Originally founded in 1891, the course was "laid out" by the legendary Tom Morris, who won four Open Championships. 18 challenging holes, this parkland course is 5935 yards in length, with a par of 69.
The course itself is slightly different to the one envisaged in late Victorian times, but down the years Mitcham has maintained a reputation for having some of the finest greens in Surrey - and that is some boast when you consider the competition. Green Fees start from just £10.00.
Located as it is just 12 miles from the centre of London and with a mainline railway station (Mitcham Junction) literally 50 yards from the clubhouse, it is ideal for anyone living in or visiting the city who wishes to enjoy a quality 18 holes without having to travel any great distance. There is also ample free car parking on site.
The course itself offers a stiffer challenge than it might seem upon initial inspection of the card. Designed with shot-makingstrategy in mind, the course demands accurate approach shots and consistent putting. With natural hazards and challenging greens the course invites competition for all skill levels.
The golf club and course is enjoyed by its members and visitors alike. One of the clubs many assets is its fairways which have matured over the years. The course still retains many of the original features and after a round golfers may relax in the spacious bar overlooking the 18th green. There is also a well stocked professionals shop.
Although the length of the course and a par of 69, would not suggest a great challenge for the category one player, the Mitcham Open is a popular fixture in the Surrey County Golf Union's Order of Merit, with many well-known amateur winners of the Lavender Trophy down the years.
The amateur course record is five-under, but not many players come away with an unblemished card - as the members of the Surrey CGU who play their autumn meeting at Mitcham each September, have no doubt discovered.
To be successful at Mitcham you need to hit your drives straight. While the greens are not overprotected by bunkers, they are on the whole quite small - and in summer provide a tricky target when the ball is running, and bouncing.
Only three of the original holes remain but the fairways have been improved steadily down the years, and the intelligent use of an all-year round preferred lies rule ensure you get to enjoy the occasional irregularities of the landscape without undue penalty.
In many places, your iron shots are from tight lies more normally associated with traditional seaside links, and despite the presence of traffic along one side of the course and the trains on the other, reminding you how close you are to the capital's centre, the woodland setting creates a tranquillity some countryside courses cursed by nearby motorways and inter-city rail links struggle to match.
Playing Mitcham is a gentle stroll even carrying your bag - but its four long par threes are a real challenge in a medal, while off the yellows they require accurate mid-iron play from visitors unfamiliar with the subtle nuances of the greens.
The 193-yard eighth is often played with the wind in your face or coming across you, adding a couple of clubs more modest yellow tee at 166 yards. It is part of the four-hole circuit on the other side of the tram tracks - made easier by the demolition of an old bridge with golfers now using a level crossing - and the drive down the 300-yard ninth is exceptionally tight on the right thanks to the tram track for anyone tempted to have a crack at the green, while a copse and hollow curtail any short cut to the left.
Only one of the par fours is over 400 yards off the whites, and with the wide fairway of the par five 10th - measuring 538 yards with a gentle dog leg to the left - it is easy to see why the club today has a thriving seniors section. Nine of the members are still enjoying a round into their 80s, while Mitcham's 30-strong junior section are camped out on the common during the school holidays.
The 17th is a joy with its gently rippled fairway basked in shade and the wide, raised green so shallow it can fool your judgement on your approach shot, before an usual par three finish from a raised tee which cleverly uses a clutch of hedges in front of the target to distract the eye.
The course is looking good with different cuts of rough to the sides of the fairway and the greens in near perfect condition. Keep on the short stuff and you can score low, but stray into the rough and expect to lose some balls as it is deep and thick at this time of year.
Last Played: 04 June 2016.
This course has fantastic greens, playable throughout the year. The course drains well so is also playable when other courses close. The fairways aren't the best as the course is on common land but preferred lies are in operation year-round. Green fees are not exorbitant and their are deals on certain days of the week and twilight offers too.
The course isn't long, but trouble awaits if you stray from the fairway. Hit a straight tee shot and you're in with the chance of a good score.
Favourite Hole: 9
Last Played: 01 January 2016.
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