Old Thorns

Old Thorns

Old Thorns

Old Thorns | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Resorts

Old Thorns is one of the most well-rounded venues you will find on the NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Resorts list. The venue, based in Hampshire, has a beautiful golf course which was designed by the late Peter Alliss, a fully equipped health club and spa, and a glorious range of accommodation including a hotel and apartments. 
Starting with the golf course, a wonderful Peter Alliss design. The ‘Voice of Golf’ did some of his best work at Old Thorns, with the Par 72 layout featuring huge bunkers, tree-lined fairways, and plenty of water hazards. The course was opened with an exhibition match that featured both Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros back in 1982. There is also a driving range which has TopTracer technology to allow guests and members to practice their games ahead of a round.
The Health Club and Spa at Old Thorns has recently been built, and it is equipped with state-of-the-art Matrix gym equipment, including cardiovascular and resistance machines, free weights, and brand-new spinning bikes. There is also a spa that features a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and ice fountain, along with the option to indulge in a massage or treatment from a qualified professional. 
When it comes to the end of the day, you’ll want somewhere to rest your head. There is plenty of choice at Old Thorns, with more than 160 rooms in the hotel and 50 self-catering apartments. The latter are luxurious and can sleep up to six people, with the Penthouse Suites being the best of the best. The hotel features a range of rooms, including Superior, Deluxe and Family Rooms, along with Junior Suites. There are also ten Eco Pods, which provide basic accommodation, but a completely different outlook on a stay at a golf resort.  
Visit the Old Thorns website here.  

Old Thorns Overview | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Resorts

Golf by Peter Alliss

Designed by Peter Alliss, the course was launched by an exhibition match between Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Isao Aoki and the reigning Open Champion Bill Rogers in 1982. The Par 72 layout at Old Thorns features gaping bunkers, tight, tree-lined tee shots and lots of water, while the sloping greens are fast and difficult to read.  
The course starts brightly, with a lovely run of three holes on the front nine. The 3rd is a long par 4 of 440 yards from the tips and requires an accurate drive. The green is protected by bunkers and is on the small side so demands a good iron shot to hold. The 4th – a short, uphill par 3 with a two-tier, narrow green set in a tunnel of trees – is top class, while the 5th is the signature hole on the property. This short par 4 plays down a large hill and is stunning to look at – as well as being difficult to know how to play. For the brave (or stupid) longer hitters, the green can be taken on when the wind is at your back. However, the play for most is to lay up and pitch on to the green to give yourself a birdie chance. Miss left or right and your chances of a three are zero. 
7, 8, 10 and 11 all feature water hazards, with the 10th being a par 3 measuring close to 220 yards from the back tees. All bar a couple of yards of that is needed to carry the water. Although it is rarely more than a short iron into what is a large green on the 16th, there is potential to mess up. Both the tee and green are elevated so anything long, short, or left makes for a difficult up and down. And with several large sloping undulations, the hard work starts when you get on the green. 

Rooms, Suites, Apartments and.... Pods?

The resort has undergone millions of pounds of renovations since it was acquired by the Shaw family in 2007, with more than 160 superior bedrooms and 50 luxury apartments on site when it comes to the accommodation options. There is also a selection of Eco Pods situated among the trees.  
The Superior and Deluxe Rooms are the most common of the offerings in the hotel at Old Thorns. The Superior sleeps two, while the Deluxe also comes with a sofa bed to sleep a third person. Both can be equipped with either double or twin beds. The Family Rooms come with a double bed and two single beds, perfect for two adults and two children to enjoy a stay. The Junior Suites is the most luxurious of the offerings at the hotel. Like the Deluxe Room, it comes with a sofa bed, but that is housed in a separate part of the living space.  
There is a range of luxury, self-catering apartments on site at Old Thorns. There are two-bedroom apartments that can sleep four people, and come with a fully equipped kitchen, which is open plan with the living and dining area on the bottom floor. There are also the Penthouse Suites, which can sleep six people. These come with three bedrooms, all with en-suites, along with an open plan living and kitchen area downstairs as well. The final piece to the accommodation puzzle at Old Thorns is the range of ten Eco Pods. They offer basic accommodation, with a double or twin bed, TV and a heater. Guests that stay in the Eco Pods do receive full complimentary access to the Health Club and Spa.  
The Kings Restaurant is a contemporary English eatery that offers a carvery, and it is the main gastronomic choice at the resort. There is also a Sports Bar which serves typical pub food including fish and chips, and burgers, which guests can enjoy while watching the live action on big-screen TVs around the venue. Oties Cafe offers guests the chance to grab a light bite to take with them, while the Atrium Cocktail Bar is the swanky and luxurious spot to enjoy your night with a few drinks.  

Health Club & Spa

As with a lot of venues on the NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Resorts list, Old Thorns is home to a Health Club & Spa. Unlike most, the Health Club & Spa at Old Thorns is a recent addition to the resort, and the technology and facilities are both ultramodern.  
The gym at the Health Club features the latest Matrix cardiovascular equipment, along with immersive spin bikes, resistance machines, free weights, and a climbing wall. There are also more than 100 fitness classes each week with membership opportunities available.
The spa facility includes a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, along with a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and heated relaxation beds. There is also a wide range of massages and treatments on offer from a team of qualified professionals. Aromatherapy, facial treatments, full body massages and hot stone massages are just some of the options for guests and members of the Health Club to indulge in.  

FAQs about Old Thorns

Where is Old Thorns?  
Old Thorns is situated just off the A3 at Griggs Green, just north of the South Downs National Park. Southampton and Portsmouth are within an hour, as is the south coast of England, while London is 50 miles to the northeast of Old Thorns. 

What is the nearest airport and station to Old Thorns?
The nearest train station is in the neighbouring town of Liphook, just a couple of miles down the road from Old Thorns. Trains run through Liphook on the line between London Waterloo and Portsmouth & Southsea, with a train running in each direction every hour. 
Both London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport are around the same distance and drive time from Old Thorns. Heathrow is the biggest and busiest airport in the United Kingdom, with more than 60 million passengers travelling through in 2022. Between Heathrow and Gatwick, almost all European countries are covered as destinations, while Heathrow also runs flights to both North and South America, Asia and Africa, with connections available to get down to Oceania. 

What golf facilities does Old Thorns offer?
Along with the 18-hole course, Old Thorns is also the home to a TopTracer driving range. This allows golfers to learn more about their practice with real-time data given on screens for each individual bay. Golfers can also play courses from around the world, along with fun games with the technology. There is also a putting green located by the 9th and 18th greens.  

What are the green fees at Old Thorns?
The price of a green fee at Old Thorns changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend. There are also stay & play packages available at the resort.  
For more information on current green fees and offers at Old Thorns, visit their website here

What accommodation is on offer at Old Thorns?
There is plenty of choice when it comes to accommodation at Old Thorns. The hotel has more than 160 rooms and suites, with a range of Superior, Deluxe and Family Rooms, along with Junior Suites, all being beautifully appointed and ready to supply guests of all parties with luxury and comfort.  
There is also a range of luxury self-catering apartments and Penthouse Suites, with the latter sleeping up to six people, while the ten Eco Pods among the trees offers a more grounded stay, at one with nature.  

What other resorts are nearby?
Old Thorns is one of several venues on the NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Resorts to be found south of London. Goodwood and Meon Valley are the closest destinations to Old Thorns, while Lingfield Park, the Wokefield Estate and Foxhills are all within an hour’s drive. 
Visit the Old Thorns website here.