Newbury & Crookham offers plenty of interest for the visiting golfer, with a variety of holes. This is not basic parkland as it has some uphill holes, downhill holes, flat holes, doglegs, short par 4's, long par's, shots over ravines, trees, sloping greens etc. I have played Newbury once or twice a year for the last 10 years and the course has grown on me. It is obviously not at the level of Berkshire's top courses but it is better than average. Have to say that course condition this September was the best I have known it. The greens were absolutely 1st class and of good pace, which added to the interesting slopes on the greens made them an absolute delight. Certainly seems to be a good time of year to play here, as sometimes it can get wet underfoot in the early spring especially the lower holes.
Favourite holes would include the second hole (a short par 4 offering a birdie chance) and the third, a goodlooking downhill par 3. Infact the par 3's (five of them) are all pretty good, including hole 9 over a valley to a steeply sloping green and hole 17 always a seemingly very small target and well bunkered. Long par 4's at holes 7, 8 and 14 give the course a bit of teeth; the 8th is particularly difficult being steeply uphill from the fairway to another fiercely sloping green, and a bogey is always acceptable here. One par 4 I really like is the 16th; this requires an accurate drive (ideally a draw) over a ravine/gulley with trees preventing you from cutting the corner of a sharp dog-leg left, where you are then faced with a short iron downhill to a sloping small green. Just two par 5's; one of these is the 18th which although not a classic finishing hole does provide a tricky blind approach for most of us laying up short of a fairway bunker in a dip.
Overall an entertaining place to play, and when the greens are this good even better
Date: September 18, 2020