Played by NCG: Royal Mid-Surrey
Reason for a Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club review
More England’s Top 100 Courses 2018 research, which regular readers won’t be surprised to learn. It seems that no matter how many times a man visits Surrey, there is still more top-quality golf to discover. This man is not complaining.
Where is Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club?
Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club is in West London and is very close to Kew Gardens in Richmond. There are 36 holes here and you would never know until you entered the property. It seems impossible that this parkland oasis could be hidden away in the middle of the capital. In fact, the only giveaway that you are not in fact in Surrey or Kent countryside is the planes periodically sailing past.
What to expect
There are two courses at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club. They used to be known as the Inner and Outer, which made them sound a bit like constituent parts of a tyre. Now they have been re-badged as the JH Taylor and the Pam Barton. Slightly confusingly, both courses were designed by JH Taylor. Barton was a famous female amateur.
The longer course of the two, and the more celebrated, is the JH Taylor, which encircles the Pam Barton. Recent and extensive work to the bunkering has brought to the course back to life. Allied to the sparkling new clubhouse, which is fantastically well appointed, plus exemplary practice facilities and you really do have a set-up to be envied.
The style of the course is level parkland and I thought Royal Mid-Surrey was at its best on holes with bold bunkering. I found both the 2nd and 4th to be distinctive. The former is a short par 5 that gets tighter the further you hit it, both on the first and second shots. A scooped-out hollow front left of the green (see above) is an added complication and enough to turn this golfer’s putative birdie into an unpleasant six.
On the 4th, you want to skirt the fairway bunkers to get a clear view of the green.
The other obvious stand-out is a the attractive par-3 11th, with its small green just a short iron away but well protected by the bunkers at the front.
What to look for
Situated in Old Deer Park, Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club is a idyllic retreat from city life. So much so that by the time you have played a few holes you have forgotten where you are. The holes are never less than interesting and the JH Taylor is as easy a walk as you will find.
When I go back…
I’ll be aware that the course begins with a testing par 3 and therefore plan accordingly. Hopping out of the car after a long drive, I was very grateful for the fourball of members on the 1st tee to let me sneak off in front of them, However, it didn’t lead to a particularly good start to the round in terms of scoring.
For more information, visit the Royal Mid-Surrey website.