"It's a very good course but I'm not sure it is worth £105 a round," said one of my playing partners as we neared the end of our round at Little Aston.
This was the most expensive so far during my challenge of playing the top 100 English courses and the first time that value-for-money had been in question.
To be fair all other rounds (see my previous reviews) have been discounted either because I was playing just after the Covid lockdown was lifted or I was in a competition.
But my mate felt that we were paying for its Little Aston's position, cheek-by-jowl with some of the most fantastic properties in the Midlands, as opposed to the course's wow factor.
I wasn't so critical. Little Aston is a pretty track. Its fairways are cut majestically with consistent lies and its greens are pacy and tricky (although the toughest was on the beautifully manicured practice area where I nearly lost a ball in the flower beds).
And quality play can be rewarded with good scoring. There was only one hole which none of our party hit in regulation.
But it is true that there are no startling views from the course which is hidden away, even from the nearby mansions, by attractive tree lines (I thought they made the short 9th particularly pleasing on the eye).
There are also a couple of handsome water features which can be easily avoided but add a pretty dimension.
It did seem to me that there were a couple of stroke indexing anomalies - especially the 4th which has to be the most straightforward stroke index one I have ever played, standing out particularly when compared to the 10th, which is S.I.3 but is 125 yards longer.
I disagreed with my pals who questioned the variety of holes. I thought there was plenty of interest and they would have prompted me to have to go through most of my repertoire had I been playing anywhere near my 12 handicap.
And I ought to give mention of our welcome. Covid restrictions were sensible and unobtrusive and the professional was very friendly, giving clear instructions as well as a shot-saver and a money-holder as a souvenir.
My mate would argue that the problem was, we weren't left with enough spare notes to put in it.
So was it worth £105? I reckon £80 would have been more than enough but I still enjoyed a beautiful day.
Date: July 30, 2020