I've heard that Princes would like to hold another open championship in the future and as a result of this, they have been doing a lot of the work on the course which is still ongoing. I think the improvements have been massive and the layout at Princes is awesome and totally unique. The sand dunes make Princes a truly great experience and something you won't find at many other places in England. I think they still have plenty of work to be done if they want the prestigious claret jug being played for round there, however they're definitely heading in the right direction and the rise in the rankings show this.
For winter time, the course was in fantastic condition and we managed to hit some great weather with barely any wind. We started on the 1st hole of the shore and so finished on the better nine in my opinion. The course is relatively long and so I can imagine that on a windy day it would be very tricky, with some 430 yard par 4s playing like par 5s. The most noteworthy holes of the round would have to be the par 4 5th on the shore, hitting your approach shot towards the great Princes lodges into a fairly narrow green with plenty of run offs. The par 3 8th is also a great hole on the shore, a long par 3 with a large green side bunker to your left and the dunes around a lot of the green.
The dunes is a much better 9 holes in my opinion and starts off strong with by far my favourite hole on the course, the par 3 2nd. A hole playing about 160 yards going over all the natural sand/bunkering which looks fantastic. You then walk up to the green through the middle of the bunkers on a narrow pathway which is a very scenic route towards the green. The par 4 5th has a large sleeper bunker on the left side of the fairway, making it a very fun hole. The green has plenty of tricky run offs and borders the 14th at Royal St Georges.
Princes has really upped it's game and with all the work that they continue to do, I can only see them continuing to move their way up the rankings. The bunkers are tough as expected but fantastically designed, the greens were a touch slower than expected but true nonetheless and the run offs around the green were brilliant. Some great transitions from greens to the next tee making the appearance much stronger. A great golf course which I believe is yet to reach it's peak. I definitely plan on returning in the future.
Date: December 29, 2019