44 reviews of Old Thorns Hotel Golf and Country Club
We came for the weekend and my expectations were not high. I'd read previous reviews and, although mainly positive, the place sounded rather 'plastic fantastic' for my liking. It was very much as expected but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the course. It certainly gets wet here and has far too much artificial nonsense about it but the laying I thought to be excellent. That said, if in the area and you want to experience a real course I strongly suggest Liphook. Old Thorns, whilst good, doesn't even come anywhere close to being in the same bracket as it.
just returned from a corporate stay and play golf and have been to this course twice before and found the hotel and golf course to be excellent with good service throughout, as others have said this is a fairly hilly course and does take some strenuous walking to get round, unfortunately and this is the bad bit we were not allowed to take the buggies off the paths and this completely ruined our day as the paths are a good distance fromthe actual fairways meaning 40/50 yard walks with clubs various for each shot and back to the buggy, it is nonsense for a course of this stature as driving through the rough or 90 degree across the fairways is normal for higher quality courses than this one, mine included, and then to be told to hurry up by the course marshal, beware walk if you can the paths will drive you mad, otherwise a great venue with lovely holes.
We had a weekend here in June 2012 with 12 golfers. The value (we booked through an online agent) was great for two nights in the hotel and three rounds of golf. The course is quite hilly and the walks between tees is sometimes a bit longer than you would fancy however the buggies are only £30 and seemed to be readily available. The course is probably one of the best I have ever played and this was repeated throughout the society members. Lots of elevation changes and some well placed trees, bunkers and water. Other reviews have suggested this course is not so good for higher handicap players but I would disagree as I think this course has a challenge to offer any golfer. Everyone has mentioned the 5th Hole which is exceptional however there are others which are almost as good. The par 3's are interesting and the layout is very good, there is never a sense of 'up and down' golf. 17 & 18 were among my favourites as they are great ways to finish the course and with higher handicap players maybe getting a shot on the better golfers, these can be result changers in close matches!
The hotel was very good, the rooms are standard for twin rooms. There are a number of bars and restaurants although we were ushered to the same place for dinner both nights and were forced to eat from the carvery. Whilst it was ok (carverys tend to be pretty similar) we did feel we would have liked the option of something else. The hotel is very sprawling and has a corporate feel about it - conferences and weddings take as much priority as the golf and the place is very busy but the bar prices were not unreasonable and the staff all very attentive.
I feel that I have to balance my good review with some negative points and I am struggling. The only comment made by our group was that one hole had a temproary tee box which was awful - you couldnt get a tee in it anywhere...and the staff in the pro-shop were a little on the frosty side.
I would recommend this place highly and will definitely be going back in the future.
My partner (handicap 23)and I (9)stayed and played at the weekend and just loved the course. Unfortunately, the greens were poor but it's early in the season so hopefully these will come back. As others have mentioned the best of the course is at the beginning and end. It has some fabulous views and is therefore not an easy walk although buggies are not essential. It has some fine holes - the par 3s are a good test - and some hohum holes but overall this is an enjoyable course and well worth the visit. The hotel was corporately large but the room was excellent and we found the staff accommodating and welcoming. I wouldn't hesitate to return.
I recently returned from a golf break at Old Thorns Manor and I have to say it was excellent in every department. The hotel is stylish and comfortable and the service, food and leisure facilities are top drawer. Although the hotel was a big part of the trip it takes a back seat when you consider the quality of the golf course!
The golfing gods were kind to us when we played and we enjoyed this picturesque woodland course in brilliant sunshine...even if the air was a little on the cold side! The elevation changes are the main feature of the course and they make for a thoroughly entertaining round from start to finish. A great example comes at the par 4 5th which is played from a dramatically elevated tee...an exciting hole to say the least! The par 3s are all fantastic as well. This is just one of many highlights around this Peter Allis designed gem...a course that I have already enquired about returning to play in the summer!
I booked my break with yourgolftravel.com and got a night in the hotel with unlimited rounds of golf for £99! Such good value and as usual great service...I will certainly be booking with them again!
Recently took the short trip up from portsmouth,3 of us, and first impressions were very good. The pro in the pro shop that served us seemed rude and seemed like he was looking down his nose at us which made us feel very uncomfortable. The course its self though is immaculate, picturesque holes and fast greens, just a beautiful course. we also got held up by a fourball who were members/society, they didnt let us play through but im sure if it was the other way round they may of had something to say. and at one point 2 of us got told to tuck or t-shirts in that had become a bit loose. Overall nice course but the staff and society members dont make you feel very welcome, Its like they dont want 'outsiders' on their course.
A group of us (20 in total)go away each autumn for 2 nights DBB and 3 rounds of golf. This year we chose Old Thorns. Given the spread of handicaps we felt the course was too challenging but even for the lower handicap players it was a struggle. The greens were the main problem not because they were badly maintained but because they were not just fast but also because very few holes were cut on the level making putting a game of chance. It was not uncommon for a reasonable putt to see the ball miss the hole and end up off the green. This is a course one needs to play a lot of rounds on to get to know and therefore not a good choice for small societies of mixed ability.
We had a bad experience with the Pro Shop over buggies. Buggies cannot be reserved in advance but we were told that was not a problem as they had plenty and have never run out. On our last day they did run out as they let all the buggies to a larger society and appeared unconcerned at letting us down.
We were also disappointed with the hotel. The accommodation was very good but the service was slow.
I was very disappointed with our last visit, the unfriendly pro added a £5 " administration fee " for ou 2-4-1 vouchers for EACH player.The course was good the greens were total garbage due to hollow tining we were not informed before palying. Never will return to the rip off old thorns.
We played on a wet Sunday in mid February and it was a mixed experience. The over riding conclusion was that this is NOT a winter course. There had clearly been a lot of rain in the area but the course drainage could not handle it - I promise I am not exaggerating when I say that 80% of the course was covered in standing water. We spent the whole round with water around our shoes.
Which was a shame because I liked the layout of the course and there were some very good holes, in particular the first six which roll through some attractive heathland, and the view from the fifth tee was spectacular. The middle third of the course felt a little crammed in, with several holes in close proximity, but were well laid out around the lakes and gulleys. As you rise back up the hill towards the clubhouse for the final five the trees creep in again and the character returns.
Considering the condition of the course I felt a little aggrieved at the £32 green fee, and would have appreciated being told before playing that almost all the men's tees were playing from the Ladies markers.
Clearly a lot of work has gone into the resort and of the course the facilities are excellent. The clubhouse/hotel/health spa did lack a golf club feel but the bar and restaurant were very good.
I would like to return to Old Thorns in the summer because I think the conditions on the day didn't do it justice. I enjoyed the look and feel of the course and would like to play the full length in good condition.
This course is a mish mash of the very good, the ordinary, and the bizarre.
The very good - the 3rd, 18th are great par 4's. The view off the tee on the 5th is also pretty awesome
The ordinary - most of the holes run alongside each other and feel crammed in. The 6th hole with out of bounds on both sides is a very poor hole - and very dangerous when you are playing the parallel par 5 coming back, having to dodge wayward drives.
The bizarre - some ridiculous greens. A silly short par 4 (15), steeply uphill to a comedy two tier green. The 16th is equally tough, although at least you can see the pin - just don't aim at it, otherwise you will end up 150 yards down the next hole.
I have played at lot better courses than this
WE PLAYED THIS COURSE IN SEPTEMBER WITH GOOD WEATHER CONDITIONS.
THE COURSE WAS GOOD AND IN GOOD CONDITION. HOWEVER, THE SAME COULD NOT BE SAID FOR THE FOOD OR THE MANAGEMENT. WE PAID £6.00 FOR AN OVERCOOKED BACON ROLL WITH A CUP OF TEPID COFFEE. £9.00 FOR 3/4 OF A ROUND OF SANDWICH AND HALF A BOWL OF TINNED TOMATO SOUP, LOOK OUT GORDON RAMSEY YOUR JOB COULD BE ON THE LINE!!!!!.
WHEN WE TRIED TO DISCUSS THIS WITH THE MANAGEMENT, OUR CALLS WERE NEVER RETURNED AND REFUSED POINT BLANK THAT THEY WOULD NOT REUND US ANY MONIES.
THIS GOLF CLUB HAD 8 SOCIETIES PLAYING THIS SAME DAY, GREED,GREED AND MORE GREED!!!!!!.
IF YOU DO DECIDE TO PLAY THIS COURSE, PLEASE TAKE A PACK LUNCH AND AVOID ASKING ANY QUESTIONS TO THE MANAGEMENT OF THIS ALLEGEDLY OUTSTANDING HOTEL AND GOLF CLUB.
You have to keep in mind that it was only £32 a round so it would be unfair to judge it on the same criteria as something twice the price. Having said that for the money it is a bit of a bargain. Not long but well designed in places, 1-5 and 16-18 are the stand out holes the ones between are ok but nothing too memorable. Greens were well presented and on the whole the fairways were not too bad, could do with some water and weeding in places but acceptable at this price.
There are however some observations that I think Old Thorns need to take on board if they wish to become a premier golf break destination. On the course: the cart paths need some serious attention in places full of potholes that are bordering on dangerous. The greenside fringes need looking at, too many weeds and some of the tee-boxes are not exactly flat. Lastly they need to be careful about how many four-balls they let play at weekends (I'd personally ban it). Don't chase the money by flooding the course with as many punters as you can, people will come once but will think twice about coming again if they are having to endure 5+ hour rounds.
Off Course: I cannot see where you will fit it in but you need a bigger drving range. A driving range where you cannot use a driver is a bit of a contradiction and 4 bays for a complex this size is not really good enough, good quality balls though.
On the whole I enjoyed the course, the new building works look classy and the welcome in the proshop was friendly, I'd go back.
I recently returned to Old Thorns after a break of several years and my first impressions upon entering the car park were not great as the whole site is in the process of a major redevelopment and currently resembles a building site.
My fears were unfounded however as far as the golf is concerned as the course is absolutely superb as it winds it's way up & down a deeply wooded valley amongst a vaste pine forest.
The course makes great use of the terrain and hides it's relatively short yardage with carefully placed bunkers, tree lined fairways and some vicious climbs which probably explains why most people choose one of the many buggies available.
The overall condition of the course was very good with just a few patches of fairway needing some water but of particular note were the greens which were beautifully presented and contained some very subtle borrows.
We walked the course on a baking hot Sunday afternoon in June and it was quite demanding but the views, the occasional downhill hole and the overall effect of this beautiful course more than compensated.
My only criticism would be the 8th & 9th holes which are flat and fairly plain compared to the rest of the course but it appears that some building work is going on in the forest so perhaps there are plans to replace them.
We paid £30 each on a special offer advertised on their website which was superb value for a summers weekend although most people would opt for a buggy as mentioned which would push the price up somewhat.
As far as the building work goes, it is now well underway and represents a major expansion of the site to become, potentially, one of the best Golf & Country Clubs in the area.
I sincerely hope that this expansion does not spoil what is one of the finest examples of woodland golf courses I have seen.
p.s. the score for off course facilities is likely to improve significantly once the building work is completed!
I have played Old Thorns a few times over the years and have always enjoyed myself there and encouraged friends and people who have mentioned the course to go visit. I saw the latest "Winter Warmer" offer they recently advertised and thought I would take advantage of it so booked to play for myself and 7 friends.
The weather had not been particularly kind to us on the run up to our visit, and as such I phoned the course to ask about conditions and was told that it was holding up very well. It was suggested that I should ring first thing on the morning of our visit to confirm that the course was open, which I did.
I was told that "yes, the course is open, the greens are superb but it is a bit boggy in places". Based on what I was told, I rang my friends to let them know it was "game on" and proceeded to drive the 90 miles or so to the course. As it turned out, what an absolute waste of time, effort and money.
The course could only be described as a paddy field. It was absolutely sodden and should never have been open. Admittedly, for the prevailing conditions the greens were superb. But unfortunately there was another 6,000 plus yards of other greenstuff that hadn't been taken into account when the decision was made to open the course that morning. Most of the bunkers were full (and I mean FULL) of water, so deep you could have rowed boats in them. If you had gone into one, you would never have been able to find your ball, let alone take relief. If you tried to take relief from casual water (even in the middle of the fairways) you could find yourself walking 50 yards or more to try to find a relatively "dry" (and I use the term loosely) piece of grass to drop onto. How can a course be "playable" when it is like that? I don't mind playing in the rain, have done it many times but this was downright dangerous. I have many happy memories of playing Old Thorns in the past, it's just a shame that a good course like this can put revenue above all other priorities.
I played this one as part of a society over 2 days. A greal deal price-wise as the course, hotel and restaurant really are fantastic. The hotel staff were also first class.
But back to the course and I loved it. Very tight and testing at times. It then opens enough to make you feel like going for it before it snaps tight again. Incredible views, lots of water (that seems to draw yr ball to it like a magnet lol) and very fast greens.
Luckily, I had 2 days. Playing a course for the 2nd time round and knowing what to expect make a diff game altogether (thank god!!).
(It also gives you chance to enjoy the sauna and swimming pool ;)
Very enjoyable weekend overall, great golf course and good bar staff.
A very picturesque parkland course, with many holes set in mature conifer and deciduous woodland; other holes have dominant water features and there is also a gorse/heathland feel on some holes. The more spectacular holes are those on the hillier part of the course.
Lush, well maintained fairways, excellent large and interesting greens.
I was quite surprised that off the yellow tees the SSS was 3 shots below the par as I felt several of the holes were quite tricky, particularly in terms of finding the fairway off the tee. The low SSS might be due to the course not being especially long.
Only payed £15 for a midweek round using a discount scheme, which represented amongst the best value for money golf I have come across.
the course itself is definately one that should be played. fantastic challenge and condition with amazing scenery. some very nice holes indeed. however, the one thing that let it down was the 5 and a half hour round even in buggies. waiting on nearly every tee. played on a sunday afternoon and traveled quite far to play, so felt a little dissapointed. maybe a bit of course management is required. this was the only downside as it seem to effect everyones game. think we will go back, but not at a busy time.
Played here on a Sunday afternoon and things did not bode well when we were advised that play was running a little late. Staff were very apologetic and did consider whether it would be appropriate for us to start at the 10th although they ultimately decided against this. On arrival at the first tee we discovered that our start time was double booked.
Two days of steady rain had left the course saturated with lots of surface water on the fairways which contributed along with the delayed start to quite a tedious five hour slog.
There are some outstanding holes, the 15th and 16th in particular providing a dramatic finish towards the end of a round but equally the 8th and 9th bordered by housing and small industrial units do not provide a sense of being at a "country club."
Shop around for the best deal if playing here. We played on a two for one deal which cost £30 on a Sunday afternoon. The group ahead of us played on a winter warmer deal also £30 which included a carvery meal to follow!
really enjoyed my recent 3 day trip to Old Thorns.The course was in excellent condition and a pleasure to play,even though there was alot of people playing each day.The food was also impressive though alittle pricey.On the whole i couldnt fault it except the lack of evening entertainment but thats just a personal thing.
Played here over a weekend after a very damp spell, as a consequence it was incredibly wet underfoot with lots of casual water making the course play very long.
The view from the fifth tee as has been said before is worth the green fee on its own. A quality course with many nice holes, quite hilly with some fairly long walks between holes.
I will definitely return hopefully during a drier period.
We had a cracking deal through golf breaks at £110 dinner bed and breakfast and two rounds.
To cap it all Peter Aliss was in the bar when we came in from our first round!
Played Old Thorns on the 27/1/07. I had heard good things about the course and it didn't upset. Some absolutley stunning views (5th hole) and some very well designed holes which may take some thinking on your club selection.
The course is a little pricey but superb value on a 2 for 1 voucher.
The fairways and general condition of the course was superb. Although the greens has just been spiked, they still ran true.
I would definatly recommend this course. Easily in the top 3 of Hampshire courses that i have played, Hayling Island being another favourite.
The front 9 i would say is the better 9, but overall a must play course.
Played course for the third time 21st Oct, what a difference from the previous time 6 weeks previously. The earlier time was dry and I scored 31 points off 18, this time wet and scored less than 18.
We (a four ball) played using 2for1 so £30 each - very good value at that.
Used the sometimes criticised 'Driving Range' beforehand. Only 200 yardsish long and you're restricted to irons - fine for me.
Had mega value £4 ham sandwich beforehand - beef not ready still being cooked!
If you are dithering over using a buggy - opt for buggy. The walk up to 3rd tee is knackering, you can test the walk beforehand if you wish cos 2nd green is near first tee.
The front five and last four are the best holes especially the fifth which has been extended since most of the comments below were made. My other favourites being 3rd, 16th and 17th. Tip when walking off the fourth green look at the green to your right for pin position - its the very short dogleg uphill 15th and its impossible to see the pin position when you are playing the hole itself.
BIG DOWNSIDE - Water - there's a lot of it as intended hazards but its doesn't take much rain for puddles to start appearing in bunkers notably the 10th (the smaller bunker was full of water, impossible to take a drop within the bunker) and parts of fairways to resemble marsh ground. Also, pretty unforgiveably for a 'modern' course puddles were starting to appear on greens on the cramped part of the course holes 6 - 14. What did you do there Peter Alliss??
The Apres-golf is good - 2 choices of changing facilities (for men) one with Japanese communal 9single sex) bath. Loads of space for eating/drinking inside and out. The spike bar even has leather armchairs.
I am not a member at Old Thorns but if we had a better climate or they ever sort out their drainage issues I could well be. To quote Arnie 'I'll be back' hopefully in fine weather.
An excellent gold day. Easy to find from A3, extremely friendly staff in pro shop, bar and on course (never seen green staff clear green so fast as you approach.) Course in awesome condition despite the recent rain and provides a tough challenge combined with amazing views. A little on the pricey side but excellent value with 2 for 1 voucher. Cant recommend strongly enough. Only down side, shattered when finished (but that could be me being unfit)
I have just recently played this course for the british heart foundation and the only word that I can use to sum up this course is amazing.
The Course was is in very good condition and a very challenging course for high handicapers like myself (although i didn't perform to poorly)and we couldn't of picked a better day for golf and were very lucky with the weather a very much enjoyed day out. A bit expensive though. I recommend this course very highly.
Disappointing. The hotel is tired although the food was good - it looked expensive but you got a lot (and quality) for your money. The course is short and fairly challenging and the greens were good (despite some of them being treated during our second round). However the fairways were very ropey - maybe they haven't got an irrigation system but they were much worse than anything else I have played recently. The Pro Shop is poor and unfriendly and you are not allowed to use woods on the driving range. We had a good package playing Sunday and Monday but I definitely wouldn't want to pay full whack to play this course.
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