Review for Hayling

Reviewer Score:


Like most visitors to Hayling Island, I had to travel out of my way to get there, but I was glad I made the journey. Having crossed the bridge from Havant, you will find the island's main seaside town tacky, gaudy and outdated, but the golf course is quite the opposite - charming, understated and offering a variety of challenges as pleasing now as they must have been 100 years ago. It is possible that the first two holes will disappoint you, and the next two whilst presenting a stouter challenge are hardly that exciting. However the wonderful short par three at the fifth sparks a fine run of holes, where some testing longer par fours are mixed with several short, but treacherous holes. The perilous 13th at 340 yards is a great example of how Hayling can tease with birdie opportunities yet threaten disaster - in addition to a thrilling downhill approach the backdrop of cottages, water, boats and hills is truly beautiful. The long par five fourteenth is another outstanding hole but sadly the last great hole that Hayling offers. The home run through gorse presents a fair and tough challenge, but lacks any inspiration. Hayling's clubhouse, perhaps designed to resemble a passing ship in the Solent, is big and brash and might once have been a Tate Modern installation. I was surprised to discover that inside it is stylish and comfortable, the views superb, and the food worth pausing for before hurrying home. HighHandicapMan

Date: May 30, 2006

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