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  • Writer's pictureJuha Tuukkanen

Heathland Classics

Last weekend I got to spend three great days with three fellow golf nuts in London. The theme for our trip was heathland golf around London by day and great food by night.

The group traveling from Waterloo to Woking. Pic by Arto Joensuu

Our first round took place at the world famous Woking Golf Club. For me this was the first real heatland course I've played, so expectations were really high and Woking surely lived up to every expectation and so much more. Short and challenging par 4s, The legendary fairway bunkering on the 4th and gorgeous par 3s.

5th green at Woking Golf Club

And the clubhouse veranda right on the 14th green sure makes you think twice what club you want to hit to the green of this first of two (back-to-back) par 5s. All this combined with all the heather, flowers and old trees around the course make playing a round a truly magical experience.

Too excited to sleep, I spent the Saturday morning walking around London. After visiting Borough Market I stopped for a small breakfast at The Gentlemen Baristas on Part St. After a goof flat white and very cheesy toast I was ready to play both Old and New at the legendary US Open qualifying venue, Walton Heath Golf Club.

Flat white and a toast brekkie
The Gentlemen Baristas

After breakfast if was time to board another train from Waterloo to Epsom, from where it is a short taxi ride to Walton Heath. At Walton Heath We were greeted once again by helpful and very professional staff at the reception, bar and pro shop. Then it was time to hit the Old Course as twosomes.

n The Old Course starts with a long par 3 featuring protective bunkering in front of the green

The 9th at Walton Heath Old Course

and a a green sloping form front to back. The course is set on airy rolling hill, giving a false sense of space. On every hole you need to take a good look at the strokesaver to understand all the challenges that stands from tee to green. With all the bunkering and heather, plus heavily contoured greens accuracy definetely trumps distance on every hole.

The New Course at Walton Heath Golf Club is a bit longer than the Old Course. The course cross each other during the round, giving players plenty to see even if you only play one of the courses. The bunkering on the new course might be a bit less extravagant, but otherwise the courses are very similar. All in all, the New Course was a perfect venue for our foursome matchplay in Surrey sunset.

The last stop on our weekend trio was Royal Wimbledon. A heathland gem under 30 minutes from Waterloo. The day was rainy and windy, so there were only one other foursome battling the elements with us. After a traditional English breakfast at the club, we headed out to find out what makes Royal Wimbledon stand out from the rest. We didn't have to wait long, since starting from the first, the green areas are absolutely beautiful all through the course. Old oaks lining the fairways and deep fairway facing bunkering force players to shape most of their shots in order to get to best possible position for the next shot. The course is built on a fairly steep hill, making most of the shots to be played either up or down.

I really want to visit all of the tree clubs again and soon, equipped with both my golf clubs and cameras.

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