The Best Golf Courses of London’s Heathlands

Ten of the most memorable moments from a golf trip to Surrey, England.

Tim Lobb
OF 11

Woking Golf Club: 4th Hole, Par 4

It doesn’t look like much from the tee, but the 4th hole at Woking represents a Dylan-goes-electric moment in the history of golf course architecture. In the early 1900s, club members Stuart Paton and John Low made a series of revisions to the course, including adding a pair of bunkers (inspired by the Principal’s Nose at St. Andrews) smack in the middle of the 4th fairway. The effect was to demand a decision of the golfer: Flirt with the out-of-bounds on the right-hand side (a railway line parallels the hole) in order to open up a clean view of the green, or play safely off to the left and deal with a poor angle and tough greenside bunker on the second shot. Nineteenth-century golf design often privileged simple execution (“hit it straight, then hit it straight again”) over clever tactical thinking. This is one of the touchstone holes that spirited the game into the modern age. Pond Rd., Hook Heath; 44-14/8376-0053; wokinggolfclub.co.uk.