The Wentworth Estate is a privately owned 1920s golf club and health resort (near Virginia Water, Surrey) covering some 700 hectares (1,750 acres) of north Surrey. In 1922 builder W.G. Tarrant acquired the development rights for the Wentworth Estate, appointing Harry Colt to develop a golf course around the “Wentworth” house.
In 1926, a match between American and British professional players was held at the Club. One spectator was Samuel Ryder, who suggested that the match should become a regular fixture, and backed it up by donating the Cup that bears his name. The first official match was held the following year.
Now approaching 100 years later and now with four courses, thousands of keen golfers flock to the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water to see the crème de la crème play golf on what are reputedly some of the most exciting courses in the UK.
Golfers tread in the footsteps of the game’s great players from the last 85 years – legends such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods to name but a few.
The golf course core of the Wentworth Estate is known to the local community as ‘The Island’. This nickname just adds to the feeling of exclusivity that seems to pervade the whole area and with a long list of rich and famous on your doorstep it would be hard not to be impressed.
Wentworth is the most televised golf course in the UK since it hosts the annual flagship PGA European Golf Championship. An extensive renovation programme of the West Course at a cost of £6,000,000 toughened up the course to modern standards, which led to professionals including Ian Poulter and Pádraig Harrington being lured back by the improvements, which were designed by Wentworth resident and double Open champion Ernie Els.
This course is also unusual insofar as it is the only course of its kind which has been designed with homes running along the fairways. And there are few more glorious natural settings to live and play golf in than this stretch of heath land surrounded by pine, oak and birch woodlands with the vibrant rhododendrons adding a splash of colour.
There is no denying it, Wentworth is classy and this air of glamour and sophistication lures the rich and famous to buy ring side seats on these illustrious courses. Home owners relish the opportunity of inviting their city friends down for a weekend in the ‘country’ and a spot of golf.
The Wentworth Estate’s past and present famous residents range from Sir Bruce Forsyth and Sir Cliff Richard to Elton John and the Bee Gees of the show business world. From Ron Dennis (the owner of McLaren ) and ex-boxer Prince Naseem to Nick Faldo and Ernie Els in the sports world.
In addition to the world class golf on offer, the Wentworth Club is owned by Richard Caring, who also owns possibly the best stable of restaurants in London including The Ivy, J. Sheekey and Le Caprice. So if fine dining is appealing then this is a terrific place to live.
It is worth noting that living on the Wentworth Estate does not automatically grant membership to the golf club.