Nestled within the captivating heathland that characterises Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire, Liphook Golf Club unveils its charms against the backdrop of the Bagshot Sands’ geological legacy. The course’s roots trace back 50 million years when alluvial sands were deposited by the enormous Bagshot River that ran from west to east across the whole of Wessex.
Delving into bygone Wessex, a powerful English kingdom by the 10th century AD, provides context to the historical and geological richness that gave rise to golfing excellence. The sandy soil, conducive to evergreen pines, fine springy turf and vibrant purple heather, set the stage for golf architects such as Harry Colt, Herbert Fowler, and many others, to craft heathland classics.
While global giants like Wentworth and Sunningdale have hosted major tournaments, Liphook, nestled in Hampshire, remains a largely undiscovered gem. Mentioned among the very best when discussing superior greens, Liphook’s allure isn’t confined to its year-round impeccable condition, thanks to sandy soil that swiftly absorbs rain, however relentless. The layout, stretching just over 6,300 yards with gentle elevation changes, might suggest a leisurely round, but make no mistake – it poses a serious challenge. From the formidable 200 yard Par 3 opener to the demanding Par 4s and elegant Par 3 third, the first four holes beckon players into an enthralling journey.
Notable holes like the Par 5 7th and Par 3 8th showcase Liphook’s architectural prowess, but there’s no respite elsewhere. Particularly in mid-November, the Par 4s, especially the 2nd, 4th, 10th and 14th, demand precision, transforming immediately into Par 5s after errant or poorly struck shots.
For those appreciating a diverse mix of holes, Liphook delivers joy with its 5 Par 3s and 3 Par 5s. The 18th, a fitting conclusion, sees the green resting beneath the watchful eye of the amiable Secretary, John Douglass. Not sure he saw my drive, the best of the day, but he was there to greet us at the end, and remind me that I had stuttered to a disappointing 6 with a big smile on his face. As a beacon of courtesy, exceptional service and warm camaraderie, John embodies Liphook’s essence. Members and guests alike revel in the special experience that Liphook consistently delivers – a testament to its outstanding course presentation and the genuine warmth that defines this unique golfing haven.
PS Liphook’s attraction is even further enhanced for golfers seeking the popular 3 round, 2 night itinerary for a golfing break, as two other excellent and understated Surrey Heathlands, Hankley Common and Hindhead, are immediate neighbours just across the county border.