Commanding spectacular views of London and a course designed by one of Golf’s renowned architects, Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club is a historic and unique golfing destination in London.
Grange Lane College Rd, Dulwich, London SE21 7LH
6061 Yards Par 69
Perhaps one of the greatest assets a London Golf Course can have is a view of the city itself. Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club certainly delivers in this regard.
Dulwich is an affluent suburb, home to World the renowned Dulwich College and some wonderful parks and galleries. The stables and woods adjacent to the golf course give the area a ‘countryside’ feel. However, Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club is literally a 20-minute drive from London Bridge which makes this course one of the most centrally located in the city.
There has been a golf course on Sydenham Hill since 1909 but the course’s 18 holes were first constructed in 1911 designed by the eminent golf course architect, Harry Colt. Similar to Colt’s other courses (Sunningdale, Wentworth or Stoke Park to name a few) naturalistic elements to the landscape have been retained and blended in with the fairways. Some alterations have taken place over the years but the essence of Colts design philosophy remains firmly in place.
The clubhouse was constructed in 1966, the original was destroyed by a V1 rocket during the Second World War. A relatively understated late 20th Century building, it houses some superb facilities. An excellently stocked and serviced club shop, changing rooms, restaurant and bar compliment the warm-up area. A spike bar, The 19th, with its veranda overlooking the course is worth visiting for its view of London alone.
While there isnt a driving range at the course there are some warm-up nets, and excellently maintained putting green, the pace of which accurately reflected those found on the course.
Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club is a compact course laid out on the slopes of Sydenham Hill. In places, the course is a bit narrow but it opens out in places and tempted my driver out of my bag. By modern standards, this is not a long course at 5764 yards off of the yellow tees. There are some driveable holes, the two par fives measuring around 500 yards are good examples. Generally, Dulwich and Sydenham is a course that rewards good and accurate iron play.
This is an undulating beauty of a course, it may well be worth hiring a motorised trolly or certainly a buggy if you find you’re not as spritely as you used to be. The many changes of elevation, the twists and turns and occasional ponds provide plenty of impetus to keep the ball on the short grass. The course levels out a bit in places generating a good range of holes that demand excellent shot placement and execution.
I teed off from the first after a rather dry spell, the course was playing firm on the day so found playing the bump and run worked well on the sun-baked fairways . The first is a 222 yard par three with a dramatic change of elevation that makes the green reachable with a long iron. Most of the par 4 holes are just under 400 yards and are a terrific mix of tight fairways and blind doglegs.
There are several ponds dotted around the course, attractively maintained although to all intents and purposes, they didn’t really come into play too often.
Due to the elevated location of this golf course, the wind can be a factor. While the course is generally sheltered by surrounding mature woodland, the wind can swirl around in all sorts of directions which made some of the par threes quite interesting. It was easy to forget hat this is a golf course in Central London.
I found that the greens were, as you’d expect, superb. Very quick with loads of turn in them, they made a well-delivered pitch shot to avoid a dreaded three putt. I usually regard myself as a fairly good putter but these greens really tested my ability to read a line and judge the pace.
Located approximately 6 miles from London Bridge, Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club is one of the closest 18 hole golf courses to central London. It is a course that provides a terrific opportunity for Londoners to test themselves on a classic British setup. A great atmosphere in the clubhouse with a stupefyingly beautiful view contributes to what is a great venue for golfers of all abilities.