West Surrey Golf Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Matt Holbrook - Image Credit: Andy Crook
Set in the tranquil Surrey Hills countryside near Godalming, West Surrey Golf Club is a superbly conditioned parkland course that meanders around the natural terrain which compliments the design that was laid out by Herbert Fowler back in 1910.
This club is welcoming to visitors the moment you set foot in the clubhouse, which has a skilful blend of tradition and modern feel that has been designed to be reminiscent of a 19th century Surrey farmhouse.
The friendly pro shop has everything that would be required and range balls are also available. The grass bays are an added bonus and the undulating putting green is the last chance to get acquainted with the USGA standard greens.
On brighter days, the patio area is a great spot to have a light bite or drink with the first tee and approach to the 18th green well in view before you get going.
Front 9 Overview
The opener gives you a nice taste of some of the features of the course - a fairly wide fairway that has a well-placed bunker, the incline to the green is enough to require that extra club on approach with a deep bunker short and right. A gentle enough start but a 4 is not guaranteed.
The 3rd is a brutal 475 yards from the white tees but a stunning hole as you look down from the raised tee. The fairway slopes all the way down to the green with three fairway bunkers in an ideal place to capture anything straying from its desired line. The undulating green adds to the challenge of a well-designed hole where par is a great score.
A similar theme to the 6th, and whilst the landing spot on this scorable par 5 is blind from the tee as the fairway falls away, you need to make sure the bunker - which is just about in sight - isn't in play. Because of the way this hole falls away, the longer hitters will really see this as a great opportunity to pick a shot up.
The 8th drops down and back up to the green, so much so that the flag will just about be visible so club choice is vital, and the front nine ends with another scorable par 5 where, as long as the two fairway bunkers are avoided on either side, the ideal tee shot may leave a mid-iron into a tight green that has some deep demanding bunkers.
Back 9 Overview
While the front nine provided scoring chances and some spectacular views from most tees, the back felt more of a test where plotting around is on the agenda to perhaps keep your score ticking over.
It gets underway with two pars 3s in the first three holes - both with completely different tests. The 10th can play closer to 200 yards depending on pin position and whilst the green is relatively friendly compared to others, the combination of length and the bunkers on either side of the green can cause some real issues.
The 12th is a much shorter hole and will play around 150 yards down the hill, but this green is a far smaller target and the four bunkers surrounding the desired landing zone wouldn't look out of place on a links course.
Holes 13 to 16 will lure you in if you don't show them the respect they deserve. The longest of the holes is 380 yards but each one provides its own test.
The 13th is the shortest but bunkers are pretty much the only thing visible from the tee, the 14th moves from left to right and club choice from the tee needs to be spot on to avoid the sandy hazards either side.
The 15th is tight on the tee with OOB all the way up the left and the fairway narrowing the further up you decide to go, and the 16th feels much more friendly from the tee as it falls away from left to right, but the severe slope on the green will make an honest man or woman out of anyone should you end up the wrong side of the hole.
The 17th is similar to the 8th where you feel like you tee off into a ravine before playing up to a green that is completely out of sight from the fairway and the 18th is a superb finishing hole with some stunning views from the tee.
At 520 yards the finisher falls away from the tee meaning a well struck drive can leave a good chance of getting on in two, however the narrow entrance to the green that slopes away from you leaves you thinking right to the end!
The course here is really entertaining from start to finish. Every hole seems to provide a test or challenge that was different from the last.
The general condition of the course was wonderful. The greens are really impressive - as mentioned before they are USGA standard which offers you true surfaces that take a well hit shot - the sand-based surfaces are a true standout and the free draining nature means that golf on excellence surfaces all year round is not out of the question.
Whilst the course is treelined, I felt the fairways were of a forgiving nature. In fact, as long as you are sensible, playing some good golf tee to green isn't impossible, but staying away from the protective bunkers and finding the right parts of the greens is another matter.
Other than being in great condition, some of the greens are fairly sizeable meaning again, finding them might not be the biggest issue, but getting to the hole in two putts or less isn't always guaranteed.
Golf at West Surrey can be enjoyed all year round by both members and visitors with some stunning views, not only of the course layout, but the Surrey landscape that surrounds it too.
The forgiving nature means players of all abilities can really enjoy this course and those that are maybe better than others will have great time plotting around and trying to conquer those tough greens and getting closer to the flag.
All round it is a great venue with good transport links and a warm and friendly environment that should be added to your list in the not to distant future.
Overall Rating - 10
Course (Conditions) - 10
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10
Course (Green Condition) - 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 8
Practice Facilities - 9
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 8
Value for Money - 8
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|West Surrey Golf Club
from 61 reviews