A mid-1970s Henry Cotton and Bob Sandow creation, the woodland course at the Drift Golf Club is a challenging test for anyone who strays too far from the tree-lined fairways.
The Drift is a nice enough course with two contrasting nines.
The front nine is played over flat land and is in dense woodland - the holes are extremely tight in places but there are some good holes.
1 is a long opening hole that doglegs slightly to the left.
3 - a lovely par 3 across a pond that doesn’t really come into play. The hole would certainly be made more interesting if the pond was closer to the green.
4 is a short par that doglegs to the left and needs to be played tactically with either a shaped tee shot or one that is laid well back leaving a fuller shot in. This is a good strategic Hole.
5, 7 and 8 are all good holes (if a little similar!) - long and extremely tight with trees blocking anything remotely offline and 6 is an interesting hole - a short drivable par 4 that is blind over the crest of a hill.
The back 9 is much more undulating and a bit more interesting in my opinion. 10 is a long uphill hole that feels as wide at the 1st at St Andrews in comparison to the holes on the front 9!
11 is a nice par 3 with the ground all sloping to the left (it’s not fun down there) and 12 is a quirky hole - blind shot down the hill - this is good fun.
13-15 are all short par 4s that are very tight with the trees on either side but I enjoyed the strategy required for them - particularly 14 and 15 which dogleg severely.
16 was a nice par 3 with a very tricky green that slopes back to front. Everyone in our group managed to put off the green so it is perhaps slightly too penal in the Summer when the greens are fast!
17 and 18 are strong finishing holes with 17 a long par 4 up the hill and 18, a pretty par 5 coming back down it.
Overall, a nice course to play if in the area.
The Drift is very much a woodland course, with in places reasonably tight fairways where running off sideways is the main hazard. It can be fast running in summer, but conversely can get wet underfoot in winter.
The Drift starts promisingly enough with a dog-leg par 4 over 400 yards (possibly the hardest hole on the course) and the third is a goodlooking par 3. A couple of short par 4's (4th is the pick) and reasonable but short par 5's follow, but the short 9th (246 yards) is I think a poor hole (too short for a par 4 off the whites and a par 3 off yellows). Generally the front nine is fairly flat, but the uphill 10th starts a more undulating back nine which as a result tends to be more interesting. The par 3 11th always feels tight as you need to pick a perfect line to avoid trees right and run-off left. I always like the look of the 14th (a sweeping dog-leg left par 4 where positionng off the tee is important) and this is followed by a shorter but tighter dog-leg right par 4. Holes 16 and 17 take you uphill and you finish with a downhill par 5 to the clubhouse, not a finishing stretch to get the pulses racing.
Overall a pleasant enough course to play in summer, but too many short par 4's and maybe lacking any stand-out holes .. suffers in comparison to the large number of quality courses in Surrey.