The seventh oldest course in the world, but does it still stand up to the advances in modern playing equipment? If the wind is blowing then it does most certainly. The 1st and 18th share the same expanse of flat land with light rough and the odd bunker separating the two, and both have flat, lightly-defended greens. So the start and finish are quite relaxing. That is probably the one area where the course could most do with alteration if the greens committee were so minded. The 18th could easily be turned into a downhill par5 with a tee box on the hill. The bunkering could also be beefed up or have the two fairways become one of the world’s widest as per you know where. Beyond the 1st green the hill looms large, like at Gullane, and you know that level lies may be quite rare for most of the holes. Holes 10, 13 and 14 reminded me of Hayling in Southern England with good compact and fairly flat holes, enhanced by bunker placement in sympathy with the natural mounds. The temptation is there to play aggressively and take consequences if it fails. Holes 1-3 and 15-18 form two blocks of holes that run in the same direction but other than that you are presented with frequent changes in playing and wind direction. Very few holes play North-South though as the course is on a fairly slim parcel of land between dunes and road. If the long rough can be avoided you can make a good score even if the wind is up. I’m sure the nine-year-old in the group behind who plays off nine would agree. Lucky young chap learning his golf here.
Date: June 28, 2012