Originally consisting of seven holes around the windmill, the course was redesigned and extended by the club professional Tom Dunn in 1871, becoming one of the first ever 18-hole links. Holes such as Long Butt, Big Ravine and Blockade were built along rifle ranges. Although a short course by modern standards, it is very tight. There are only two adjoining fairways on the course; all the rest are self-contained and tree-lined. Oak and birch dominate, but there is gorse and heather too.
The Course Planner, and the Course Map are available from the pro shop and viewable here by clicking the following links:
1 | Elcho
Par 3, 231 yards, Stroke index 8
Named after the founder Lord Elcho, Earl of Wemyss. A very testing par three opening hole requiring a long drive to reach the green some 231 yards away. The green slopes away into trouble. A par here is a great start.
2 | Big Ravine
Par 4, 258 yards, Stroke index 16
The ravine dominates the tee shot for 140 yards. Once cleared, though, you have a short shot to the green, reachable in one for the long hitters. The ravine was made more scenic by a new pond created in 1998 to commemorate the Millennium.
3 | Long Butt
Par 4, 314 yards, Stroke index 15
So called because it lies along the route of the 1,000 yard firing range (or 'butt') in the old National Rifle Association enclosure on Wimbledon Common. A short par 4, a slight dog leg with an oak tree to the middle left. A good tee shot over the tree will leave a short iron to the green, with danger for a hook.
4 | Running Deer
Par 4, 389 yards, Stroke index 4
Played towards an old National Rifle Association target called 'Running Deer', designed by Edward Landseer, sculptor of the lions at Trafalgar Square. A testing par 4 with the added attraction of an oak tree in the middle of the fairway some 200 yards from the tee. The sensible route is a long iron to the left of the oak.
5 | Queens Mere
Par 3, 243 yards, Stroke index 6
Named after the mere (designed to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, 1887), to the west of the windmill. A most testing par 3, requiring a daunting tee shot through an avenue of trees to the sunken green. A par 3 is a good achievement.
6 | Sand Pit
Par 4, 285 yards, Stroke index 13
Named after one of the many old gravel excavations on the common. A short par 4, needing an elevated tee shot to overcome a barrier of birch trees in front of the fairway. This achieved, only a short pitch remains to a testing green, sloping left to right.
7 | Paradise
Par 4, 390 yards, Stroke index 2
As the name suggests, this is a delight to play. It requires a reasonably long drive, ideally to the left hand side of the fairway, followed by a testing medium to long iron approach through a tunnel of scots pines.
8 | Birches
Par 4, 288 yards, Stroke index 12
A short par 4 downhill all the way, but guarded by woods on both sides. Reachable in one by the longer hitters willing to take the gamble. The undulating green can be screened by a single birch if your drive is right and short.
9 | Caesars Well
Par 3, 135 yards, Stroke index 17
This hole takes its name from an ancient spring nearby. It is the shortest of the par threes, set in a hollow surrounded by silver birch. Today it is more open than it was before the storm of 1987, but it's still a tricky shot to a bowl shaped green. Your best chance for a hole in one.
10 | Caesars Camp
Par 4, 324 yards, Stroke index 9
Named after the ancient hill fort nearby dating from the early iron age (about the 5th century BC; in ancient times called 'Bensbury Camp'). For all but the longest of drives, the second shot is played uphill to a green slightly hidden by the swell of the ground.
11 | Long Hole
Par 5, 479 yards, Stroke index 3
The only par five on the course. Club selection from the tee is all important to avoid the cross ditches and cinder road. Most people lay up, but the big hitters may take on the ditches and road. The green, less receptive than any other, is set against the splendid backdrop of North View.
12 | Plateau
Par 3, 228 yards, Stroke index 7
A challenging hole, requiring a long accurate shot to find the green, with trees and a steep bank to the right and out of bounds to the left.
13 | Hope Grant
Par 4, 438 yards, Stroke index 1
So called after Lt. General Sir James Hope Grant, who together with Lord Elcho donated the earliest competition medal. A difficult par four, calling for two good long straight shots to a very tricky green, protected by a narrow landing area sloping from the front. Fully justifes its stroke index of 1.
14 | Nest
Par 4, 283 yards, Stroke index 14
A short par 4. A medium length drive will leave a short pitch to the green guarded by a copse of birch trees. It is easy to block yourself out for the second shot, so favour the right hand side of the fairway.
15 | Spinney
Par 3, 172 yards, Stroke index 11
A classic length short hole, played to a pin which is barely visible, as the green lies in a hollow behind a bank hidden by trees. The tee shot needs to carry over these to find an undulating green with some very tricky pin positions.
16 | Blockade
Par 4, 278 yards, Stroke index 18
Probably so called because it was played directly across converging lines of fire from the old 600 and 1000 yard rifle ranges. A short par four with a horse ride in front of the green that makes club selection off the tee all important. Tigers may elect to go for the green.
17 | Heather
Par 4, 396 yards, Stroke index 5
A good length par four, driving off from an elevated tee to a generous fairway lined by heather and gorse, with out of bounds awaiting the wild slice. Beware: don't over club your second shot for disaster awaits through the green.
18 | Windmill
Par 4, 327 yards, Stroke index 10
A good finishing par four. A sharp dog-leg left hole, with a ravine to cross. A bold hooked shot will be rewarded by a short pitch to the tiny green with a fine view of the windmill beyond. The ravine has been the graveyard of many a good card.