The course is located about 1 hour from Birmingham on the grounds of a lovely resort (with more to do than just golf). The course is very well maintained as it showcases grass varieties and fertilizer made famous by the namesake owner, Jimmy Pursell and family. It is a pleasant design with wide fairways (some are easily 50-70 yards wide) on many holes. Standing on the tee of the 1st and 10th holes, for example, I can't imagine how you could miss the fairways-they are that wide.
The course has two very dramatic par 3 holes-the 5th and 17th. The 5th has a sizeable drop (see the photo) and the 17th has a smaller drop but is all carry over water. All the par 3 holes has signs designating the distance using laser and slope reading, so it takes the guess work out of distance decisions.
The greens are bent grass and even in late February, they rolled true and were in nice shape. But despite all the hype it gets in these reviews, there are some drawbacks.
First, the bunkering is simply penal on almost every hole. Both the fairway and greenside bunkers have high lips which makes getting out very difficult, especially from the fairways. Now I don't mind a few penal bunkers where getting in will almost certainly cost you more than a stroke, but I can recall only a few where this wasn't the case. Having some creates a challenge, having too many is downright penal (and no, I am not complaining because I found too many bunkers).
Second, the pace of play was awful. On the first day, I had a 4:54 round. I was in a group of 4 behind a group of 5 with two groups of 4 in front of them. I know this because all 4 groups were often found on the same hole-- one on the green, one in the fairway and two on the tee. After a marshal apologized on the 6th hole, then again on the 10th. I never got the impression that they would ask the offenders to allow groups to play through. I played again the next day with a group of 3 and had a pleasant 3:40 round.
The course is well worth a visit but I know for me, it could be so much better. Slow play takes all the fun out a round and caused me to take away one star in the rating.
A few closing words. Excellent practice facilities. Range balls included. Overnight accommodations on-site. Arringtons is a great meal.
Date: October 09, 2021