Sunningdale Old Course 8th



United Kingdom


Sunningdale Golf Club




As golf increased in popularity at the turn of the 20th century, men began to show an interest in playing closer to their homes and work, which led to the development of inland courses.  Sunningdale Golf Club was founded in 1900 in Berkshire, about 30 miles southwest of London, and 200 “gentlemen” were admitted as original members.  Willie Park Jr., the son of Open Champion Willie Park and a leading golfer of his time, was paid £3,000 to design the course, later named the Old Course.  Although it was originally built on open, barren land, it is now lined with pine, birch and oak trees.


Although Sunningdale was only an hour by train from the city center, the rising popularity of the car resulted in increased interest in golfing in London’s heathland areas, and the need for a second course became apparent.  Land was purchased, and the New Course was designed by Henry Colt in 1922.  Slightly more rugged than the Old Course, this was the largest project Henry Colt ever designed in Europe, a sprawling course that featured one hole that was more than 600 yards long.


While the original concept of heathland golf was to try to imitate playing a links as much as possible, a unique genre of courses was born which now rivals links as the ultimate expression of golf architecture, and many consider Sunningdale to be the epitome.




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