You wouldn’t think golf and London go together. The capital is all concrete pavements, high rises and endless streets, whereas you need acres of open, green spaces for a good round of golf. But there are actually plenty of spots across London to practice your swing – you just need to know where to look.
Highgate Golf Club
Officially the closest golf course to central London, Highgate Golf Club is a speedy 12 minutes on the Tube from King’s Cross. The tree-lined golf course is located in the midst of idyllic Highgate village, and feels about as far from the bustle of the capital as you can get. Plus, on the weekend it’s just a short stroll away from some of London’s finest pubs, including The Holly Bush and The Spaniards Inn.
Denewood Road, Highgate, London N6 4AH, highgategc.co.uk
Dulwich & Sydenham Golf Club
You can still see the Gherkin from the Dulwich golf course, which is perhaps a good thing as otherwise you might forget that you were still in London. The club prides itself on its challenging greens, which are set among centuries’ old oak trees on the slopes of Sydenham Hill.
Grange Lane, College Road, Dulwich, London SE21 7LH, dulwichgolf.co.uk
Aquarius Golf Course
Yes, you can play golf in Peckham. Unknown to many, Aquarius Golf Club is a nine-hole course tucked away next to Peckham Rye Park. Although small, it’s a tricky course with plenty of hazards to catch out players who think its size means it’ll be easy to crack.
Marmora Road, London SE22 0RY, aquariusgolfclub.co.uk
Ilford Golf Club
Admittedly, you have to head out to Essex if you want to play golf in east London. But Ilford Golf Club is worth the extra nine minutes on the train from Stratford. Although set in the flat urban parkland of Wanstead Flats, the course is particularly known for its tricksy contoured run-offs and collection areas.
291 Wanstead Park Road, Ilford IG1 3TR, ilfordgolfclub.co.uk
Wimbledon Park Golf Club
You don’t need to go as far west as Richmond Park to get in a great round of golf. Wimbledon Park Golf Club has an 18-hole course set around the Wimbledon Park Lake, and boasts narrow, tree-lined fairways and newly designed bunkers that demand particularly strategic thinking.
Home Park Road, London SW19 7HR, wpgc.co.uk
London Scottish Golf Club
One notch over from Wimbledon Park is the Common, which numbers three courses in total. The oldest of these is the London Scottish Golf Club, which was founded in 1865 as a seven-hole course based around the Common’s windmill. Many of the first holes were originally laid out along the lines of rifle ranges of the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers, who were stationed on Wimbledon Common at the time. Today, the Victorian clubhouse still stands – and old bullets are occasionally still found on the course.
Club House, Windmill Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 5NQ, londonscottishgolfclub.com
Tee Box Golf
Okay, so you can’t play eighteen holes in the centre of London. But you can still smarten up your swing and polish your putting technique at Tee Box Golf. Combining expert coaches with the latest in virtual reality technology, Tee Box Golf allows you to practice your shots and play some of the world’s most famous courses, all without leaving the City.
15 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, tee-box.co.uk