500 or Less: Sunningdale Golf & Country Club

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In ‘500 or less,’ author Alex Hunter discusses a golf course in 500 words or less to provide a quick overview. Furthermore, the series introduces a “star rating,” which is based off an opinion on fun factor/repeatability, walkability, routing/design aspects, plus cost & conditioning. Check back in next month for the next instalment of the series!

  • London, Ontario
  • Private
  • Stanley Thompson (1932) / Doug Carrick (2022)

Sunningdale Golf & Country Club recently reopened their Championship golf course, after years of extensive changes to this original Stanley Thompson design. This newly renovated course, now named the Sunningdale, borrows from the original Thompson design and adds 6 new holes by Doug Carrick (holes 3-8).

Before my recent visit I did not know much about the club. Though, it was at one time, ranked in the Top 100 in Canada by SCOREGolf. These days it is a bit of a hidden gem – tucked out of the spotlight in its northern London, Ontario property. What I found was a pleasant experience from start to finish, including nice elevation changes, firm playing conditions, and subtle contours throughout. The course doesn’t have any significant wow moments like you might find at other Top 100’s, but it has a subtly to it that I really enjoyed and would head back to any day.

Holes & Features of Interest

The course starts with an elevated tee shot – there is a creek that bisects the fairway both after the tee shot and again on the approach. Here, a beautiful new green complex was built beyond the creek to add length. A nice opening hole.

View from the first tee
Approach to the green on 1

As you make your way into the newer part of the property, the more dynamic land offers a slightly different look and feel, though the holes here certainly don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Everything has been integrated nicely within the setting and the firm conditions throughout are a treat to play on.

The third hole is the first of 6 new holes on the property. A nice wide, mid-length par 4 that gently slopes up and to the right from the tee.

New Par 4 3rd

The Par 5 4th is defined by the old silo that is still standing next to the green. This is a nice little feature that they integrated well and adds a nice visual flair.

Par 5 4th hole with the old silo that is seen from the tee and beyond

My favourite hole is the Par 3 8th – the way it is tucked into the little hill, with the flanking bunkers is attractive to me. The subtle internal contours here demand precision and focus.

Par 8th as some moody clouds rolled in

On the back nine the Par 3 14th is another standout Par 3. Playing over a small gorge with an attractive bunker scheme creates another visually pleasing hole.

The picturesque Par 3 14th

At the lengthy Par 4 15th, the hole slightly doglegs left from the tee. Those who can carry the bunker on the inside line gain a significant advantage on their approach. I really liked how well the bunker is positioned, this is a great example of risk and reward. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture from the tee. The picture below shows the approach – about 140 to the middle. A strong Par 4.

View of the approach on the Par 4 15th

It is the subtleties at Sunningdale that really make this a great place to play golf – a great, welcoming, friendly club that I would recommend playing if you get an invite.


Rating: 6.5 out of 10.


  • Alex Hunter

    Canadian golfer, nice guy, plays fast. Not chasing any lists, just looking to play architecturally interesting courses around the World and make new friends along the way.

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