The Takeaway: Only a notch below its highly acclaimed sibling course, the New course at Sunningdale combines with the Old to create perhaps the finest 36 hole facility in the world. The New has wider driving lanes but is more difficult overall to create a superior tournament course. Grade A
Designer: Harry S. Colt 1923
Cost: £300 Click for current rates
Phone Number: 01344 621681
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Sunningdale Golf Club (New)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Ridgemont Road, Sunningdale, Berkshire SL5 9RR – UNITED KINGDOM
What to Expect: While not quite as charming as the famed Old course at Sunningdale, the New is in rare company where it stands only a touch below its world class sibling; similar to the East course at Winged Foot or the East course at Royal Melbourne. The terrain and hole designs provide great variety in a way that keeps players intrigued throughout the course which is a high mark to achieve. The routing isn't as smooth in its transitions from one hole to the next as the Old course is, but it is a pleasant walk to be sure. The par five 6th hole is of particular quality and one of the finest on either course at Sunningdale with an elevated tee shot to an open fairway that climbs up and tucks into a greensite on the right. The course is a bit more open off the tee and more difficult overall than the Old course which makes it the preferred track for tournament competitions. As is common with most courses in the UK, players will be required to walk but can rent a trolley to help tote their clubs around. In the end, the New is an exceptional course that pairs with the Old to create perhaps the best 36 hole golf facility in the world.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 5th Hole – 183 Yard Par 3 – The first of Sunningdale New's back-to-back iconic holes, the par three 5th jumps off the page visually. The tee shot plays to a green that is just 13 yards wide in the front before expanding to 23 yards in the back third. The front of the green slopes down and to the left to a chipping area while bailing out to the right will result in a pair of bunkers lying in wait. Even worse is the ominous bunker short of the green waiting for tee shots that are hit fat and result in a scenario where one swing may not be enough to escape from the deep sand. With trouble in every spot, aiming at the center of the green is the smart play here.
Best Par 3: 10th Hole – 217 Yards – Playing downhill over a field of heather, the back nine starts with this lengthy one-shotter that is protected by bunkers in the front and on the left. The hole plays dead west which means the prevailing wind will come across the player and have extra influence given the descension to the putting surface. The front third of the green slopes away and to the left so it is best to take enough club to carry the center of the putting surface regardless of the pin placement. It is a beautiful hole in a secluded setting and a great way to kick off the second nine.
Best Par 4: 9th Hole – 461 Yards – A blind tee shot awaits on the 9th with a pseudo-saddle fairway that bends to the right after cresting the hill. No fairway bunkers are found on this hole as an olive branch to the golfer after requiring them to hit a blind tee shot. The fairway slopes down and slithers its way through the trees to a greensite that slopes left to right towards a bunker that flanks the low side of the putting surface. With the terrain moving balls to the right, approaches should favor the left side to give room for the ball to work towards the center of the green. It is a difficult hole that is highly rewarding to play well and a fantastic finish to the front nine.
Best Par 5: 6th Hole – 515 Yards – The hole that stands in the memory of every player that tees it up on Sunningdale's New course, the 6th hole is a stunning par five that boasts equal amounts of elegance and strategy. Players are presented with a fairway framed on each side by heather that winds to the right behind trees and out of view. Like the 6th at Pebble Beach, keeping your ball up the left side will keep you out of trouble and will help you use the natural terrain that slopes from left to right. The green is where the rubber meets the road with a pronounced tier as well as sloping edges that makes getting the ball close to the hole more difficult than the yardage on this reachable par five would indicate. It is easily one of the best holes in the British Isles, and is a contender for the best par five in England.
Birdie Time: 12th Hole – 396 Yard Par 4 – A shorter par four, the 12th gives players an opportunity to take a stroke back from Old Man Par. The fairway fits the player's eye nicely with an open driving area before moving up to an inviting greensite. Either driver or 3 wood is fine off the tee as anywhere in the fairway will put a scoring club in your hand for the approach shot. The uphill approach shot helps the ball sit soft, so it is a perfect time to take dead aim at the day's flag location. With challenging holes ahead, take advantage of this gift.
Bogey Beware: 15th Hole – 431 Yard Par 4 – A strong dogleg right, the 15th requires exact execution on each shot in order to conquer. The tee shot plays uphill and features a pond on the inside corner of the dogleg to help protect against players that try to take a shortcut. From the left side of the fairway players will be faced with a longer approach shot with a decent look at the green while those going to the right can find themselves at the base of the hill in the fairway which creates a mostly blind approach to the raised green. The putting surface is protected by a total of five bunkers on the sides but the front is receptive to balls that come skipping in. This is a tough green to hit in regulation since confidence is never at a high level, but if you can minimize the damage then there is some solace in that.