Opened in 1904, this hilly, tree-lined parkland course originally designed by C.S. Butchart has retained many of its original features. The course layout at Highgate Golf Club was fundamentally changed when in 1928 the Metropolitan Water Board built the Bishopswood Reservoir around the area that is now the 10th and 13th holes. This reservoir currently stores 40 million litres of water to supply North London with drinking water.
The course currently measures 6,015 yards with a par and standard scratch of 69 with the ladies at just over 5,400 yards with par 72 standard scratch 72. To demonstrate the test of golf Highgate offers those who play it, the current amateur course record of 66 was first scored in 1984 and whilst equalled on a number of occasions still remains the toughest record to beat.
As the closest 18-hole course to central London, Highgate Golf Club has a large catchment area. It appears a vibrant club, and one which can still afford to charge joining fees. The course is not long, especially as the white tees are only used for club competitions. Off the yellows the layout runs to only 5,735 yards; off the whites it stretches to 6,105 yards. Either way round the par is 69, with one par 5, the 7th, at 512 or 492 yards.
The parkland course has plenty of natural elevation changes. One unnatural one is on the 9th, which plays up and over the hidden reservoir. This requires a hefty tee shot – get it too short and it rolls back to you.
Although a private members’ club, non-members with a handicap are welcome Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), or at weekends and bank holidays (accompanied by a member only).