Saturday, June 10, 2006

Walton Heath






Walton Heath - Old (ranked #82 in the world) counts among its members four prime ministers including Sir Winston Churchill. The course has a rich history linked with the English aristocracy, founded by well-to-do Edwardians, the successful upper class, an elite of titled gentleman and prosperous businessmen. The atmosphere has always been one of high rank and impeccable social standing. Among its former members it counts: 26 dukes, lords, knights and honourables. In the early days nobody could be proposed as a member who was not 'received in general society'. It is the only English club that has had a reigning monarch serve as captain.




Green detail at Walton Heath

Walton Heath also hosted the 1981 Ryder Cup. The course itself is a lovely heathland course. It really shines around the greens with its contouring (pictured below). The course has no water or water views and limited greenside bunkering, which leads to a lot of bump and run shots approaching greens if you so desire. Like its more famous English course Royal Lytham, Walton Heath starts with a good par three and has a particularly good set of finishing holes.
The rough hewn land at Walton Heath

Walton Heath is on the world's top 100 courses due partly to its affiliation with five time open Champion James Braid who served as club professional between 1904 and 1950.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the blog, but it's the BattaN Death March, and to use it in jest when compared to golf is ludicrous and insulting (and I don't usually have to lighten up but this stuck me wrong somehow). Good luck in your quest.

David Smelser said...

I found your site very interesting and look forward to reading it more in detail. I, too, have a thing for the Top 100. Not nearly as exciting as your journey, but I'm trying to collect a logo ball from each of the Top 100 in America (based on the Golf Digest 07-08' Rankings). I was wondering if you might be able to assist with my effort. As of today I'm only 20 logo balls away from the complete set.

If you notice on my website (www.davidsmelser.com/page0) I've written a very brief description of the courses, based on what I've read or heard. Unfortuantely, the only Top 100 I've played is Harbour Town. I thought you might have a little more insight or research that you could share.

Also, I'd be interested in knowing your upcoming trips. If perhaps you're visiting a club that overlaps with my collection needs, I wondered if you'd be willing to purchase a logo ball for me? I'd certainly pay you back + more for your time and help.

Thanks for taking the time to read and if your like to talk more you can always reach me at smelser@gmail.com

Thanks,
David

Stu1974 said...

Interesting site, and always interesting perspectives. I've played all 3 courses and prefer Walton Heath - Old to the others as a golfing test; Wentworth West as an experience (particularly when you play before / after a tournament to empty stands - although please be aware Ernie Els has largely ruied the course now); and Sunningdale as a gentle day out. Overall I'm very jealous of your ongoing adventure: but I know I can at least feel smug becuase I have played Augusta National. My secret? Attend St. Andrews University and win the Bobby Jones Scholarship to Emory University which involves going to the Masters as a gallery guard in April, and then going back to play the course in June, with full open clubhouse and unlimited use of the Par 3. Still, to be honest, I'd trade that for Pine Valley!!!!!

Top 100 Golfer said...

Stu - thanks for the comment. Fantastic about the Bobby Jones scholarship, I have never heard that before. Send me an email if you get a chance.