It can be said that education can broaden the mind, and that extra bit of experience and knowledge can sometimes make you view at things in a different light sometimes causing a revision of a long held opinion. Many years ago, more than I care to remember, I was a frequent and very grateful visitor to Old Ranfurly as a guest of a member. As a boy who played some, if not all of his golf at a municipal parkland course, Old Ranfurly was almost like a golfing Shangri-La with its excellent conditioning and variation and challenge of holes and thankfully, that has not changed. However, this knowledge and experience has now made me question things that I would have overlooked in the past notably the quixotic nature of some of the finishing holes at Old Ranfurly, specifically holes 16 and 17. Hole 16 is a long, blind, uphill and in my opinion very unsporting par 3. And, if that was not enough the tee shot at 17 necessitates the traversing of the first fairway. I imagine that there has been numerous instances of an unsuspecting golfer copping an unfortunate one whilst strolling after his first shot of the day. Fortunately, this is more than compensated elsewhere as the remainder of the course is good, very good in places. The aforementioned opening hole being a stout long par 4 to an elevated green, a parcel of excellent par 3’s at holes 5,7 and 13, the latter being a flick with a wedge to a surface safeguarded by a flotilla of greedy bunkers, the tough driving holes of 4th and 14th also warrant an honourable mention.
So in spite of some negatives there is an awful lot to enjoy at Old Ranfurly, coupled with the previously stated conditioning and variety you will also encounter a very welcoming membership and if that was not enough online deals can often be found for around £20 for this engaging track just watch your head on the first fairway. MPPJ
Date: May 10, 2019