Harry Colt was arguably the greatest golf course architect of all time and Royal Wimbledon is an excellent example of his creative genius…
Royal Wimbledon Course Review
Wimbledon in south-west London has an intriguing mix of courses, with Royal Wimbledon its most senior club dating back to 1865 when it began life with a 7-hole course. Harry Colt was a member here, and he redesigned the course in 1924. Despite more recent changes to the opening and closing holes, his influence is still evident throughout and the course is fully deserving of its place in the Golf Monthly Next 100.
You would never know you are so close to the centre of London, and there is a particularly testing start to the round with four long par 4s. Each is over 400 yards, but they are all very different from one another. I always find the first to be the toughest of these, a dogleg to the right that is well protected by sand and a sharp fall off to the left. On the card, however, it is the 4th that has the hardest rating, probably because of the rise to the green.
The first short hole is one of the most attractive, no great length and with the green beautifully framed by trees, gorse and a grass hillside beyond.
The 6th is a drivable (not for me!) par 4, and you then cross a bridleway to play a loop of four holes down into the valley and back again. These include side-by-side par 5s at seven and ten, a tough par 3 at eight, and a gentle par 4 that concludes the front nine.
The holes from the eleventh to the sixteenth are again very demanding and include five par 4s where I would happily settle for a five.
There is brief respite at the 13th, another gorgeous par 3 that proves Colt really knew where to site his greens.
Looking back on my visit I see that I did manage a par on the 451-yard 14th, but this was courtesy of an outrageously long single putt.
There can be no flagging as the next two are both played to raised greens and call for a lengthy and accurate approach.
The final par 3 is another gem, once again slightly uphill and to a tricky green that will test your putting.
The closing hole is a little more forgiving and takes you back to the stylish clubhouse where you can enjoy a drink and reflect on a round where every hole is both enjoyable and memorable. In a county packed with premier league golf, Royal Wimbledon is an excellent club with a seriously good course.