Sundridge Park Golf Club – TSG Course Review…

Golf World Top 100 course, Sundridge Park is London’s best-kept secret!*

Having played over 200 courses in the UK and further afield, it’s a delight to find an ‘old’ golf course, which is yet to be discovered by many golfing nomads and societies.

So, when I was invited to play by a member of this prestigious London/Kent course, I was looking forward to experiencing this historic club for myself…

Sundridge Park Golf Club,

*Golf World (London) Top 100. East & West Course both appear in the Top 40.

The History

Set within the beautiful grounds of a Grade 1 listed mansion, Sundridge Park Golf Club was formed in 1901.It proudly boasts two championship courses over 6,000 yards.

The club and the land it lies on, are surrounded by history with the name ‘Sundridge’ first appearing as a locality in an Anglo-Saxon Charter dated AD 987. 

This estate was owned by Sir Edward Scott from 1869 to his death in 1883.

As a well-known breeder of pheasants, he often invited the Prince of Wales – later King Edward VII – to Sundridge Park for weekend shoots. 

The estate passed to Sir Samuel Scott in 1883. In the summer of 1901, with the mansion empty, the estate was being sold for development.

It was then, that a dozen far-sighted Bromley men conceived the idea of a golf club in their town.

Sir Samuel offered a 21-year lease of 125 acres of land (now the West Course) on very favourable terms.

However, the golfing history goes back to when A J Balfour teed off to open the course.

Sundridge Park Golf Club - Historic Picture

In 1936 the club professional, Alf Padgham, won the famous Claret Jug.

A good few years later, in 1975, The Waterford Trophy Open Tournament started as a 36-hole Amateur Scratch Competition.  

It is now a 36-hole competition played over both courses and is an England Order of Merit ranking event. 

In recent times, Alfie Plant won the European Amateur and Silver Medal at The Open in 2017.

The Clubhouse

The location of Sundridge Park is only 7 miles from the heart of our great metropolis.

Tucked away amongst quiet residential roads, Sundridge Park is only 10 miles from the M25. Meaning it’s accessible for most London golfers within an hour.

This 36-hole golf club offers superb surroundings and two beautifully designed and maintained courses.

The Clubhouse has a modern and comfortable decor and includes a terrace are overlooking both courses.

Sundridge Park Golf Club, Patio Area

On arrival, there was plenty of parking available for visitors. From the car, I immediately noticed ground staff attending to the flower beds, 

Suggesting the course is well-presented and superbly maintained – which it is! 

From the Putting Area to the first Tee Box and the starter’s welcome, you know you will enjoy the day.

We were lucky. Despite six months of rain (one of the wettest winters since records began in 1843), we had the sun on our backs all day.

And no one in front or behind us. This is golf as it should be.

The Courses

There are two golf courses, both designed by Willie Park Jnr, with later updates from none other than, James Braid.

Such is the quality of the courses that the club hosts a 72-hole World Amateur Ranking Event each year and is a former qualifying venue for The Open Championship. 

East Course (Par 71 Slope & Rating = 131/71.2) is an Open pre-qualifying course. It is fair but challenging. Newcomers will inspired by the stunning scenery and by the quality of its true and consistent greens.

West Course (Par 71, Slope & Rating = 129/68.6) of equal quality, is truly testing. It offers unique panoramic views of London’s famous landmarks including Canary Wharf to the East and the new Wembley Stadium Arch to the West.

Our Round

On a beautiful sunny spring day, we played the West Course.

The course begins with a downhill Par 4, rising to an elevated green. Nice gentle start.

Hole 2 is more testing with a narrow tree-lined fairway, with the fairway sloping right to left, meaning the ball is above your feet for your approach. 

Sloping fairways is something you will need to master around this track.

The course then meanders through rich woodland, with plenty of points to stop and appreciate the quality of the course.

Hole 6, West Course at Sundridge Park Golf Club

Hole 6 is, without doubt, the signature hole. 

Alas, having not taken my playing partner’s advice, I finished with an 8.  Note to self, listening to local knowledge is vital when playing a course for the first time.

The back nine is more compact than the front nine. However, with more adjacent fairways in play, an errant drive means you still have a chance to save your Par.

All the greens were true and a good test and every bunker – I found – had plenty of good sand. All had clearly been asked that morning. Nice!

As we continued, we took in the views overlooking the City of London. Overall, this course is a pleasure to play.

And while the green fee may stretch some golfer’s budget, if you can afford the premium price, you will certainly remember the course long after you remember, how much you paid at the time.

The West Course Standout holes:

2nd Hole – A 373-yard Par 4, tree-lined fairways sloping right to left, finishing on a big flat green to give you a chance of making Par.

6th Hole – Par 5, 490-yards, a blind second shot (downhill) around the dog-leg (big hitters off the tee box have sight of the green) to a wide and sloping, bunker-protected green.

10th Hole – A 422-yard Par 4, the wide downhill fairway means two good shots will be rewarded with a birdie opportunity (albeit on a super-tough sloping green).

12th Hole – A reachable 380-yard straight Par 4, with a dog-legged fairway and a smallish green, DON’T BE LONG here.

18th Hole – The finishing hole is 354-yard Par 4 which gives you a chance for Par, allowing you to finish the round in style. 

Food & Green Fees

The Clubhouse offers a friendly welcome. But unlike many clubs, you are waited on by professionally trained staff. I ordered the ‘customary’ coffee & bacon roll, both reasonably priced.

Understandably, as a private members club, you are going to pay a premium for the privilege of playing such a pretty and well-maintained golf course. Visitor Green fees are high at £120 a round but this is not your local municipal golf course.

In addition, having spoken to the Club’s commercial director, Social Golfers are very much welcome at the club, and they hope to encourage more ‘pay & players’ in the future.

Call 020 8460 0278 to discuss your requirements or visit www.sundridgeparkgolfclub.co.uk

Overlooking Sundridge Park Clubhouse

Sundridge Park Golf Club – The Verdict

What a delight to play on such a well-maintained golf course in the heart of London. 

There are superb views all around the course. And while some holes are challenging, it does give you a fair chance to score well, if you follow local advice.

One small criticism, as with most members’ clubs, there is limited signage between holes. Something paramount for the visiting golfer.

However, this is not something that will cause you too many problems, as most tee boxes can be found close to the previous hole’s green.

In summary, we had an excellent day. If you are lucky enough to be invited by a member, jump at the chance.

If you are a society, you will be well looked after and you will be glad you chose this club.

TSG Verdict: 4.5/5.0

The Social Golfer Course Reviews logo - Highly Recommended

Ian is the Editor of The Social Golfer. He has been reviewing golf courses for more than ten years. He was the Marketing Director of the London Golf Show from 2011-2016. He has had golf articles published in Golf News Magazine, Today’s Golfer and Golf Business News. He is also the Brand Director for The Cairns Cup (Golf’s Premier Disability Match Play Event).

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