After celebrating its 125th anniversary last year, and with its two championship golf courses in stunning condition following recent renovations, there has never been a better time to visit Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club for an unforgettable society or corporate golf day
Choosing the perfect venue for a society or corporate day can be an arduous task. Having to look for championship golf course facilities, along with a quality food offering ready to cater for hungry golfers, is not easy to find, especially when looking for an easily accessible location.
Event organisers need look no further than Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club in Richmond – the only 36-hole quality venue in central London, less than a 20-minute train ride away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and located a few hundred yards from the A316 – one of the main routes in and out of south west London.
Founded 126 years ago, Royal Mid-Surrey occupies an historic area of royal parkland and shares a bend in the river with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. And few golf clubs have as much right to the ‘Royal’ prefix. Its historic connections with royalty go back to Plantagenet times, when Henry V’s monastery stood where the 14th and 15th holes of the JH Taylor course are now played. Royal status was bestowed on the club in 1926, when the then Prince of Wales was captain, and it was a cousin of Queen Victoria, the second Duke of Cambridge, who was the club’s first president.
Due to its regal connections Royal Mid-Surrey prides itself on welcoming guests from many other ‘Royal’ golf clubs, with last year’s 125thyear anniversary celebrations seeing 22 other Royal clubs, some from as far away as Australia, making the trip to take part in the festival of golfing and social events held throughout the summer.
The club boasts two superb championship courses, comprehensive practice facilities, extensive clubhouse facilities, and top-quality catering that can be tailored towards any specific group or party – making it the ideal venue for a society of corporate event.
Recent golf days held at Royal Mid-Surrey featured up to 80 golfers hosted by some of the UK’s top companies, sports clubs and business organisations. The Association of Golf Writers also teed it up recently before covering the BMW PGA Championship, the flagship event on the European Tour. “The praise for the course was universal – as was the welcome given,” said Peter Dixon, the AGW’s Captain of Golf.
36-HOLE CHAMPIONSHIP VENUE
Both 18-hole courses – the JH Taylor and the Pam Barton – have been upgraded in recent years to maintain the standards and challenges set by the legendary JH Taylor, a five-time Open champion and the club’s first professional in 1899, a role he held for 47 years.
The JH Taylor course is a beautiful par-69 parkland layout, which measures 6,402 yards off the white tees, and offers a real challenge for golfers of all abilities. With impressive views across to Kew Gardens and its spectacular Pagoda, the quality of the course was rewarded with the staging of the Men’s Surrey County Championships and the English Women’s Open Amateur Matchplay Championship last year.
The course benefitted from a £1.5m renovation at the hands of esteemed architects Thomson, Perrett & Lobb in 2014, which resulted in all 18 greens being re-laid to USGA specifications, ensuring excellent year-round putting surfaces, while the entire bunker system was also remodelled and restored to its former glory, adding to the aesthetic appeal, and increasing the challenge.
With 16 full-time greenkeepers, and a new fleet of Toro machinery, the courses are always presented in magnificent condition throughout the years.
Although not long by modern standards, there are only two par fives, and seven of the par fours are over 400 yards, while two of the par threes over 200, making this a course where accuracy and length are both at a premium. No sooner is this evident than the opening hole, a 225-yard par three played to a small green flanked by bunkers. The test continues as the next six holes wind their way through mature trees and the boundaries of Kew Gardens, whose magnificent pagoda can be seen in its full glory when playing up to the fourth green.
Things start to open out a little from the eighth – a long par three played over a pond – but clever cuts to the fairways, numerous well-positioned bunkers, and Taylor’s mischievous and ever-present humps, still reward a well-placed tee shot, and the consequence of not hitting your mark will often be at least a stroke.
Things do not get easier after the turn either, as the long par fours start to take their toll. The 10th and 12th are 442 and 458 yards respectively, while the closing four-hole stretch almost rivals Carnoustie’s tough finish. The 17th and 18th– which measure 423 and 405 yards respectively – and feature narrowing fairways, plenty of sand and raised greens, are particularly challenging holes that sweep gently uphill to the clubhouse to provide a suitably dramatic finish. This is certainly a course where a good score needs to be compiled early, and then bravely hung onto until you’re inside the safety of the clubhouse.
Although shorter than the JH Taylor course, the par-67 Pam Barton course – which is named after the longstanding member who dominated the ladies’ amateur game in the 1930s – is no pushover, with cleverly designed holes and smaller greens sure to test the best players’ course management skills. The Pam Barton is home to The Mothers & Daughters Open Competition and hosted the Junior Surrey County Championship in 2014.
Off the course, the club’s spectacular two-storey clubhouse is the perfect backdrop when completing your round.
Constructed in a modern style, but with a traditional feel, it provides members, guests and visitors with access to numerous bars and private rooms, each with a different ambience and charm.
With three private function rooms, the largest of which can accommodate up to 140 people, each area can be set-up for private dining and entertainment. Two of these rooms have panoramic views over the golf courses.
The club also hosts many non-golf related events in its banqueting facilities. The Shooting Stars Chase Luncheon (120 guests), the Victoria Foundation Annual Ball (130 guests) and the Small Steps Charity Ball (140 guests) have all recently held events at the venue.
“All of our guests very much enjoyed the venue, quality of the food and the speaker,” said Lorna Votier of the Victoria Foundation. “The evening ran very smoothly due to the fabulous organisation and support from all the staff,” she added.
GOLF NEWS SPECIAL OFFER
Golf News readers can book a special summer society package, starting from £100 per person, to include:
- 18 holes on JH Taylor Course
- Daily special or hamburger
- Pint of beer or glass of wine
Minimum groups size is 12+ golfers
All enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 940 1894.
Source: Golf News Course Reviews