Having played the renowned Shore & Dunes combo a few years ago, I was keen to return to play the Himalayas since its inclusion in the 2019 renewal of England’s Top 100. I had been a big fan of Shore & Dunes, so I was intrigued to see how the Himalayas compared and the justification of it’s inclusion as a 9 hole layout.
The fact that the Himalayas sits some 50 spots below its famous siblings led me to believe that it would be the poorer of the three 9 hole layouts, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Prince’s have done a great job at creating three excellent courses, that compliment each other, whilst each having their own unique characteristics. The Himalayas feels like a step back in time. It’s well maintained where it should be, but rough and rustic round the edges. Wetlands offer plenty of danger (especially when the wind is up) and most holes have natural bunkers set into the dunes that look as though they have been there since the dawn of time. Add to that a wooden propeller to represent a spitfire crash on the 3rd fairway and a naval battle set at “Bloody Point” in AD851, you feel as though you are playing golf through the ages.
After a strong opening hole, the course is filled with a variety of challenges. From long Par 5s to reachable risk/reward Par 4s. All the Par 3s are also excellent here, but the standout is the Par 3 5th playing out to sea. Completely wind exposed, short and tactical. Everything you could wish for from a Linksland one shotter. I also loved the 9th to finish. A drive from an elevated tee box, with a greensite defended by pot bunkers and the ominous Sarazen Bunker, makes for an excellent crescendo.
Finally it would be remiss of me not to mention the welcome and the hospitality we received at Prince’s. The staff could not have been more friendly and welcoming if they tried. They are clearly proud of their courses and made our stay one to remember and we would be heading back at the end of the summer for more. 27 holes at Prince’s really is a fantastic day out.
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Date: May 11, 2021