Thamesview golf club is one of the few pay-and-play clubs that reside within the greater London boundary and nestles proudly alongside Sunningdale, Wentworth and St Andrews…. unfortunately these are the names of the adjacent housing estates rather than comparable courses, however Thamesview still represents one of South-East London’s hidden gems even if it isn’t quite in the class of its more illustrious neighbours.

The 9-hole course offers good value memberships and the green fees are affordable with excellent discounts for junior and senior golfers. The flexible twighlight sessions mean that all but the slowest players can get round 18 holes for only a fiver, and although recent subsidence means that the driving range probably isn’t the best, the club are working hard to rectify the problem. The social facilities are adequate and on a nice day it is possible to sit on the 19th terrace reflecting on the round with a cold drink whilst enjoying the panoramic views of the Thames.

As for the course itself it can best be summed as short but challenging even for a low handicapped player. There are three par 4’s all under 300 yards which present birdie opportunities to accurate long-iron players, however one thing Thamesview isn’t short of is hazards and any deviation from the centre of the tight fairways can result in a lost or wet ball, the water features come into play on 4 of the 9 holes and the heavy rough and trees on virtually all of them. The 6th in particular represents one of the hardest par 4’s around if played from the back tee’s, a perfect dogleg left to right would just flirt with the edge of the forest before landing on the fairway to set-up a long iron over water onto the green. The 2nd and the 8th are longer par 4’s which tempt the use of the driver as does the par 5 where a perfect drive will set up a second shot which takes the lake out of play. The two par 3s are relatively short at under 150 yards and don’t hold too many demons provide the small stream which guards the 5th green can be safely negotiated.

The standard of the greens and the fairways in general has improved dramatically in recent years and the club have worked hard to improve the image of the course. Overall Thamesview is a great place for beginners to learn the game or for more serious golfers to play regularly without encountering the high costs often associated with annual memberships.

Guest post by Joe G