We played this yesterday, mid February in between Storm Ciara & Storm Dennis hitting the UK. In fact we played Huntercombe on a whim, having discovered our home course was closed due to the torrential overnight rain. It's a course we've wanted to play for a while and so we called ahead to make sure they were open and then made the 90 minute journey down the M40.
This course really is in the middle of nowhere and initially we drove straight past the entrance!
We checked in to the pro shop and had 20 or so minutes warm up on the range. Despite the car park being almost full, the course didn't appear to be busy at, so we could tee off at our own leisure. Please note, Huntercombe only allows play in 2balls or Foursomes so the pace of play is quite quick.
The opening hole is a gentle 136yd Par 3 and we both hit the green fairly easily. Walking to our balls we were looking forward to making a Par at worse and moving on to the stiffer test of the next 17 holes, and then we reached the green!! I'm not sure there was a flat spot anywhere on this green and as both of our birdie attempts sailed past the hole we appreciated that to score well our putters would need to be red hot! We both made bogey.
The 2nd is a picturesque downhill Par 4 with OB all down the left and the 3rd has probably one of the trickiest greens I've ever encountered. The 1st 5 holes loop back to the clubhouse and whilst none of these holes are overly long you must think and plot your way round.
We arrived at the 6th tee slightly concerned, as there appeared to be a round running the length of the hole about 2 metres to the right of the tee box! Overly cautious we decided to play down the left of the hole in fear of hitting one of the passing cars! The 7th is a long Par 3 that again runs alongside the road, so accuracy is a must.
The Index 1 8th hole played straight in to the wind and the pin tucked away on the top of a mountainous tier resulted in the 1st double bogey of the day.
With very few bunkers on the course the main defense is the grassy hollows on the fairways that catch any errant tee shots and make it virtually impossible to reach the green if you find yourself in one.
Driving accuracy is paramount at Huntercombe and as my playing partner found out over the next few holes, if you miss the fairway you're likely to have one or two trees blocking your path to the green!
Out of the closing holes the 17th is probably the one most people will remember and whilst it's short the 3 bunkers across the front of the green offer great protection from those having a go at driving it.
The 18th green sits in front of the clubhouse and I'd imagine on a sunny day the patio would be packed with members watching you come in.
Considering the rain we'd had up and down the country Huntercombe was in fantastic condition and we had great fun playing it. I felt it has similarities to Beau Desert and Little Aston, but I preferred Huntercombe to both of these.
The only downside was there was no food available when we finished (3pm), but that won't stop me coming back again.
Date: February 14, 2020