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Frilford Heath: Three outstanding heathland courses in the heart of Oxfordshire

Frilford Heath: Three outstanding heathland courses

Why we would rather be playing this natural and traditional Oxfordshire heathland

 

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of clubs with three outstanding courses to call on – in fact in England it is hard to see past WentworthWoburn, The Belfry and here, Frilford Heath Golf Club.

The Frilford Heath Red, Green and Blue represent your choices, and collectively occupy some 600 acres. A few miles outside Oxford, what makes Frilford Heath really special is the sandy soil its 54 holes occupy.

The turf is a delight to hit from and you can expect firm conditions underfoot even when other nearby courses are soggy.

History

Golf started at Frilford Heath in 1908, when a couple of families from Oxford bought the land after deciding they wanted to play golf on the Heath.

People soon caught on and were keen to join. The first golf course built on site was the Green Course, but over the years the club acquired the Manor House and other nearby areas of land. The Red Course was built soon afterwards and eventually the Blue Course was built in 1994.

The Red Course is considered the pick of the three options. It was designed by JH Taylor, a five-time winner of the Open Championship more than 100 years ago and measures in excess of 7,000 yards from the back tees. The heathland fairways are firm and fast-running so accurate shots are always well rewarded.

What makes Frilford Heath special?

The land in this area of Oxfordshire is delightfully undulating, perfect for golf, and the club is rightfully proud of the fact that the sandy oil allows all-year-round play.

The greens at Frilford are amongst the very best in the land and they are also trying to encourage the regeneration of heathland indigenous flora, which is fitting for such a natural and traditional place.

But there aren’t three courses at three different levels here; they’re all a challenge in their own right.

If you ever find yourself in this area of the country, then think about challenging yourself to play all three courses. It’s a decision you certainly won’t regret.

Where does it rank?

Red Course: 225th in GB&I, 127th in England

Blue Course: 233nd in GB&I, 152nd in England

Where is it?

Frilford Heath is located just outside Abingdon, and south of Oxford. It is accessible from the M4, M40, A34 and A420, making travel from most parts of the country straightforward.

Get in touch with Frilford Heath

Frilford Heath Golf Club

For more information about the club and course, visit its website or call them on 01865 390864.

You can play the Red Course at Frilford Heath Golf Club on the NCG Top 100s Tour this year!

  • Register now to play in our 2024 Frilford Heath event on April 22nd here.

Now have your say

Have you ever had the pleasure of playing at Frilford Heath? Let us know your thoughts with a post on X, formerly Twitter!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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