named in The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes.
The 10th hole is a 475-yards par 4. This is another great driving hole with an elevated tee providing fantastic views. It is the longest of the par 4 holes on the back 9, it has bunkers lining the right hand side and the best part is you get an opportunity to enjoy a well-earned drink and sausage sandwich at the half-way hut after you’ve putted in!
If you get a chance I thoroughly recommend you pay a visit to Sunningdale, one of Europe’s top golf courses.
For full details on how to play please visit their website.
Sunningdale Golf Club
Telephone Number +44 (0)1344 620128
Fax Number +44 (0)1344 624154
Email: Contact here
Finally, the Question of the Day:
How old are you and do you see yourself playing golf forever and ever? Leave your comment below and we’ll have fun reading them!