Eltham Warren Golf Club

As you read through my blog you’ll soon discover that I am a bit of a fan of the nine hole golf course. This, to some extent, puts me at odds with many of my friends who insist that golf must be played over the full eighteen holes to be fully appreciated. There are many great nine hole courses dotted around London and Eltham Warren golf club is a superb example.


Eltham Warren Golf Club, The Clubhouse, Bexley Road, Eltham, London, SE9 2PE

0208 850 4477

Eltham Warren golf club is located on the A210 not far from Eltham High street, a short drive from the A2 and South circular road, easily reachable from most areas of London. Surrounded by Suburban houses and a public park, Eltham Warren is a very compact and tricky course with tons of character.

Similar to many courses in the area Eltham Warren golf club is a genuine piece of British golfing heritage and perhaps worth visiting on this basis alone. Designed by the renowned course architect James Braid who was also responsible for nearby Barnehurst golf course, the club was originally formed in 1890 subsequently it grew and developed more or less into its present day layout by 1900.

Without a doubt Eltham Warren is one the friendliest golf courses I’ve played. The welcome I received in the course shop by the resident PGA pro Gary Brett was very second to none. Gary was keen to advise me on the nature of the course I was about to play, “It’s not an easy course”, he warned, “People turn up thinking its going to be easy because it’s a short nine hole, but it isn’t”. Gary’s words were ringing in my ears literally three holes into this course.

The course itself is incredibly tight technically demanding. Do not arrive at this course thinking you are in for a easy ride, you will have to pick out your shot carefully. Eltham is all about threading your ball through some narrow fairways while avoiding an excellently laid out set of hazards. Water, sand, doglegs, former gravel pits, mature trees and tricky tee positions are all here, Eltham is like a compact version of a Championship course.

The first is a wonderfully intimidating short elevated green separated from the tee by a very deep gully, drop your shot short and you’ll have to deal with a very tricky up and down to find the green. The second and the third are narrow, with the third being well protected by bunkers and water. The hole that sticks in my memory is the eighth, 488 yards and memorable for the deep valley protecting the green surrounded by trees. Despite Gary’s warning I still let ego get the better of me, taking the driver out of the bag rather than laying up.

Too often I tried to make the green rather than the fairway, I paid the price for my slightly sloppy shot more than once. This is a course that rewards accurate well placed shots and you really need to get to know this course before you start to play a fade or a draw. Eltham Warren golf club is a great course to perfect your iron and approach play.

At least my wayward shots gave me some time to appreciate just how well this course is looked after, at times it almost felt like I was playing in someones rather large and superbly well tended garden. Beautifully kept flower beds mixed with mature natural woodland compliment the James Braid Scottish Links influenced course layout. The Bunkers were terrific (although these were the only hazards I managed to avoid), the fairways were lush and the fauna plentiful.

On the day the greens did not play well,  but it would be harsh to criticise as they were undergoing top dressing and aeration. Inevitably the greens were a bit slow and unpredictable but I’m sure this will improve as the season progresses and the greens benefit from the seasonal groundwork.

If you are used to smashing your way around 18 holes of wide accommodating fairways with forgiving rough and large easily reachable greens, you would do well to visit Eltham Warren. If you hold your arms out at full length and hold your hands about a foot apart, imagine you are standing on a tee; that’s the kind of gap you will need to play through at Eltham.

It is a short course,  I managed to play 9 holes in 1 hour 15 minutes so despite the difficulty of the you can still get a quick round in. Unfortunately I was unable to use the bar facilities as I played a mid-week late afternoon tee time, while the facilities are quite basic compared to some courses. this added to the character of the place; Eltham Warren golf club reminded me of the courses my dad used to take me to as a kid.

After visiting Eltham Warren golf club perhaps you’ll begin to share my love aof a well crafted 9 hole course, it is a wonderful place to play and you will find out much about your game here. As Gary said, “It’s not easy”. Skill is the key word on this course, a course that rewards patients and accuracy rather than distance.


Eltham Warren Golf Club, The Clubhouse, Bexley Road, Eltham, London, SE9 2PE

0208 850 4477



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