Recent Times

Walton Heath continues to attract top amateur and professional tournaments alike

Many of its traditional counterpart courses fail to provide either the facilities or the appropriate challenges for today's golfers and accompanying technology.

Walton Heath's two championship courses now stretch to 7,351 yards on the Old Course and 7,165 yards on the New Course from the back purple tees. This is a tough test for the World's top golfers - particularly when the wind blows and the exposed heathland course perched at 660 feet above sea level bears its very individual teeth.

Since the honour of hosting the 1981 Ryder Cup and the European Open for several years in the period following, the club has hosted a number of top amateur events including;

 1997   Golf Illustrated Gold Vase  Winner  Mark James
 1998    English Ladies Close Amateur   Winner  Elaine Ratcliffe
   Golf Illustrated Gold Vase   Winner  Rupert Rea
 1999  England v Spain  England 16  Spain 8
   British Mid Amateur   Winner  John Kemp
   Golf Illustrated Gold Vase  Winner  Mark Side
 2000    Ladies British Open Amateur  Winner  Rebecca Hudson
   Golf Illustrated Gold Vase  Winner  John Kemp
 2001  Golf Illustrated Gold Vase   Winner  James Heath
 2002  English Amateur   Winner  Richard Finch
   Golf Illustrated Gold Vase   Winner  Andrew Inglis
 2003  Varsity Match Centenary  Oxford 10  Cambridge 5
 2005   Ladies British Open Mid Amateur  Winner  Lisa McGowan

The Golf illustrated Gold Vase for many years was a top challenge on the amateur golf circuit in England and this event was customarily held at Walton Heath. Following the merger of Golf Illustrated magazine into Golf Weekly within the wider stable of Golf World, this event was last held in 2002 when again Walton Heath played host.

The Board at Walton Heath was keen to see its heritage of top class amateur competition retained and instigated the South of England Open Amateur Championships as a fitting top quality replacement for the Gold Vase. In its first year the event attracted strong commercial sponsorship from AIG and heralded a new champion in the form of local star player, Ross McGowan as its first winner in 2005. McGowan plays at both Banstead Downs and Walton Heath.

In 2005, McGowan beat of much of the stiff competition in the second year of the event with the Michael Lunt trophy eventually being taken by one of the country's finest amateurs in recent years, when Gary Wolstenholme won on the second extra hole after his 276 stroke 72 hole tie with Mc Gowan.

The US Open regional qualifier for Europe being held at Walton Heath annually from July 2005 has again raised the profile of Walton Heath on the World stage. The field of around 50 players engage in a 36 hole stroke play competition for 8 available places. Michael Campbell earned one of the qualifying spots available in 2005 from which he went on less than two weeks later to win his first ‘Major' at Pinehurst. In the trophy cabinets at Walton Heath is a signed flag from Pinehurst as a gift from Campbell thanking the members at the club.

In the 2006 US Open qualifier, the 31 year old Dutch Professional Maarten Lafeber was not only top qualifier earning his place in the main event at Winged Foot Golf Club, but managed to break the Walton Heath Old Course record with a crowd pleasing 64. The event is an annual rare opportunity for golfing enthusiasts to watch many of Europe's top players at close quarters with clear views in what might be termed as a traditional manner.

More information about forthcoming tournaments at Walton Heath can be found in the tournament section along with detailed results from recent year's events.