I have played many times at Chart Hills since the opening in the early 90’s and have actually posted two player reviews on Top 100 before. I gave a 5-ball on 27th March 2006 and then a very different 3-ball (just) rank on August 5th 2014. The time around 2014-2015 saw the course at its poorest, un-recognisable in places and around 70 bunkers out of action – on that day in the summer of 2014 my jaw hit the floor in horror with how it had become. This was all done to lack of investment and also some lack of interest as the club was about to be sold.
New owners have been in place now since 2016, so my recent visit this November was to see how things were doing. I am happy to report that the course is on the mend and is making decent progress to return to one of the stronger inland modern courses in the south-east of England. The focus in the last couple of years looks to have been correct with concentration on the tees, the greens and surrounds and also the many bunkers. The tees look really smart now and the bunkers are looking really good and consistent – around twenty of the original number have been strategically removed too. The green-sites have seen the biggest improvement for me and in time could well be better than at their previous best. What I like now is that the aprons, the approaches and the definition between the grass-cuts is spot on – originally there was not really the run-up option to the greens – there is now.
Not too sure where the course will end up in the rankings over the next few years but previously when it was in top notch condition, I would have had this ahead of both courses at The London Club and I imagine that is the first goal in terms of being judged – whether we have a re-entry into the country top 100, that remains to be seen but well done to the new owners and the current team for starting the turnaround.
Date: November 13, 2018