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Best Golf Courses in London & South East England

from the experts in Golf Holidays

✍️ Rick Wilton | ⏰ 7 min read

Chart Hills Golf Club 1

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Our Guide to the Best Golf Courses near London

The demand for first-class golf in the most populated part of the country is massive, as such, some of the best courses in the UK can be found right on London's doorstep. There are a host of stunning woodland layouts within easy reach of the capital, including the famous Sunningdale, one of best 36-hole layouts in the world, and Walton Heath, the host of the 2018 British Masters, one of the European Tour’s most prestigious events.

As you head further out of London, towards the South East coast, the choice of championship golf courses become more varied but equally as spectacular. The east coast of Kent is a mecca for golfers, the legendary links courses here are among the best in the world. On the stunning shores of Sandwich Bay, there are three Open Championship hosts within a 5km stretch; Prince's, Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George's, the latter of which is commonly ranked in the top 25 courses in the world.

Read on to discover the courses our experts have played and consider the best around London or check out some of the best golf holiday deals around London >>

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Royal St George's Golf Club

Nestled in the dunes of the beautiful Kent coast, Royal St George's Golf Club is a course of outstanding natural beauty and, since it’s establishment in 1887, it has been considered one of the best courses in Britain and indeed the world.

Dramatic undulations, thick, heavy rough, upturned saucer-shaped greens, and devilish pot bunkers all add to the challenge but it is perhaps the routing of the holes at Sandwich that provides the toughest conundrum for the golfer. Unlike many classic links courses that have a "9 out and 9 back" design, the holes at Royal St George's point every which way, meaning that when the wind us up, the golfer has to constantly be on their toes, assessing its direction and speed. Follow in the footsteps of Open Champions past including Collin Morikawa, Sandy Lyle, Greg Norman, and Darren Clarke, and see if you are up to the test.

More info on Royal St George's >>

Royal St George's facts
Location Sandwich, Kent, England
Length 7,204 yards
Par 70
Designed by Dr. Laidlaw Purves, Hugh Alison, Frank Pennink, Alister MacKenzie
Established 1887
Where to stay Kent

"A serious test of golf, regardless of the tees you play off or the wind on offer."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Royal Cinque Ports

One of three Open Championship hosts found in Sandwich Bay on the beautiful Kent coast, Royal Cinque Ports is one of the greatest, and toughest, links courses in the country. Although it has been some time since The Open was last played there, Deal has not lost a step and should be a must play for any golfers in the south of England.

More info on Royal Cinque Ports >>

Royal Cinque Ports facts
Location Deal, Kent, England
Length 7,245 yards
Par 71
Designed by Henry Hunter, James Braid, Sir Guy Campbell & Henry Cotton
Established 1892
Where to stay Lodges at Princes, Lots of options in Kent

❝Stay well clear of the bunkers. The contours of the fairway actually gather your ball towards the sand traps so they are really about two or three times larger than they look from the tee.❞
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 11)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Sunningdale Golf Club - Old Course

Whilst technically in Berkshire, Sunningdale is classed as Surrey in terms of golf as a host of the Surrey Amateur Championship and it’s members representing Surrey rather than Berkshire in amateur events. With a rich history including the likes of Harry Colt, Bobby Jones and most recently Stephen Dodd, The Old and New Golf Courses at Sunningdale are revered as some of the finest inland courses played anywhere in the world. The heathland layouts provide a stern test of golf that meanders through mature pine and oak trees that live long in the memory of any golfer fortunate to spend a day here.

While there are many stand out holes at Sunningdale, arguably it is the 10th hole on The Old which garners the most plaudits. The drive is one of the best in golf with an elevated position to a slanted fairway with bunkers ready to snare any shot left or right of the short stuff. The reward for anyone walking down this hole is a trip to the world-famous halfway hut with it’s sausage sandwich, arguably one of the most talked about snacks in golf.

More info on Sunningdale Golf Club >>

Sunningdale Golf Club (Old Course) facts
Location Sunningdale, Berkshire
Length 6,627 yards
Par 70
Designed by Willie Park, Jr.
Established 1900
Hosted Women's Open 4 times (1997, 2001, 2004, 2008)
Where to stay Kingswood Lodge

"Inland golf does not get any better than this, keep it in the fairway is the best advice I can give and when visiting why not play both courses!"
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 11)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Prince's Golf Club

Often the most overlooked of the three Open hosts in Sandwich Bay, Prince’s more than deserves its place as one of the top links courses in the country. As the direct Neighbour of Royal St George’s, Prince’s shares the same dramatic coastline that makes both courses such epic places to play the game. For anyone golfing in the South East, this track is worthy of a place on the list.

More info on Prince's Golf Club >>

Prince's Golf Club facts
Location Sandwich, Kent, England
Length 7,204 yards
Par 71
Designed by Henry Cotton, Gene Sarazen & Mackenzie and Ebert
Established 1902
Where to stay Lodges at Princes

❝You should practice playing low punch shots before visiting Prince's as the key to scoring well is to stay out of the gentle, but sometimes wild, sea breeze. I would also keep well clear of the rough as even if you do find your ball you may well find it unplayable.❞
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 11)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Walton Heath (Old Course)

Much like Sunningdale, Walton Heath boasts a world-class 36 holes of golf, however, the Old Course is clearly the headline act. This storied track played host the 1981 Ryder Cup, a disaster for the European team, but cemented the Old Course as one of the elite course in England.

Anyone in London should play the Old Course, as it is rare to find such calibre of course inside the M25.

More info on Walton Heath >>

Walton Heath (Old Course) facts
Location Surrey, England
Length 7,331 yards
Par 72
Designed by Herbert Fowler
Established 1891
Hosted Ryder Cup 1981
Where to stay Surrey

"Whether playing it in the lows of winter of the heights of summer you were blessed with fast-running fairways and one of the great tests in heathland golf."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Oliver about playing this course.

Littlestone Golf Club

Yet another stunning golf course that can be found on the Kent coast, Littlestone is a fantastic, true links course, a worthy neighbour of the three Open hosts just up the coastline. Located in one of the driest spots in the UK, Littlestone’s greens are lightning fast and run true, your putting will need to be on point to keep the 3 putts off your card.

More info on Littlestone Golf Club >>

Littlestone Golf Club facts
Location New Romney, Kent, England
Length 6,632 yards
Par 71
Designed by William Laidlaw Purves, James Braid, Alister MacKenzie
Established 1888
Where to stay Lots of options in Kent

❝Littlestone is a classic links course, if the wind is up and the course is dry take a little less club for your approaches to the greens, the ball will land short and still hop onto the putting surface.❞
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 11)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Walton Heath (New Course)

A fantastic addition to an already fantastic golf club, the New Course propelled Walton Heath into contention for the best 36-hole layout in the UK. While the New Course may not have hosted a Ryder Cup like its older brother, it has similar look and feel, as the courses run so closely together. Both courses at Walton Heath are world-class layouts.

More info on Walton Heath >>

Walton Heath (New Course) facts
Location Surrey, England
Length 7,026 yards
Par 72
Designed by Herbert Fowler
Established 1903
Where to stay Surrey

"While many will look to The Old for their round, The New off the back-tees is arguably a tougher challenge."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Oliver about playing this course.

Chart Hills Golf Club

Set in the midst of the Kent countryside, Chart Hills is an awesome and refreshing change of pace from other parkland courses in the South East. Despite being in the Garden of England, Chart Hills has a decidedly American look and feel. As Nick Faldo’s first attempt at course design in Europe, it has been widely considered as a huge success, a definite must play in the Kent area.

More info on Chart Hills Golf Club >>

Chart Hills Golf Club facts
Location Biddenden, Kent, England
Length 7,045 yards
Par 72
Designed by Nick Faldo
Established 1993
Where to stay Dale Hill, Weald of Kent

❝Stay clear of the bunkers, there are lots of them!❞
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

East Sussex National (West Course)

Deciding which course is best at East Sussex National has been a hot topic for debate among locals since the club first opened, however, the West commonly wins out as the prettier of the two. Throughout the round, you are welcomed by glorious views over the South Downs, but don’t let the natural beauty fool you, this course has hosted two European opens, it's no pushover.Kent area.

More info on East Sussex National >>

East Sussex National (West) facts
Location Uckfield, East Sussex, England
Length 7,154 yards
Par 72
Designed by Robert E Cupp
Established 1990

"The course gives stunning views of the South Downs and is close enough to Brighton to enjoy a night out if you're in the area for the weekend!"
Ryan (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Ryan about playing this course.

The Grove

One of the youngest courses in the South East, The Grove only opened for business in 2003, however, since then it has been heralded as a huge success. Now ranked as one of the top courses in the country, this track has become a must-play course for anyone based in the city.

In fact, The Grove has become a serious contender for the top course inside the M25, as the standard is comparable to the great Walton Heath.

More info on The Grove >>

The Grove facts
Location Chandler's Cross, Hertfordshire, England
Length 7,152 yards
Par 72
Designed by Kyle Phillips
Established 2003

"The superb 4th is a fantastic hole, a daunting par-3 which requires a good long iron to carry the water, characterising the memorable experience of a round on Phillips' truly excellent club."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Frequently asked questions about Golf in London & South East

How many golf courses are there in Greater London?

There are 131 golf courses within Greater London covering a total area of 11,000 acres. Corporate or private owners account for 45% of these and 42% are council owned while the Crown Estate owns 8%.

What is the best golf course in London for societies?

The nearest golf courses for societies are found at Selsdon Park near Croydon, travelling south west of London down the A3, lots of societies head to Silvermere Golf Club and Pine Ridge which are very popular for a range of handicaps. If you'd like to play a golf course as a society that is well suited for low handicaps include the likes of West Hill, Worplesdon and Woking which are the 3 W's just south of London.

What golf courses in London have held professional tournaments?

Sunningdale, Wentworth and Walton Heath have all held elite professional and amateur golf tournaments throughout their history. Sunningdale has held The European Open which saw Greg Norman and Bernhard Langer triumph as well as Karrie Webb in The Women's Open and most recently Stephen Dodd in The Senior Open. Wentworth has been a stalwart on The European Tour for decades with the likes of Mark O'Meara, Seve Ballesteros and Ernie Els all winning round this Surrey golf course. Walton Heath most recently held The British Masters which was won by Eddie Pepperell, is an annual host of US Open qualifying and hosted The 1981 Ryder Cup.

More About Rick

Handicap: 11
Favourite Course: Chiltern Forest
My 'Expert' areas: Kent & the Home Counties
Best trip I've done: Dubai with golf & Rugby 7's
Where my next trip is to: Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way

Give Rick a call on 0800 043 6644 to arrange your next golf break.

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