Hayling Golf Club Review [Best Links Course In The South?]

One of the purest forms of golf, a links golf course is about as classic as it gets in terms of golf. So when I found a great links course on Hayling Island in the South of England, I knew I had to give it a play. Hayling Golf Club is one of the premier links golf courses on the South Coast and is somewhere that all golfers can enjoy.

Designed by one of the best golf course architects of the era, it has amazing features and is the only true links course in the area.

Here’s a quick review of Hayling Golf Club so that you have a better idea of whether it’s a golf course for you.

Let’s get into it a find out a little more about Hayling Golf Club.

Hayling Golf Club Review

Hayling Golf Club Review

Our Rating

Overall [4.3/5]
Course Design/Layout
Course Difficulty
Course Conditions
Green Conditions
Pace Of Play
Practice Facilities
Food & Drink
Value For Money

Course Information

Links Lane, Hayling Island, Hampshire. Opened in 1883.

18 Holes Course | Par 71 | 6529 Yards | Links



Set on the southern part of Hayling Island, which is just over the water from neighbouring Portsmouth, Hampshire. Technically an island, Hayling is surrounded by sea and looks out onto The Solent and Isle of Wight on one side and the Witterings and Selsey Bill on the other.

With one road on and off the Island, some days it can be a real nightmare in terms of traffic, especially on those warm beach days in the Summer.

A lovely part of the world, this seaside links golf course has one of the finest locations for golf in the UK with spectacular sea views.

Hayling Golf Club Green Fees

Visitor (Mon – Thurs)£100
Visitor (Fri – Sun)£120

Hayling Golf Club Scorecard

Hayling Golf Club Scorecard

Image source: Hayling Golf Club

Pre-round Thoughts

Having played Hayling a few times as a junior golfer growing up, I’ve always enjoyed the test of links golf. It’s one of the truest tests of golf and the closest you’ll get to the original styles when golf was formed all those years ago.

The challenge of links golf is unique and unlike any other type of golf course. The gorse is sharp and punishing. The wind is harsh and can be brutal. It’s firm, fast, and unkempt. Everything is different when you tee it up on a links course and that’s what I love about them. A truly wonderful test of golf.

As you walk up to the first tee, you can look out onto The Solent, with the Isle of Wight just on the right, and soak up the stunning views. Luckily we had a dry day and although not overly sunny, the sky was clear and we were able to enjoy the 180-degree views out to sea.

The Course

Hayling is a proper seaside links championship golf course and it has everything you would expect from that. The borrows are often hidden from sight and the large greens that really challenge your flat stick. Deep bunkers sit cleverly positioned on just about every hole, most of which are best avoided unless you plan on dropping a few shots.

At 6529 yards off the backs, it’s not a long course but it gets its protection from the unpredictable wind and punishing hazards. A real challenge to any level of golfer, when it’s not windy it’s definitely got a good score in it. However, a day without wind is rather a rarity at Hayling, so expect strong winds and get practicing that low stinger.

The golf course design and layout cannot be faulted. It’s got plenty of wonderful holes to test your game. Conditions-wise, the greens and fairways weren’t the best I’ve played them on. However, they were still rolling true and had obviously suffered from the long dry Summer.

The card is relatively long at over 6,500 yards, par 71. The championship links attracts golfers from all over to come and play what is very much a true links.

Front Nine

The front nine at Hayling sees you out and away from the clubhouse, with most of the holes pointing into the prevailing wind from the South-West. The longer side of the 6,500 yards, it has some challenging long par 4s to deal with.

Par 3s – 1st, 5th

Hayling as with a few other well-known courses (Royal Lytham & St Annes) starts off with a par 3. No easing yourself in with this 1st hole. 180 yards, usually into the wind, OOB left, and plenty of gorse. It’s an intimidating start to a round, so make sure you’ve hit a few on the adjacent range beforehand.

The 5th is a short but narrow hole, with a green that is actually even narrower than it looks. With wind usually across, keeping your ball on target to a green that’s about 8 yards wide is far from easy. With a valley on either side and a deep front left bunker, three is a good score on the 5th.

Par 4s – 3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th

A nice mix of different par 4s at Hayling, the best of which coming at the 6th, 8th, and 9th.

The 6th is a proper test of golf at 430 yards, making it the longest of the par 4s on the front. The large water hazard which runs about 60 yards short of what is a ridiculously long green, means for most golfers finding a GIR is out of the question. Again, playing usually into the prevailing wind can be a brutal hole for the average level golfer.

The 8th is a really interesting golf hole. A raised tee box on the edge of the golf course boundary looks down to a small fairway with a magnet-like pot bunker. The 2nd shot is one of many blind shots at Hayling. blind over wonderfully high dunes which means finding a line is tricky.

The 9th hole has one of the best views on the course from another raised tee and gives you a 360° view of the surrounding area. The small viewpoint lets players see down the fairway and over the dunes in front. The fairway angles to the left and a bunker is there to prevent any balls slightly left of centre from getting through. Finding a good line here is difficult but important as the danger left and right is penal.

Par 5s – 2nd, 7th

With both par 5s on the front coming in at under 500 yards, it’s a good chance to get a few shots back on the course.

The 2nd is a welcomed break after a tricky opening hole and as long as you can find a good position off the tee, getting there in two is possible.

7 is another fun hole and gives a good chance to pick up a shot. The green has some of the most extreme slopes on the course, with many tiers to negotiate.

Back Nine

The back nine at Hayling also has a great variety of holes to enjoy, with plenty of slopes (more so than the front nine) and as you make your way toward the closing holes, the prevailing wind will be there to assist you.

View from 10th tee

Par 3s – 11th, 16th

Two par 3s to whet your appetite on the back, the first comes on the 11th. A short hole surrounded by bunkers, you hit out onto the views of The Solent. Totally exposed to the elements, the tee shot can be heavily affected by the wind from the sea.

The 17th is a good long hole that needs an accurate long iron to a rather large but undulating green. The large sweeping bunker on the front right will swallow up anything that short and require all your skill to get it out and into the hole.

Par 4s – 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 18th

The back nine starts with a reachable par 4 at only 269 yards. The green is narrow and those taking it will have to be wary of the encroaching gorse bushes. For most, a layup short right is perfect for a little pitch onto the green.

The 12th hole is a long, challenging hole that runs alongside the Hayling Island beach and requires a tee shot threaded through a sloping fairway. The green is raised and surrounded by hazardous dunes with plenty of long roughs for a ball to nestle into.

13 is one of the most unique holes in all of golf. For me, it’s the most memorable of all the holes at Hayling. A drive over a valley, to a fairway that sits on a plateau at what is the highest point on the golf course. Walk up onto the dune on the left side of the fairway and you’ll be at the highest point on Hayling Island, with truly breathtaking views.

Finding a good spot off the tee is what makes this hole difficult, especially with the sight line so hard to find. The second shot goes all the way down a large slope with the pin unsighted for most like the other tricky blind shots at Hayling.

The final hole 18th is fairly straight and self-explanatory compared to many of the other holes on Hayling. However, it’s a nice way to end what has been a very enjoyable round of golf.

Par 5s – 14th

The only par 5 on the back comes at 14 and at 536 yards it’s the longest on the golf course. Usually, downwind, it’s a nice chance of a birdie, provided you can avoid the water down the left. Bunkers short left of the green are well-positioned to catch any wayward lay-ups.

Our Verdict

After a really fun round, it’s clear to see why Hayling can charge the sorts of prices they do for an 18-hole green fee. It offers a proper test of golf and is unique in the fact that there isn’t really a links course nearby for a fair few miles.

Sure, £120 for a round of golf is a lot of money for most people. But if you enjoy links golf then it’s definitely worth your time to make the trip to Hayling Golf Club. Epic views, challenging conditions, and fun shots that you just don’t get to experience on a normal parkland or heathland course.

After the round, we sat out on the balcony of the magnificent clubhouse and soaked in the stunning vistas of The Solent and out to the spectacular sea views, rounding off what was a truly wonderful day of golfing on one of the premier links golf courses on the South coast. Hayling Island is a truly amazing place to come and play golf.

It’s a championship golf course that makes you find different shots, you didn’t realise you had in the locker and gives you year round playability. It brings you back to the roots of the game we all love so much and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. Punishing wind and well-guarded holes, on a layout that I can’t really fault. For me, one visit isn’t enough to fully appreciate everything that’s great about this place.

Final Thoughts

So that rounds off the review of Hayling Golf Club. By all means, if you have the money to afford the hefty green fee, I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Hayling even if it’s just to take in the amazing surroundings.

I docked it a few marks on the overall score because the greens and fairways were a little poor for the price. This is of course down to the dry Summer which couldn’t be helped. Overall it’s a very impressive 4.3 out of 5 for me and a great day had at one of Hampshire’s finest golf courses. If it had been in great condition, it would certainly have been a couple of points higher.

If you’re in Hampshire, why not check out the beautiful Blackmoor Golf Club or the cheaper option Southwick Park Golf Club.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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