After a long period of wanting to play the course, I finally got round to it a couple of days ago (mid-December) for their excellent Winter offer. The pro warned us of a few temporary tees due to their renovation works and it's clear that they're putting the effort in to keep the course up to scratch. As others have mentioned, the first hole is a bit of a nothing - somewhat similar to the start at Walton Heath (Old) in that it's a good par three, but just an odd choice to start with. After that though, I didn't think there was a weak hole on the course, with plenty that really stick with you. From the sixth hole onwards, I was spellbound. The sixth summed up the course pretty well for me, a very clever hole that rewarded thoughtful play, but with the odd quirk - in this case a hidden bunker at the bottom of a ravine short right of the green. The eighth offers a very tough blind tee shot before the brilliant ninth. Often, near-ninety degree doglegs feel very forced, but this is a very natural hole, requiring two good shots over ravines. From the tenth onwards, we started realising why we loved the course as much as we did - there was room to spray it a little off the tee, but you were rewarded for placement and it wasn't a course where taking driver on every hole was rewarded. Myself (10 hcp) and my partner (26) were both able to have a really good match as a result.The back nine just seemed perfectly balanced, with the par 3, 5, 3 format of the 11th, 12th and 13th working out well. The 13th is a real stunner of a hole and the holes that follow it back it up nicely. To finish off with a very tricky par 5 in the 16th and the picturesque par 3 17th was a real test. Bearing in mind that I played in mid-December, I will give a 5-ball review, however there were a few things I would change. The greens didn't hold the water brilliantly, and whilst they were true, they were soft to the extent that we were sinking into them in places. Otherwise, the course was in excellent condition for the time of year. In terms of the holes, the only thing I think it is lacking is a strong starting and finishing hole. The 1st and 18th are both decent holes, but they just aren't up to everything that is in between. However, I would come back in a heartbeat, and am keen to play again in the summer. Highly recommended.
Date: December 20, 2015