A number of people have recently extolled the virtues of Mill Ride Golf & Country Club. After being too long away we lately went back.
Although Mill Ride has a relatively short history, which dates back to 1990, we expect the golf club to have a very bright future. Designed by Donald Steel, Mill Ride is one of the best new courses in England’s prosperous southeast.
Measuring a healthy 6,800 yards from the back tees, Mill Ride is a test and it also has a fine collection of holes that are so varied that there is no chance whatsoever of becoming bored. The course is well maintained with fairways that weave their way past lakes, hillocks and hollows, giving Mill Ride a park-like flavour with a hint of inland links.
The 1st is a straightforward par five which takes you rapidly away from the comfortable clubhouse. But the 2nd grabs your attention as soon as you reach the tee. Water is in play on this excellent par four, in fact, a lake runs all the way down the left hand side of the fairway. So you’ll need to decide how much you dare cut off and, with out of bounds on the right, there’s absolutely no margin for error. The 10th is a cracking and thought provoking par five. A well-positioned tee shot to the centre of the fairway will help to make the tricky second shot, which must be played between a narrow chute of trees, that little bit easier. To make things even more challenging, you must carry a pond, which lurks ominously at some 135 yards short of the green.
A favourite hole is the 17th, a very tough par four, measuring 437 yards. A lake runs down the left side waiting for your wayward drive or your misplaced second shot – or perhaps both on a bad day! The challenge of Mill Ride continues to the last hole, which is another super par five. It’s a classic matchplay hole with so many choices to be made from the tee and for the approach shot to the green. The 18th is a truly memorable hole to conclude your round.
With the membership level set at only 350 members, Mill Ride is certainly not an overplayed course and amongst this membership there are plenty of familiar faces from the world of sport and showbiz. You never know whom you might bump into. Mill Ride is also a very popular corporate venue with many clients returning year after year and we can see the attraction.
We first teed it up at Mill Ride in the mid 1990s and more than ten years on, this is a much-improved venue.