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“An unmissable

Reviews & Testimonials

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Course & CLUB Reviews

New visitors to Hampstead Golf Club invariably comment about two things during their time at the Club – the exceptional golf course and the charming clubhouse. This has been true for almost a century.

One of the all-time great golf writers, Bernard Darwin, wrote in 1936 that HGC “is now one of the most venerable of London courses” and the course offers “a very pleasant afternoon in a most engaging oasis”, while three-time Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton once said of HGC that if you could play to your handicap on its 9 holes, then you can play anywhere. Modern-day reviewers call it “a real gem” and “an unmissable treat”.

The clubhouse is the perfect partner to the course – its one large room and bar with impressive fireplace, open-beam ceiling and friendly atmosphere make it unique among other North London golf clubs. It consistently rates highly with guests. Such glowing testimonials from visitors are also supported by current Club members. Read on…

Golf & Travel magazine correspondent, circa 2000

“For me, Hampstead Golf Club is best described as an exquisite series of surprising contradictions. Its course is relatively short at 5,822 yards from the back tees, but its main challenges are the three long par 4s that play even longer than their yardage on the scorecard. The Club appears to be a quiet place where rolling up and hitting your first shot with no queue on the 1st tee or certainly without booking ahead is part of its charm, whereas behind the scenes it’s very busy with constant improvements to the course (as well as the bar menu!) and a raft of clubhouse social events being planned there all the time. And it’s only a handful of miles from the hustle and bustle of the city of London and yet, when you’re walking up to the 5th green or hitting an approach from the 7th fairway, you could be in the middle of the countryside. My understanding of why Hampstead is such an attractive place to play golf is incomplete, but I don’t care because I’m happy in my ignorance.”, circa 2008

“A serious challenge…Looks easy on paper, but is not so on the course…Hampstead is well inside the boundary of London, but you have an instant feeling of calm and well-being…It’s hard to believe there is such a great golf club in the heart of London…the course is a real test…the course is a real gem

Golf Chronicle, circa 2019

“Hampstead is an historically important…golf club. And before anybody exits London in search of the great intellectual (golf) challenges of the Surrey Sand Belt they would be wise to play Hampstead and acquire a rounded perspective of early inland golf…Hampstead is very likely to prove to be the future model of good club golf in an urban setting.”

“Not far from London, Hampstead Golf Club offers terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. Well-groomed fairways and greens keep Hampstead Golf Club difficult yet friendly, and the staff can offer tips and tricks for playing your best round. Hampstead Golf Club is a terrific choice for your regular rounds of golf or a new destination for you and friends when visiting London.”

“The second hole is one of the longest and most difficult par 4’s I have ever played and if the wind is against you then most people should play the hole as though it were a par 5. The beauty of this course is in its layout, with the long holes that test a player’s driving abilities being followed by tight par 3’s that really put pressure on a golfer’s short game. The surrounding views of Hampstead and the remarkable houses that border the course are reason enough to part with your green fee, but to find a course like this so close to the centre of London would be viewed as being an unmissable treat for anyone who can appreciate a well thought out course.”

Bernard Darwin - course review from 1936

“These Hampstead nine holes are not particularly short. At three of them, the ordinary mortal is likely to be playing his second shot with a wooden club and at one of them (Ed – I’m guessing the 7th!) I will bet him a daring half-crown the doesn’t not get up in two…they will give the gentlemen who has dashed away from his work just in time for a round a comforting sensation of having opened his shoulders and had some real exercise…I like the second where we play a good long second to a green in something of a nook…when we do reach the greens, we have putting as smooth and true as anyone can desire…a very pleasant afternoon in a most engaging oasis.”


Patrick Nolan - Member since 1995

“My favourite aspect of the course is how challenging it is. I love hearing people who have never played it say “it’s too short” or they complain “it’s only 9 holes”.  But if there are three more challenging par 4’s than the 2nd, 6th and 7th in the same nine, then I’ve yet to play them. Oh…and watching how the course’s critics then struggle on HGC is invariably lots of fun!”

Paul Sorrentino - Member since 2017

“When I recently hosted a good friend for a day of golf at HGC, he looked at the scorecard and his first reaction was: “This should be pretty easy.”  I told him he wouldn’t shoot his handicap and, of course, he didn’t. Errant tee shots make for very difficult seconds on many holes. Well-placed bunkers protect the greens really well and capture wayward tee shots just off the fairways. Even a ball in the fairway on the 5th, 7th or 9th can lead to a very tricky second shot given some of the large trees that narrow the fairways. Plus, the course is always improving, like the new 3rd green which has made it even better than when I joined.”


Over the past 125 years and more, HGC members have developed a special relationship with their unique club. 

Here are some recent examples of what the club means to them:

Michael Zhang - Member since 2018

“My family moved to the area in 2018 and discovered this great golf club only 20 minutes from our house. We were warmly greeted on our first visit and liked the fact that the Club had a large number of junior and beginner members as well as great coaching facilities – this was perfect for my son, who started golf only a year earlier.

Not so long after we joined, we were invited to play in a 9-hole Scramble for all the new members with a free lunch and tea afterwards! And I love the clubhouse, always full of lively chatter and often the smell of an English breakfast being cooked for me in the kitchen.

As new members, we never felt like “individuals” at the club. Whenever other members see you playing by yourself, they gladly come over and invite you to join them regardless of your handicap. I made many good friends very quickly and HGC community is as familiar as home.”

Chii Steinhouse - Member since 2018

“In the two years since I became a member of Hampstead Golf Club, I have received the warmest welcome from Lady Captain, Captain, the other members and the lovely staff. I was a complete beginner but that did not deter the ladies’ section from stoically playing with me and enthusiastically praising the few shots that did not disappear in the thicket. The Captains work tirelessly to create an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie. I am so pleased to be a member of HGC.”

Paul Sorrentino - Member since 2017

“My first impression of HGC was that of great hospitality.  My family and I had recently moved to the area from the US.  I called the club to inquire about coming up to play as a non-member.  I was greeted by the friendly voice of the club GM, Mark Smith, who invited me up to play.  After the round, I remember Mark’s words, ‘You’ll be back.’  He was right – the club quickly became my home away from home.”

Pam Nolan - Member since 2018

One of my concerns when I first joined was playing in competitions, but the HGC environment was so friendly and the members were so very helpful in teaching me how to score the various competitions, that I felt at home very quickly. I’m so happy to have found such a lovely golf community.

Jane Christian - Member since 2015

“I joined Hampstead as a beginner back in 2015, after having lessons at the club for the previous year. I work full time, so can only usually play at weekends. I found the weekend cohort an incredibly friendly and welcoming group who are now firm friends. We may only have 9 holes, but the course is always a challenge! I particularly enjoy the mixed events and trips away each year.”

Stanley Peacock - Member circa late 1970s to 2016

“Stanley was a single handicap player who applied to join HGC at a time when new members had to play nine holes with a couple of committee members before obtaining acceptance. Stanley sadly died in 2016, but his son John-William, who was also an HGC member for many years, remembers this story that illustrates how potential members need not be nervous or overawed. ”My father was chief executive of the Burberrys clothing brand when he applied to join HGC and had never played the course before. When he came to his second shot on the 9th, he struck a fairway wood that clattered onto the clubhouse roof and fell back down onto the grass where members were having drinks! He was sure that his application was now in ruins, but typical of HGC, he was accepted with a smile and had a wonderful time at Hampstead for almost 40 years!”

Patrick Nolan - Member since 1995

“I always regard HGC as a little piece of heaven amidst the hustle and bustle of London life”

Kirsty Sandwell - Member since 1982

“Like many people, I came to golf relatively late having steadfastly resisted for many years. I was inspired by my best friend of over 20 years who qualified for the European Disabled Golf Association Individual Championships. With typical enthusiasm I took a week off work, bought a set of golf clubs and looked for a club nearby.  Knowing that if golf was going to fit in with my hectic work schedule it needed to be close by, friendly and have a good women’s section. My research led me to Hampstead.  When I came to visit, the club was friendly and incredibly encouraging of me being new to golf. After joining I played a few nine holes with some very patient members, full of encouragement. The tea, cake and crumpets in the cosy clubhouse when I got back has always been my reward. Joining Hampstead has meant more than the Sunday weekend Stableford.  It’s been an opportunity to meet amazing people, laugh, have weekends away, enjoy homemade cake, the infamous Hampstead wrap & the odd gin and tonic all against a backdrop of what feels like Hampstead’s secret garden. If you are looking for a down-to-earth friendly golf club to support you as you learn the game, then join us.”

Martin Nicholls - Member since 1982

“The joy of HGC starts in the car park when you are greeted by the architecturally-pleasing clubhouse. Then, there is the course with its undulating green swathes where lie some very cleverly-placed hazards that, if played strategically and sensibly can enable you to score quite well. However, momentary lapses of concentration, coupled with a club golfer’s natural desire to play at a level beyond his or her norm can bring about the harsh reality of playing above one’s handicap on a regular basis!”

Britt Gustawsson - Member since 2017

“I love Hampstead Golf Club. The course is beautiful, all the various trees in all colours of the rainbow, the cosy club house and the wonderful members made me feel very welcome from day one. And best of all, it is close to home.”

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