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Why You Should Play Golf at Old Thorns

By: Liam Moore | Wed 23 Feb 2022

Old Thorns is a leader for golf and hospitality in the Hampshire region, often regarded as one of the county’s best.

There is just one golf course located on-site - although it is dipped in high quality - and there is also a hotel and spa to enjoy and unwind after the golf.

Before we press on with the features of the facility, let’s explore the history of this brilliant venue.


Old Thorns Golf

Old Thorns was originally just an estate before it progressed and developed into a hotel and golf resort.

It acted as the property for Ken Wood, who invented the Kenwod food mixer in the late 1950s.

A golf course would not be constructed on the premises until 24 years later, where John Harris was commissioned to build a course - although his death in the 1970s resulted in the project stalling.

Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas continued with the design and the duo had just finished Blairgowrie's Landsdowne and the Brabazon Course at The Belfry.

Upon completion, a golf exhibition involving Bill Rogers, Jack Nicklaus, Isao Aoki and Seve Ballesteros took place to commemorate the opening.

Golf Course

Old Thorns Golf

This parkland golf course is ideal for everybody, as a wide range of abilities will find some sort of success around Old Thorns.

Measuring 6,581 yards from the tips, it’s certainly not the longest route you’ll ever face, but a meticulous design that doesn’t rely on length alone is where the challenge lies.

The course was opened in 1976 and the natural rolling landscape has resulted in it being ideal for golf terrain.

Another positive element of Old Thorns is just how particular the greenkeeping staff are; you can be assured that you will be playing a golf course maintained to the highest standard.

The signature hole also deserves special mention, as it’s the most elevated tee shot throughout the entirety of Hampshire.

The 5th hole provides immense views of the county’s countryside and an excellent sight of the green that lies well below.

The hole in question is a 353-yard par-4 that will require a tight tee shot if you are hoping to stay in the fairway that is sloped right-to-left.

As you stand over your ball contemplating your approach into the green, careful thought must be given as the small putting surface is protected via a minute pond at the front and trees over the back.


The entire estate expands to 400 acres and over the past few years, more than £20 million has been invested into the hotel - which overlooks the Old Thorns golf course.

The 4* manor house has benefitted significantly through its investment and the collection of 160 bedrooms feature lavish amenities.

Each room comes equipped with an en-suite bathroom, TV, tea making facilities and toiletries.


Considering there are 160 bedrooms associated with the resort, it’s important there are ample restaurants to accommodate the demand.

Old Thorns is aware of this, and there are several eateries that are located on-site, each providing something a little different from one another.

Kings Brasserie is the trademark restaurant and can accommodate up to 250 people concurrently, serving food from the Brasserie menu.

Alternatively, for larger groups, a private function room can be hired - with the option of two or three-course meals to accompany the room.

There are also two bars located on the premises: The Sports Bar and the Atrium Bar.

The former specialises in pub food and stocks a wide range of soft and alcoholic beverages, where live sporting events are shown every day.

The Atrium is the classier of the two, serving champagne and cocktails throughout the evening - just remember to set your alarm for the golf the following morning!

Guests can enjoy an array of international spirits and even request a mixture of their own.


Old Thorns

Included in the room rate is complimentary usage of all of the resort’s facilities, which is not something that every establishment offers and therefore, should be applauded.

There’s a full-sized swimming pool to enjoy, a fitness centre, steam room and a sauna.

Additionally, there is a small spa where a limited range of treatments can be enjoyed as you gaze across the expansive Hampshire countryside.

The hotel strongly recommends to book spa treatments in advance, as demand is high and they don’t want to leave guests disappointed.

Old Thorns might not have the reputation of The Belfry, or the golf course might not be bathed in as rich history as The Twenty Ten at Celtic Manor.

They do, however, offer a world-class golfing experience that is severely augmented by its luxurious manor house design and feel - with a more intimate feeling than those powerhouse resorts.

When it comes to golfing in Hampshire, Old Thorns is rarely rivalled and seldom beaten. 

For more information, please visit https://www.golfbreaks.com/en-gb/holidays/hampshire/old-thorns-hotel/.

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