Walton Heath was founded in 1903, and opened with an exhibition match between the legendary Triumvirate of Harry Vardon, J.H.Taylor and James Braid. Braid was the Club's first professional and remained in that role until his death in 1950. The course was designed by Herbert Fowler, and over the years his courses have hosted numerous big events including the European Open and the 1981 Ryder Cup said to feature the greatest American team ever assembled.
In Volume 1 of The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, Tom Doak writes that.
“I must confess that I always used to hedge my rating of Walton Heath out of respect for Ken Macpherson, the pro emeritus now, who was so helpful to me in my year overseas thirty years ago. But the stubborn nature of the golf makes it a hard course to grow fond of, and I must confess it took me many years to appreciate its subtleties. A strong breeze in your face for the outward holes is the start of a special day of golf, for it will not only make the two-shotters going out stern tests, but it will make controlling the approaches on the incoming holes more difficult, as there are several greens which slope away from the line of play a la Garden City. The heather is the thickest here at any of the London courses, so the setting can be beautiful or bleak depending on how closely you are admiring the plants. I still haven’t found the same love for the New course, but I’ve learned enough from the Old not to underestimate Mr. Fowler’s genius.”
The Old Course at Walton Heath received a score of 8 out of 10 from Tom Doak and two of his co-authors. The New Course scored two 6s and one 5 out of 10 score.
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