Surrey is blessed with an embarrassment of golfing riches, and the three Ws –West Hill, Woking and Worplesdon – are extremely close neighbours in the northwest of the county. Each offers sublime, traditional heathland golf and together they feature in friendly and inconclusive debates about which is the best.
West Hill is the youngest of Surrey’s three Ws (along with Woking and Worplesdon). The Scottish links influence – the course was designed by Cuthbert Butchart, a professional from Carnoustie – is evident in the nine out, nine back layout though it’s whether you’re in or out of the heather that will determine the quality of scoring. As good as the other two Ws with possibly the best hole of the three, the scintillating long par-3 15th with its wickedly contoured green. Oozes character among heather and pine.
As reviewed by ex-Ryder Cup captain Bernard Hunt: Woking is more than a century old, has got plenty of history and is a great heathy-type golf course with several outstanding individual holes, the par 4 7th standing out: It’s tree-lined with bunkers right and left off the tee as well so you need to hit a very accurate drive. There’s also a stream running across the fairway in front of the green so it also requires a precise second shot. The old-fashioned turn-of-the-century clubhouse is pretty special too. Woking is a star of sand and heather and the first of Surrey’s three heavenly Ws (Worplesdon and West Hill are the others).
The most manicured of the ‘three Ws’, this course is very pleasant and has very fast greens. Comes to life from the 4th, when it becomes more heathland in feel. Worplesdon is one of Surrey’s best and most attractive golf courses: it is rich in heather and fir trees and has all the properties of a first-class inland course. Created by Mr. F J Abercromby, the original design has remained largely untouched since 1907 when the designer visualised the reality of a top class golf course from what was then just a wilderness of trees and heather.