Situated to the north of the small town of Banstead in Surrey, the course at Cuddington Golf Club is set out on 166 acres of fast-running and free-draining downland. It lies less than an hour’s drive from the centre of London but the hustle and bustle of the capital appear a million miles away once you’ve driven through the gates to the clubhouse.
The famous golf architect Harry Colt designed the course in 1929, with John Morrison, one of Colt’s associates, overseeing the construction of the layout by Messrs. Frank Harris Bros. from Guildford. Back then, the combined length of the holes stretched to 6,000 yards, playing to a bogey of 78, compared to the modern day par of 71.
Over the years, the many thousands of saplings planted back in the 1930s have grown into mature trees, defining the tree-lined fairways that now characterise the course. Major developments in recent years include the creation of a new practice area in 1967 and the upgrading of all eighteen greens to USGA specification in 1999.
Unusually, a round at Cuddington starts with a couple of par five holes, both of which dogleg right from tee to green. Golfers face the first of five short holes on the card at the tightly-bunkered 4th, where a dense line of trees flank the left side of the hole, before a pair of long, punishing par fours follows soon after at the 6th and 7th.
The back nine is no less challenging, even though it plays slightly shorter with par three holes at the 11th, 13th and 16th. Again, there are demanding back-to-back par fours to be faced at the right doglegged 14th, rated stroke index 2, and the left doglegged 15th, where a handful of fairway and greenside bunkers conspire to protect par.The round ends in fine style with the 420-yard 18th climbing steadily towards the clubhouse. The tee shot has to find its way past a couple of new fairway bunkers then the approach must avoid the recently reshaped bunker to the front left hand side of the home green. Anybody walking off here with a net “4” on their card will be absolutely delighted.
November 21, 2015