SILVERMERE GOLF & LEISURE, SURREY
With its stunning 18-hole golf course, top-class practice facilities, cavernous retail outlet, and superb hospitality, Silvermere Golf & Leisure in Surrey is the perfect all-round golfing venue for a member or visitor
Occupying a leafy spot half way between Cobham and Byfleet, Silvermere has been part of the golfing landscape in this corner of the country for almost three decades. Regardless of where you’re from, and what level of golfer you are, it prides itself on being a place where everyone is welcome.
Offering a superb 18-hole course set among mature woodland and parkland, Silvermere is one of the best-maintained and most challenging public courses in the country. In addition to the quality of the layout, the superb practice facilities, the renowned Golf Superstore, and the wonderful hospitality on offer at the famous Inn on the Lake, it is the personal service and attention to detail that make Silvermere such an attractive destination for golf societies and golfers of all skill levels, from beginners to tour professionals.
If it’s been a while since you’ve played here, you’ll be surprised at how much the challenging 6,406-yard layout has matured since Neil Coles and Brian Hugget first designed it over 30 years ago. The trees that were little more than a nuisance back then are now extremely mature, and make for a solid, yet fair, test of all aspects of your game. High handicappers often find the first six holes quite tough, as distance and accuracy off the tee are crucial, and although the fairways are quite generous, the rough and the rhododendrons are not so forgiving.
The first tee has recently been raised to give players a better view of this tricky opening par five, whilst the first half dozen holes have benefitted from a bunker remodelling programme, which not only makes them more visually appealing, but also makes them more visible from the tees.
As you cross the road, the holes open out a bit, but still require a good long game to score well here, especially on the par fours, such as the 8th and the 10th, both of which are over 440 yards off the back tees.
The two finishing holes are legendary. Both feature water, and both have the potential to make or break a round. The par-three 17th, which, at 175 yards off the whites, looks further that it is; and the notorious 18th, which requires little more than a mid-to-long iron for placement, but your approach shot has to carry the water to the famous island green. Once the lake has been safely negotiated, you can breathe a sigh of relief and hope to two-putt for a well-deserved drink and a bite to eat at Silvermere’s Inn on the Lake.
Offering the quality of food and service that you’d expect of a gastro pub, along with a variety of private function rooms – including the recently renovated ground floor Waterside Suite – the Inn on the Lake provides the perfect setting to relax, unwind and celebrate, whether it be with golfing partners, family or business colleagues. And with a number of meeting rooms and conference facilities, it also makes an ideal venue for a business meeting or company away day.
As well as its golf course and catering, Silvermere also attracts plenty of golfers for the quality of its practise and coaching facilities, which have been the subject of continued investment in recent years. The superb two tier, 52-bay driving range is one of the best in the country, with the well kept outfield providing plenty of targets to aim at for focused practice. The range, which offers Srixon two-piece balls, is floodlit, and is open early every day and up until 9.45pm at night, making it ideal for practise before or after work. For regular visitors, Silvermere operates a Privilege loyalty card system, which offers up to 45% extra credit on range balls, as well as discounts on a host of other goods and services.
Technology is at the forefront of the latest improvements, with 32 bays now fitted with the latest TopTracer systems, which, as viewers of Sky Sports’ golf coverage will know, tracks the ball in flight for real-time feedback. The technology has now been adapted for driving ranges, with a high specification digital screen located inside each of the bays enabling golfers to see the flight of every ball they hit, and receive instant feedback on distance and trajectory. A recently launched app also lets users store their data on a smartphone for later analysis. The TopTracer system additionally offers a variety of game formats, where golfers can challenge each other to hit targets which reward shots hit closer to the flag at different distances.
Since installing the system, Nigel Potter, Silvermere’s Golf Services Manager, has noticed a significant change in the way golfers use the range, as well as the type of golfer visiting the complex. “It is easy to fall into the trap of simply hitting lots of balls and believing that it’s helping your game, but when you have technology that gives you feedback and detailed statistical information about how you are performing, it can keep the player more focused,” he said. “When you can gain more knowledge about your play from driving range practise, you can be more confident when you go out on to the golf course. I’ve seen a lot of people using the point scoring game when practising, because it gives that little competitive edge to score your progress, which helps you practise better.”
Besides being a place to practise on your own, Silvermere also provides the opportunity to enjoy first-class teaching, with the facility’s team of 25 PGA-trained professionals on hand to offer a range of bespoke coaching programmes either in groups or one-on-one. Golfers can also enjoy executive coaching in one of four indoor technology studios, which not only allow lessons and custom fittings to take place away from the elements, but also take advantage of the very latest fitting technology, including Foresight Sports’ new GC Quad swing analysis software – used by dozens of the world’s leading tour players and coaches – which directly measures ball-flight data at launch using ultrahigh-speed cameras.
Golfers looking to hone their putting skills can head over to the club’s new nine-hole astroturf putting course that is laid out in front of the clubhouse. It’s free to use, although customers are encouraged to make a donation in aid of Cancer Research, with over £1,000 raised to date from players of all ages. There is also an excellent grass practise putting green besides the first tee, an expanded version of which – twice the size of the original – is due to open in the next month or two.
And if you’re after new some clubs, or looking to splash out on a fresh golfing wardrobe, there’s no better place to shop than the legendary Silvermere Golf Superstore – a 8,500 square feet retail space which stocks all the major equipment brands, as well as some of the more hard to find ones, such as Honma and PXG. The clothing rails are filled with all the latest apparel collections, including recent additions such as Ted Baker and Lacoste, while Planet FootJoy stocks the largest range of shoes in Europe from golf’s leading footwear company.
If you want to make Silvermere your home, the current range of membership packages remains extremely competitive. Seven-day membership, costing £1,395, offers unlimited golf, while there is a whole range of memberships available to suit how often and when you’d like to play, as well as memberships for those below 35 (£1,040), and a pay-and-play membership for £200, which provides an official handicap and offers access to competitions, advanced bookings, and reduced green fee rates, as well as discounts in the golf store and restaurant.
Green fees are a very reasonable £35 during the week and £45 at weekends, while Silvermere is the perfect location for groups and societies, with summer packages designed to cater for all sizes of golf days starting from just £27.50 per person.
With spring finally upon us, and the longer, warmer days of summer just around the corner, there really has never been a better time to pay a visit to Silvermere.
For tee bookings and membership enquiries, call 01932 584300 or for online bookings and further details on the latest offers, society packages and other news, visit www.silvermere-golf.co.uk. Follow on Twitter @silvermeregc