Golfing on the Isle of Wight
If you’re a golfer, then you may want to visit a golf club whilst you’re holidaying on the Isle of Wight, and you’d be spoilt for choice. We have seven golf clubs spread around the Island, in stunning locations, plus a driving range. You could even come on a golfing themed holiday and try out all of our courses.
The Island once boasted one of the very first links golf courses in the country, The Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club, at the Duver at St Helen’s. Many of the rules of golf were founded at this club, which sadly closed in 1961, but you can stay in the former golf pavilion, through the National Trust, to get in the golfing vibe. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/st-helens-duver/features/the-royal-isle-of-wight-golf-club-st-helens-duver
Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you’ll find a course that will suit your needs. We even have a floodlit driving range for practicing your drive after dark. The other good news is that most of these courses will be reopening, in some form, from March 29th 2021.
At Freshwater Golf Club “you can see the sea from every tee”. On the top Afton Down and Compton Down above Freshwater Bay, overlooking the English Channel and the chalk cliffs of Freshwater, this course has to be one of the most spectacular in the UK. This 18-hole seaside links style golf course is 5,725 yards long, par 69 which provides a challenge for golfers of all abilities.
The free draining chalk downland means that the course stays in great condition all year round and provides some of the best winter golf in the south of England. Owned by the National Trust, the land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as being a European Special Area of Conservation and is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
The course is blessed with ancient monuments which provide a special kind of hazard to the visiting golfer – the seventh fairway threads itself through two Bronze Age burial mounds hence the name Tumuli. www.freshwaterbaygolfclub.co.uk
Newport Golf Club is a golfers golf course, “built by Golfers for Golfers”, as they say on their website. This course is also on chalk downland, high above the Island’s capital of Newport, and surrounded by stunning views to the mainland to the north and across the undulating countryside that stretches out beneath its lofty perch.
Founded by the celebrated seismographic pioneer Professor John Milne, who lived in the Shide valley below, the course has been set out to make you think about every shot.
“We believe we have in our 5th followed by the 6th one of the best two back-to-back holes in Golf,” says their website. “The fact that it is only a nine-hole course should not cloud your thoughts, as the back 9 tee arrangement on some of the holes gives you further challenges and you get another opportunity to have a ‘crack’ at some of the others again,” they add. www.newportgolfclub.co.uk
Sandown and Shanklin Golf Club tumbles over a gently undulating landscape, and this beautiful parkland golf course features an interesting variety of both short and long holes. The 18-hole course measures 6,044 yards (from the white tees), par 70 for men and 5,495 yards, par 72 for ladies and is a challenging and enjoyable test for any level of golfer. The superb drainage makes play possible for 52 weeks of the year.
In June 2012, they were proud to have hosted the Hampshire County Championships, the 11th time the Championships have been held at Shanklin & Sandown. Only two other Hampshire courses have hosted the Championships more often. The Championships have been held on the Island 14 times – once at the Needles (1911) and three times at the Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club (St Helens Duver). www.ssgolfclub.com
Ryde Golf course is another parkland golf course on the outskirts of Ryde town, offering a warm welcome to golfers of all ages and levels of expertise. “Individuals or groups will discover an excellent 9-hole course layout with some alternate tees for the second-9, and one alternate green, providing 18 holes of challenging golf with a par of 70.
They have well kept, pacy greens and some tricky par-3s characterize this entertaining course, which provides a real challenge for golfers at all ability levels – especially in windy conditions.” www.rydegolfclub.co.uk
Cowes Golf Club is on the edge of Cowes, overlooking the Solent with fabulous sea views. It is a 9-hole, 18 tee, par 70 (5915 yard), private, parkland golf course designed by Hamilton Stutt in 1809. “Although only a nine-hole course, Cowes Golf Club has plenty of surprises and challenges wai
ting for you to tackle at every nook and cranny of the course. And, to keep the more discerning traditional golfer happy, it has alternative tees making it playable as an eighteen-holer for which it measures in excess of 6000 yards.”
Underestimate this course at your peril, they say, for it has made even the most experienced of golfers look like they had picked up their clubs for the first time. Their website is currently under construction but has the visitor tee reservation number: www.cowesgolfclub.co.uk
On Queen Victoria’s Osborne Estate, Osborne Golf Club was originally founded in 1892 by the 7th Duke of Richmond as a two-hole course. This was extended to nine holes in 1904 and was used by the officers who were billeted at Osborne and later by officers who came to convalesce here during and after the wars, such as A.A. Milne.
The 7th hole at Osborne, called The Elephant Bath, is one of the most interesting holes on the course. A challenging and long par 4 with a dog leg to the right, its biggest feature isn’t a natural one, but is the man-made bath for Queen Victoria’s pet elephant. And thereby hangs a tale. www.osbornegolfclub.co.uk
Westridge Golf Centre is a fully covered floodlit golf range to practice your game, with one Advanced PGA Professional, one PGA Assistant Professional and one Member of the Spanish PGA on hand to provide tuition for complete beginners all the way through to the most advanced golfers.
They have a challenging 9-hole Par 31 golf course measuring 2012 yards, which is currently under expansion to become an 18 hole Par 64 course measuring 4480 yards. The course itself is an easy walking layout but with a couple of tough signature holes. The second hole requires an accurate and long tee shot through the trees to open up a view of the green which dog legs sharply to the left.
If you can get through that hole with the scorecard still intact, then the 3rd hole provides one of the most daunting tee shots you will find in the south of England. A 232-yard Par 3 with gorse directly in front of the tee box and a tree on the left edge of the fairway, an accurate tee shot is a must if you want to make a par on this hole! www.westridgegolfcentre.co.uk
Ventnor Golf Club is the most southerly course, high above the town on Ventnor Downs with stunning views across the English Channel and the surrounding countryside. Founded in 1892 and designed by Tom Dunn, it is a downland links course.
It is unusual because it is a 12-hole course, with six of the 12 holes being played twice. Alternative tee boxes on two of these holes provide a variation on the way they are played.
The course length is around 5,700 ft, SSS 68 par 70, there are four par 3s, twelve par 4s and two par 5s, so something to suit everyone. www.ventnorgolfclub.co.uk