Top 100 nine-hole courses: South EastAugust, 2013
These outstanding golf courses are, in our opinion, the best nine-hole tracks in the south east of England
Founded in 1980 and set in the heart of Chorleywood Common, this picturesque undulating course is home to the oldest club in Hertfordshire. Chorleywood occupies a superb location, lying just five minutes away from Junction 18 on the M25, close to the heart of London and beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. The club also boasts a modern clubhouse which serves excellent food and drink, and visitors are welcome throughout the year.
Designed and built in 1989, the course covers the land that surrounds Dewlands Manor. Playing to a par of 72 and measuring 6,372 yards, when played as a full set of 18 holes, the course is a stern test for even the best club players. The layout is maintained to a high standard and the course offers panoramic views of London to the north and the Sussex Downs to the south.
This traditional parkland was established in 1897 and boasts tree-lined fairways and undulating, well maintained greens. Although it is just a shade over 5,100 yards, Dorking reminds players length off the tee does not guarantee automatic success on a course. Short-game skills and good putting are placed at a premium if you wish to score well here.
The quality at Eltham Warren is underlined by the fact that it is the only nine-hole course in Kent to have hosted county championship matches. Combine that with the relatively short yardage of just over 5,800 yards and you can understand why we think this appeals to more than just the long hitter. The James Braid design was established in 1890 and is one of England’s oldest nine-hole courses.
Founded in 1893, Hampstead is the closest course to the centre of London and is just five underground stops away from Kings Cross. The course is a classic parkland designed by Tom Dunn, and its clever design makes it hard to believe you are playing golf in the bustling suburb of Camden. In fact the legendary Henry Cotton described Hampstead as one of the best nine holers he had played.
Hever Castle (Princes)
Although Hever Castle is best known for the quality of its Kings and Queens courses, the Princes course is an excellent third loop of nine which complements its bigger brother and sister perfectly. The 2,784-yard, par-35 layout has tight tree-lined fairways, beautifully- presented water hazards, strategically-placed bunkers and slick greens. The course is maintained to the standard of the Kings and Queens layouts, and therefore provides high quality golf.
Originally designed in 1994 by Donald Steel, Homelands is a traditional nine-hole, 18-tee parkland course set in tranquil Kent countryside. The layout was renovated in 2007 and re-opened by European Tour pro Benn Barham. This revision created a new 1st hole and extended the 9th into a challenging, uphill 518- yard par 5. Many new bunkers and water hazards were also added to the course.
In fact, this course [Reigate Heath] is so good that Peter Alliss described it as “a little gem” during his 1980s television series. Leeds Castle
This charming course was built in the grounds of the castle which shares its name, and as such occupies a wonderful setting for golf on a pristine piece of land. The course was built in 1924, so has a mature feel throughout and boasts panoramic views over the castle and out to the surrounding area. The par-3 2,681-yard layout is about as traditional as nine hole courses come, so is a ‘must play’ if you are in the area.
Situated in the beautiful Weald of Kent countryside, close to Tenterden and within easy reach of Ashford and Cranbrook, alongside the excellent full course is a nine hole par-3 championship pitching course and a beautifully maintained putting green. So if you are looking to improve your short game then this is an excellent facility at which to do so. There is also an on-site hotel complete with full spa facilities.
PlayGolf London (Northwick Park)
If you have ever wanted to experience what it is like to tackle the 12th at Augusta or the famous ‘postage stamp’ 8th at Royal Troon but don’t have either the time or the money to do so, then PlayGolf London might provide the answer. Each of the nine holes is modelled on a different iconic hole from courses ranging from Ganton to Oak Hill and including Augusta National, Royal Birkdale and famous PGA Tour venue Riviera.
This outstanding heathland layout is set on the Surrey heathland belt and boasts over 100 years of history and pedigree. In fact, this course is so good Peter Alliss described it as “a little gem” during his 1980s television series. With different tees for the second nine there is not only a change of distance, but a variation of angle, making some holes dramatically different.
Built by the Victorians, this club is located in the heart of Kent and minutes from the charming town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Each hole contains two separate tees, creating a slightly different feel on each should you play the full 18. Water and well-placed bunkers feature throughout – especially on the signature 2nd hole which plays over a pond to a heavily-guarded green.
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