Review's of Old Thorns Golf Club
Played here yesterday. Great course although it did take nearly 5 hours to get round. Some superb holes and you need to manage your way round some of the holes. Great facilities and always nice to prepare for the round with bacon rolls and cups of tea!! Drinks buggy was a welcome relief halfway round. Great deals to be had at this place. Will definately be back to play again.
08 July 2020
A pleasant and well looked after course, difficult in places for a high handicapper but with current restrictions in place , could not appreciate everything. Definitely overpriced for the golf though.
A wonderful course and venue
Old Thorns GC is a parkland style course in Griggs Green, Liphook, Hampshire.
The course was designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas, in 1982. It was formally opened by a world famous fourball match involving Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Isao Aoki and Bill Rogers. Isao Aoki came out on top with a 69.
After a recent remodelling of the 9th hole as a short par 4 to a totally new green complex; the course is now a par 72 again!
The old 9th green is now a practice area!
After the ownership of the course complex changed hands a couple of times the current ownership has invested significant sums in the enhancement of the course but also in hotel, conference, wedding, dining and a leisure centre gym/spa facility. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop on site.
The course has a spectacular and partly secluded feel. There are several changes in elevation at the beginning and then at the end of the round. The walk up from the 2nd green to the 3rd teebox and then down from the 5th teebox to the green below are severe. Later there is a severe elevation change up to the 15th green, across the par 3 16th hole and then up to the 17th teebox. The use of a buggy would be recommended.
The course is 6,288 / 5,858 and 5,149 yards respectively from the white, yellow and red tees.
There are 5 par 3s, 9 par 4s and 4 par 5s.
Water is in play on at least 9 of the holes with a few lateral water filled
ditches also awaiting the really wayward tee/approach shots.
The par 4s/5s have some stunning tee shots in prospect. Severe trouble awaits those who cannot drive straight'ish on a consistent basis. The course meanders on the low level from the 6th teebox through to the 15th teebox.
Unusually, the index 1 hole on the course is the long double dogleg 18th!
This is a high quality course which I strongly consider falls into the 'must play' category. It is in particular a high quality venue for a club/society away break.
The above said; all was not well with the condition of the course. Played in the 3rd week of March 2019 by a group of 20 Cherry Lodge Pistoleros on Sunday/Monday break; our group organiser was only informed on the Friday before our Sunday visit, that we would be using 4 temporary greens, ie the 4th, 5th, 13th and 15th holes. Reasons being that they had not recovered from winter weather damage. One of the greens OOU was their signature hole the downhill par 4 5th. The 4th green was being rebuilt. The 13th and 15th holes looked good visually but the reseeding apparently hadn't fully taken.
While winter/spring course conditions at all courses are at the mercy of the weather; and course maintenance regimes; what is not acceptable is that the problems with these 4 greens were not of an emergency nature and no reference to this was on the club website and our organiser was not informed in time to enable our group to cancel and find an alternative venue.
The absence of these 4 greens was a significant disappointment, especially for those members of our group who had not played the course before and had accepted the opinion of those who had already played it in choosing this venue ahead of other options.
Our group was on an inclusive deal of £99 for 2 rounds of golf, an evening 2 course carvery dinner, an overnight stay and breakfast. Evidently 80% of the £99 cost is applied towards the food and hotel accommodation element with only 20% applying to the 2 rounds of golf. The golf resort was obviously not prepared to put that proportion of revenue at risk!.
While the club/resort was not prepared to consider any cash refund in lieu of the inferior course condition, we did accept their offer of a free round of golf to be taken within the next 12 months.
This curtesy round was taken at the beginning of September 2019, however only 13 Pistoleros were able to take up the complimentary round!
The evening meal was a multiple choice main course carvery with options of having a starter/main; a main/pudding or even a starter/pudding. The roast turkey and ham was of high quality. The breakfast was the usual combination of cereals, continental or full english.
The twin rooms in the Alliss Suite were adequate but some of our group complained about the lack of air conditioning.
Tokens for the use of their driving range were provided as part of the deal, however, the range is short and only the use of irons was allowed.
The vfm for this off season break was excellent however prices for this type of deal rise significantly during the high summer season.
Well worth the visit
My first impressions were of a course that's just growing in stature, with lots of new hotel rooms being built alongside the 9th fairway. The facilities there are already impressive, with a huge spa, health club, and restaurants onsite. There was also a very pleasant welcome in the proshop, something that a few courses could learn from.
As for the golf course itself, with the greens having recently been treated I certainly didn't see it at its best. However, forgetting the greens on this occasion, the course is certainly lovely.
There are climbs to be made and wonderful views to be seen, and a large number of really great holes. There aren't really any bad holes, and none of the eighteen will feel the same as any of the others. The course is very fair and reasonably generous from the tee, although it's certainly not easy and there are a few holes which will require fairly tight drives or irons.
So, when there's a course on your bucket list and you arrange to play there, there is often a worry that you will be disappointed, not here, this course is superb! The layout meanders through rich, dense woodland and is a real test of golf for anyone.The first hole is a good indicator for the rest of the course, with a tight fairways and a quick green and it had been raining hard for few days.
Once past the second hole and over the first ridge, you are met with a beautiful and expanse of fairways, whereby you could easily be forgiven for thinking you are in Switzerland (seriously!). The next 'vista' is one I will remember for the rest of my golfing life.... we climbed to the white tees to see the view, not only of the fairway 100ft below but right across Hampshire and the New Forest. A view only matched in the UK by the 18th at Seaford Head. My oh my, I will be talking about that view for months, if not years! The rest of the course would not be out of place at either The Grove, Foxhills, Wentworth or Brocket Hall. it is excellent.
Designed by Peter Alliss and managed by his son Henry, you can a lot of love has been put into the course. However, the complex is as much a Hotel/Wedding venue as a golf venue, so don't expect to see thousands of excited golfers walking around (a la The Belfry) but you will be mingling with the odd 'outsider' but not enough to spoil your fun.
The Hotel itself is more than adequate but seems to suffer from an identity crisis, it's not sure whether it's a wedding venue/spa/nightclub or a golfers home from home.... I suspect the latter makes more money. However, for a four star hotel, I would expect some air conditioning in the rooms or the restaurant - I was sweating while eating my breakfast and not from too much alcohol the night before(?!). That said, none of the above should detract from what is a fantastic place to play golf and I look forward to playing there again sometime soon!
W O W........ W O W ...... W O W .............
3 Cheers & more for OLD THORNS on 5.2.2013: Spectacular, delightful, challenging, a must play & a must return course.
The winter sun/light added charm & warmth to this Peter Allis designed course (over 30 years old), always taking the natural surrounding landscape to its best. Just the name Peter Alliss means a touch of class & a well thought plan for the golfing game that we all so enjoy despite sometimes lower than expected scores. Why do we all think we should play like Scratch Players ? It is good to have expectations but even better to be realistic (maybe that a Forum subject to come?).
Today our 2 x 4 balls organised by the Master of 1st class deals, TSGer David S., we had the opportunity to sample this spectacular golf course with David's 2 for 1 vouchers ( thanks for that, I think I am your " golf groupie" by now).
I am sure you will have seen the numerous photos I posted hoping to tempt you to go & play OLD THORNS & read my "longish" review.
We had the golf course to ourselves apart from the Greenkeepers, yes it was winter so there were some (not many)boggy areas, but if one wants to play golf in UK, one should not grumble.
SCENERY: will take your breath away from the 1st Tee to the 18th & you know there is a challenge ahead of you. Pine & oak trees, rhododenrons, some goarse & brambles, all good for wildlife. I saw lots of green woodpeckers, duck & geese.
FAIRWAYS: incredibly well kept, lovely lush but well cut grass, hardly any divots. 1st cut: not too punishing even with the wet weather we had. There were some sloping ones, ondulating ones.
GREENS: excellent in design, superb even in wintery condtion, very fast& true.
WATER: comes into play on many holes (10 if I remember correctly) in form of attractive ponds or lakes, streams & ditches running across the fairways.
WAY FINDING: well sign posted, nice paths to next tee suitable for buggies & walkers, but I think sometimes the Tee box no. were not easily seen.
BUNKERS: lots of them, I counted 46, filled with lovely sand, some very deep (Gary C, had to play his wonderful shot @ the 14th on his knees - action photo on my profile). Only 1 bunker had standing water. Three holes do not have any bunkers as water or other natural traps are present for your enjoyment.
PRO SHOP: Friendly service to the visitors, good stock of golf goodies.
CLUBHOUSE/BAR: situated in a Starbuck franchise, with friendly service and a variety of food.
PRACTICE FACILITIES: present but did not have time to survey.
CHANGING ROOMS,etc: all very luxurious.
CAR PARK: huge & well laid out for golf/hotel/conference/restaurant/gym clientele
3rd, Par 4, 419 yds Yellow: uphill tee box in front of rhododendrons bushes (must be seen in Spring), with 3 large bunkers just in reach of incorrectly aimed drives on the right, descnding down to a fairly wide fairways leading to a sloping green with again 3 bunkers to get you to play with your wedges.
6th, Par 5, 525 yds Yellow: long dog leg right, a water filled ditch, sort of half way, leading to a lake on the right, then a long narrow approach to a sloping green. (I think I have described the 5th... but go and see fr yourself... as long as Peter Allyss does not read this review).
16th, Par 3, 131 yds Yellow: a short hole which plays long as the Green is uphill & I mean uphill, so if one does not get up there in one, one needs to be clever with the short game. Usual 3 bunkers guarding this difficult green.
17th, Par 5, 445 yds Yellow: fantastic views from a raised Tee box, a little valley, sloping left where cleverly placed bunkers await the bouncing or rolling golf ball, narrow fairway edged by water all along the right handside with a large pond at the end, 2 more bunkers to deal with.
Old Thorns Manor Hotel, Golf & Country Estate is very large complex where money spent seems no object, classy, stylish & innovative (the igloo style accommodation by the 9th, photo on my profile).
There are a few old houses, some very modern ones dotted around the scenic/peaceful estate, all with wonderful views and pobably a chance to do a few holes after paying golfers have gone home.
A must for golf and even better a weekend to truly appreciate all facilities.
THE END................ (I could go on, but I know some of you want to go and watch TV, as for me I do not find the time to sit down unless it is to create my review, & all the housework is still to be done).
Course with terrific views
It is my first time playing at Old Thorns and will really want to come back to play again! The course is difficult to play but one would really like all the different type of tasks.
Interesting course, though a lot better in the Summer
Having played here in the Summer some years ago I was keen to go back. Lot of new buildings sprung up since I last went, but course is still interesting. Though a lot of the fairways were quite boggy in places, hence it was playing long and there were no high scores in our group of eight. Also majority of the tee boxes were not marked, so slightly confusing as to whether playing the right hole sometimes? However, overall an enjoyable day and for what we paid it was good value and some very nice holes. Well worth a visit if you can get a deal.
Great all round
I will look forward to playing here in the summer. A great course, friendly helpful staff and a great all round practice centre and range.
Lovely course, great value for money, well recommended
Played Old Thorns on a 'Stay 1 night (DBB) & Play 2 games' package for £99 (booked direct with the hotel).
The hotel & clubhouse facilities are excellent.
Food was good enough (carvery or help yourself Indian/Chinese option) and everyone very friendly and helpful.
Course is very pretty, virtually every hole different, reasonably wide tree line fairways, good views over the surrounding countryside, greens big and well maintained (apart from the 1st!). Lots of bunkers and water to make you think and course in general well maintained (some fairways were a bit dry/burnt by the three weeks of scorching weather but you can't complain about that).
All in all, very nice course and excellent value for money (even aside from the stay & play option they accept various discount vouchers). Well recommended.
If there is a negative it's the fact that it's very popular and they operate an 8 minute tee which means it can get a bit clocked up (especially if you are behind a society)
OLD THORNS GC
A high quality course, with changes in elevation, shaping of holes, water features and very fast greens to challenge players of all levels - the yellows are manageable for mid handicappers. A lot of building work going on at present to upgrade hotel, clubhouse, pro shop etc - when it is finished I would expect the green fees to go up but for the time being there are some good deals to be had online. Just a couple of minutes off the A3. Recommended.
Excellent golf course - especially the par 4 from up the hill. Massive drop down to fairway.
Restuarant food a bit limited but better value in bar.
Very friendly people.
Enjoyed playing there - (drove the first over the trees if I remember - which always makes for a good day)
Ist time in years
I'm not going to spoil it by telling you much, but it was worth £25 and even better coz i won 1st 9 and overall. I will be posting another game there before the end of the year, infact 2 games