Surrey National Golf Club is one of the Altonwood group of courses, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty near Caterham. Opened in 1999 to much critical acclaim, it is regarded as an excellent example of modern golf course design.
Rook Lane, Chaldon, Surrey CR3 5AA
Constructed to the highest standard the course offers full USGA specification greens, drainage systems and computer controlled irrigation of greens, tees and fairways. Unquestionably The Surrey National Golf Club is a superbly maintained course.
Surrey National is certainly a visually striking. From arrival at the pro shop where the visitor is treated to a wonderful view of the course from the modern yet elegant club house to the beautifully landscaped fairways stretch out along the valley below. The course does feel modern yet 15 years after construction it is now fully established.
The course meanders through dramatic rolling countryside with wonderful views over Farthing Down. There are many changes in elevation and that is one of the key characteristic of Surrey National, something that represented a range of challenges when it came to shot selection. There is fantastic 300 yard long driving range with chipping green and bunker practice area where you can warm up prior to teeing off so that you are ready for the challenges that wait.
As with all championship standard courses the teeing grounds are very large so the ambitious big hitting golfer can play the course at just under 7,000 yards whilst the mere mortals amongst us can play from the yellow tees at 6,300 yards. Therefore, Surrey National offers a course for every standard of golfer.
The bunkers are also worth a mention; beautifully landscaped and strategically placed they were a constant threat. Similar to the rest of the course, they were noticeably well looked after and particularly well drained.
Surrey National Golf Club could loosely be defined as generally tight, while many of the fairways appear wide and easy to hit, they are in fact quite narrow in places making the decision of whether to lay up or go for the green, an interesting one.
The fifth par five is a genuine par five, beginning innocuously enough but the second shot needs to be accurately executed in order to miss a combination of water and bunkers. For those unfamiliar with the course, the water lurks just below your sight line cutting into the fairway from the right. This is a hole that can sneak up on you.
It’s difficult to pick out a single hole but I really enjoyed the fourteenth par five – a long fairway lined with those excellent bunkers with an excellent little risk/reward approach shot over the sand traps.
The greens were also a highlight of playing Surrey National Golf Club, running true and with good pace, undulating with many subtle borrows they are an interesting challenge. There were a couple of pin positions with some double breaking lines to read which I relished.
The customer service in the club shop and restaurant spike bar is excellent, as you’d expect with all Altonwood Group Courses. A small but well stocked pro shop, a great patio overlooking the 18th green in a modern yet elegant building which forms a wonderful end to the round.
A tactical approach to playing Surrey National would be advisable, you’ll definitely need the full range of clubs in your bag and have a few shots up your sleeve when you take this course on. That said, Surrey National is tremendously good fun. There are so many opportunities to take shots on, risk and reward shots that you’ll remember long after your round is over.
I thoroughly enjoyed playing Surrey National Golf Club, this is a course that provides a good yet accessible level of challenge. Players of all abilities will enjoy this excellently maintained course.
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