Royal Winchester Golf Club Review [Best In Winchester?]

What I love so much about golf is the variety of courses that you get to play. Unlike any other sport in the world, golf gives you a unique opportunity to experience so many different types of playing fields. So when I got the chance to play Royal Winchester Golf Club in Hampshire, it really was a great experience.

With that said, let’s have a look at Royal Winchester in a little more detail and find out whether you should be adding it to your ‘courses to play’ list.

Here’s our Royal Winchester Golf Club review.

Royal Winchester  Golf Club Review

Royal Winchester Golf Club Review

Our Rating

Overall [4.2/5]
Course Design/Layout
Course Difficulty
Course Conditions
Green Conditions
Pace Of Play
Practice Facilities
Food & Drink
Value For Money

Course Information

Winchester, Hampshire. Opened in 1888.

18 Holes Course | Par 72 | 6407 Yards | Downland


A few minutes’ drive outside the historic city of Winchester, Royal Winchester Golf Club is a great location for golf. 

Set in Hampshire Downland, it provides a perfect setting for golf all year long because of its slopes and great drainage. 

The JH Taylor designed course was first laid out in 1888 and gained its ‘Royal’ status when it was granted to them in 1913 by HM King George V. 

Royal Winchester Golf Club Green Fees

Mon – FriSat – Sun

Royal Winchester Golf Club Scorecard

ParSIWhite Yards

Royal Winchester Golf Club Slope Rating

TeeGenderSlope Rating

Pre-round Thoughts

It’s not often you get to play a Downland golf course, not for me anyway. This type of golf course is characterised as one that has big changes in elevation, with hills and mounds to give your legs a full workout. In terms of conditions, a Downland course tends to be a little firmer and faster than a lush parkland, but without the gorse bushes.

The Winchester area is definitely a good place for golf. The likes of South Winchester, Hockley, and slightly further out, Alresford Golf Club, Royal Winchester Golf Club certainly is in good company.

Having the ‘Royal’ status is also a cool little feature, which is quite rare to see. So getting the chance to play at a Royal golf club is always a unique experience. When you look at the level of some of the other Royal status golf clubs, such as Royal St George’s, Royal Aberdeen and Royal Birkdale, you get a feeling that Royal Winchester is a great place for golf.

The green fee seems a reasonable price, £70 for a midweek game isn’t the worst price to pay for a round of golf. However, it does make it one of the top-end prices in the area, comparing it to Hockley Golf Club (~£65) and Alresford Golf Club (~£42).

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this course, so I’m looking forward to a great day’s golf. The weather is pleasant, albeit a little chilly with a slight breeze in the air.

The range is a bit of a pain to get to, so we hit a few balls in the net and we’re ready to go.

The Course

The course at Royal Winchester Golf Club is set on a slopey download that provides plenty of changes in elevation on a lot of the holes. This means you’re rarely going to get a flat lie whilst playing.

It also provides a huge variety of holes to enjoy which feature blind tee shots, big drops to greens, and winding fairways.

In general, the course is quite open, which leaves you a little open to the elements. Sitting in a bit of a bowl, a lot of the holes will be affected by wind.

Set on the Hampshire Downland means that drainage is great. The course is in brilliant condition with fast greens and well-cared-for fairways, albeit they’re a little firm but that’s what you would expect from this type of layout.

A lot of the holes also feature very punishingly, thick, wispy grass just off the fairways. This grass seems to suck your ball in and it will sit right down into the long straws.

The par 72 layout includes a symmetrical set of 9s with two par 3s, two par 5s, and five par 4s. For the better player, the four par 5s are a delight and where you can pick up some scores.

Front Nine

The front nine starts relatively gently and gives you a chance to ease yourself into the round. A fast start is very possible and will get your score going.

Par 3s – 3rd, 7th

The par 3 3rd is certainly the tougher of the short holes at Royal Winchester Golf Club. At over 200 yards off the whites, you’ll likely be using a long iron or a wood for your 1st. A couple of mounds sit about 25 yards short of the green and need to be carried off the tee. Aiming slightly left here is optimal as everything will feed off to the right.

The 7th is a slightly shorter hole at 159 yards, but the tee shot is to a slightly raised green so it plays slightly longer. The well-guarded green has a mound short and an even larger mound at the back. Keeping the ball on the front of the green is definitely the miss on this hole.

Par 4s – 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th

The quirky opening hole is a friendly start to your round. The elevated tee box only requires a mid to long iron off the tee for most. Longer hitters can hit driver, but this will bring in trouble right and trees left. The uphill approach is shielded by a couple of pot bunkers sort and a green that slopes heavily from back to front.

The 2nd is an interesting tee shot with OOB right and left. A blind approach shot to a sunken green requires you to carry it far enough to avoid landing on the large slope short of the green.

4 and 5 are relatively straightforward and quite similar holes, both up the hill and sloping to the right. Number 8 is definitely one of the tougher holes on the course. The blind tee shot will leave you a slopey 2nd shot to a green with no room for error short.

Par 5s – 6th, 9th

The par 5s on the front is certainly where you’ll look to pick up some shots. The 6th is slightly downhill and has a fairway that slopes from right to left. Keep your tee shot up the right and you should leave yourself with an easier approach to the green. 

Number 9 is perhaps one of my favourite holes on the course. The narrow hole feeds its way down the slope and as long as you avoid the rough on either side, the ball should work its way down into the gap. At only 482 yards and all downhill, this is a hole to make a score in the middle of your round.

Back Nine

The back nine is the more challenging of the two nines, with plenty of holes that will require you to think carefully. It’s also the better of the two nines, featuring some really great, unique golf holes.

Par 3s – 11th, 17th

The 11th at Royal Winchester is a tricky par 3 to get your head around. If the winds up (which it was when we played), finding the putting surface is a real test. Trust the yardage off the tee and be sure to avoid going left.

17 is a nice hole as your round comes to a close. Just 144 yards off the backs, the three surrounding bunkers will stop any balls if your short, right, or left.

Par 4s – 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th

The first of the par 4s on the back comes at the 12th and is the start of four consecutive par 4s. Left is dead off the tee, so aim it up the right side and let it feed back round. The approach shot should kick on, but make sure you don’t overdo it and go long.

13 has a big drop in elevation from the tee. Avoid the fairway bunker and you’ll have a long approach left in. The 14th is an interesting risk/reward hole at only 261 yards. For me, the risk isn’t worth the reward, so a layup with an iron to the right will give you a short pitch to a small green. The walk up the hill to your 2nd will certainly get the lungs working…

15 is the toughest hole based on the card. If you can get a good drive away, it’s relatively straightforward from there in. The 18th closes off with a large drop to the fairway, a deep bunker courtesy of a fallen bomb, and a green that has three incredibly aggressive tiers.

Par 5s – 10th, 16th

The par 5 10th is probably the most memorable of the holes at Royal Winchester. Following on from the short par 5 9th, the 10th has a slightly elevated tee box and an even more elevated green. At 515 yards long, it is reachable for some longer hitters, but finding the putting surface is almost impossible. 

Miss the green slightly to the left and you’ll face the drop-off all the way down to the bottom of a large slope. I laid up and then got too aggressive with the pitch shot, which spun off the front left and all the way down to the valley of doom. 

Missing left here is almost a guaranteed 3 more shots minimum. So be warned!

The 16th is another nice hole that can warrant a birdie if played well. 

Our Verdict

I was pleasantly surprised with just how good Royal Winchester Golf Club is. I think what I like most about the course is the mixture of undulating holes and various elevations that come into play. 

Almost every hole has a raised tee box, a punishing slope, or a tiered green. This, therefore, makes all the holes feel somewhat different and makes you play a full bag of shots.

My favourite type of golf has always been a links or heathland course, but having played Royal Winchester Golf Club, there’s also something very special about a Downland track.

It’s not on the same level as the Blackmoor or the Hayling or the Liphook, as a “great” golf course. However, Royal Winchester Golf Club is definitely a place you should be playing if you enjoy good quality golf.

The conditions are lovely, the club is welcoming and the layout is very entertaining.

Final Thoughts

That rounds off our review of Royal Winchester Golf Club. This great golf club located just outside the wonderful city of Winchester has all the delights you’d expect and is the perfect place to enjoy 18 holes of golf.

If you’re in the Hampshire area, I’d recommend Southwick Park for a pretty, cheap option. As well as the exciting link test that Hayling Golf Club provides.

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.

Scroll to Top