Despite spending a lot of my time playing and staying at golf courses and resorts – as well as researching them – there are still plenty of times when I am surprised at what I find. Often it is in a negative sense as somewhere that I had high hopes for disappoints. But sometimes it’s because a course or resort surpasses expectations, usually because I had poorly conceived pre-visit ideas about it. The latter scenario happened with Foxhills. I had played one of its courses before and knew it had a good ‘No.2’, but had never set foot in the hotel. I thought it was a solid play-and-stay venue, but nothing especially outstanding.
This might, in what defence I have, have been because it sits among the heathland glitterati of Surrey, where even somewhere like Walton Heath’s New course seems comparatively standard fare with the courses that surround it.
Foxhills’ duo do however stand up very well, with both the Longcross and Hunt being strong enough to be in an English Top 100. They are robust championship-length courses winding between towering pines with touches of nuance.
The two courses combine parkland and heathland to provide a stern but memorable challenge and both have staged high-profile events in recent times as the host venue of the PGA Cup in 2017 and a Europro event last year. This is not surprising given the calbire of player Foxhills has produced, including the likes of Paul Casey and Anthony Wall.
It was the hotel and facilities that really surprised though. In addition to the bedrooms in the main building there are spacious suites that are almost mini flats, spread out among the myriad facilities that make this such a well-rounded resort.
These amenities include tennis and squash, a brilliant gym and fitness club, two indoor and two outdoor swimming pools, as well as a healthspa and Spa Garden including outdoor hot tub, Finnish sauna, natural dipping pool and sun loungers. Spa treatments are also available.
There is an indoor soft play and outdoor adventure playground. Oh, and three distinctive restaurants to choose from. How wrong could I be; Foxhills is, in this fairly well-travelled golfer’s opinion, one of Britain and Ireland’s top 25 golf resorts.