How do you rate a course? Quality of the course, condition of the course, setting, Clubhouse, speed of play etc it is all a very individual perception; so here is mine. Firstly for me here are the negatives. FoA does not have the soul of a golf club because of the fact it is a hotel and play is slow (a 5 hour round so be careful how late your tee time is) as it is a venue that just fills the course with players of all ability to generate income. Secondly the bit in the middle. Hoes 1-9 and 18 are all very well designed golf holes requiring you to think your way round but are not brilliant; they are just good golf holes. In comparison they are as good as any at the Belfry and I prefer them to the Oxfordshire as at least they are defined by trees and hedgerow. Finally the great bits holes 10 -17 are truly excellent golf holes and a real test, excellent use of the land and also the building of a few ponds to guard the greens. In my opinion 8 holes that rival any I have played for their design beautiful surroundings and golfing challenge. Also considering the amount of play even in mid Oct the course was in brilliant condition. My final plus point – price - £99 quid for DBB and a round of the Arden and Aylesford is just ridiculously cheap and puts other modern venues (Oxfordshire, Belfry, The Grove etc) to shame. All in all a great experience and it should be easily in the Top 100 (swap it with the Belfry). Go and try it and accept it for what it is and you will enjoy it; oh and take your long game!
Date: October 17, 2010