Westerham Golf Club, a 6283 par 72 course set in some of the most beautiful countryside in England. A combination of a stunning setting and challenging course make for a great day out for any golfer.
Valence Park, Brasted Rd, Westerham, Kent TN16 1QN
It’s one of the undervalued virtues of living in London that we don’t have to drive too far to find ourselves in some areas of outstanding natural beauty. As a golfer, the eighteen holes that make up Westerham Golf Club are possibly some of the most eye-catching you’ll play.
Located in West Kent a stones throw from the M25, Westerham Golf Club is part of The Altonwood Group, a company that also own and operate The Addington, Surrey National, Woldingham and Godstone golf clubs.
Westerham opened in May 1997 and has been cleverly landscaped, weaving through the existing woodland giving the course an established appearance. Without a doubt, Westerham is a picturesque course that uses the surrounding Kentish North Downs to dramatic visual effect.
In terms of facilities, Westerham is far better equipped than most. The extensive practice and warm up area includes a long driving range and an excellent short game area which includes a couple of pitching tees next to a chipping practice green.
As of 2017, Westerham now includes a 9 hole par 3 course to compliment the existing facilities. Warm up nets beside the first tee complete the pre-round opportunities to get your eye in and limber up before teeing off.
The challenge in the Westerham Golf Club course lays in its many changes in elevation combined with narrow fairways and greens tucked away behind numerous bunkers. The occasional water hazards, particularly the ponds in front of the club house, complete the the list of well maintained hazards to test your game.
Good course management is fundamental to a successful round at Westerham. There are some memorable holes, the fore mentioned ninth and eighteenth, with their greens adjacent to the club house, are both spectacular and tricky; a combination of hazards and the eyes of those watching you from the clubhouse add to the experience.
There are some long driving holes but accuracy will bring greater reward than distance, effective and accurate iron play will serve your scorecard well. There are course guides available from the pro shop and as a first time visitor, I would seriously recommend utilising all of the course information available.
Your first introduction to this is the second, a par four with a hidden green that is guarded by a nest of bunkers and a pond. Laying up is an option but it’s far more fun to take it on from the fairway.
On the card the par five third hole appears to be a rather generous 472 yards but again, excellent shot execution and judgement of distance are required to find the green in three.
Many of the holes are complimented by the countryside views that are often framed by the tall pine trees. The sixth is a narrow fairway leading to a green enclosed in coniferous woodland. Perhaps the eleventh par three is the best example of this, set into a small valley with a truly spectacular backdrop of the hills bordering London.
Similar to the rest of the course the greens are superbly maintained. As the greens speed up during the summer months I imagine they will provide a thorough test of your short game skills.
The spike bar also serves as a half-way house with the ninth and eighteenth greens situated just outside, giving golfers the opportunity to pop in for a sandwich or a quick mid-round pick-me-up.
Other facilities on site include a “Golf Cave”, a golf simulator that can be hired out for a very reasonable price and changing rooms and showers. Overall there was a great atmosphere on the course and when the pace of play slowed down, I was invited to join a two ball in front of me, both of whom where also first time visitors who shared similar opinions to the course as my own
Westerham Golf Course is a favourite of mine by virtue of the fact that it’s situated in some stunningly beautiful countryside. It’s one of those courses that’s difficult to go round and not take some photos. The tall pines and Downs in the background give the course a wild and natural look.