There are so many exceptional courses in Surrey generally and between Woking and Ascot more specifically. Most of them have gradually embraced the changing world we live in, albeit on their own terms. The New Zealand club, though, remains exactly as it was 50, if not 100, years ago. Found close to Ottershaw, just outside the M25 ring, it is an oasis of calm despite its proximity to London. Originally designed by Samuel Fergusson back in the late 19th century, Tom Simpson oversaw an extensive redesign in 1931.
What he left behind is what we see today – namely 6,000 yards of understated heathland golf. Less undulating than many of its Surrey neighbours, what it does have in common with so many of its peers is a miserly par of 68 and a lone par 5. Good scores really do have to be earned at New Zealand.
You should not expect to take much (if any) longer than three hours to navigate a tricky collection of mid-length par 4s and a typically distinguished quintet of short holes.
Heathland courses always seem to excel with their par 3s and the New Zealand club is no exception. The pick is arguably the 16th, with a sea of heather between tee and bunker-surrounded green. New Zealand ends with a couple of par 4s that are almost parkland in style.
Low-key, understated and almost unremittingly excellent, this is a course that rewards those who are either lucky enough to be invited or persevering enough to secure a tee time.