Puttenham has been around forever but in terms of any rankings, it has flown way under the radar. Not a course that is well known from too far away from the club but I say it is well worth a visit. This is an established course with obvious land and woodland maturity all around.
My first game was this year in July and it was a really enjoyable experience. In saying that, my first impressions from the 1st tee were not that great – the tee is at the rear of the clubhouse and a drive across a service road did not give me a warm feeling at the start of the round on the short par-4 opener. Another short par-4 (280 yards) comes at the 3rd and is downhill, so likely to have to wait for the green to clear. Do not let these early observations get in the way of a super course though.
It is from the 4th to the last hole that the course delivers in a big way with many great holes. The first par-3 comes at the 5th and is very strong; 211 yards long with a lone deep bunker protecting on the right-side of the green. The first par-5 is the 7th hole; pretty short at 497 yards but this is a great dog-legging hole where the tip is to favour the left side all of the way. I like to give marks to all holes on a course and that helps go someway to a final opinion and it is Puttenham’s 10th hole that gets my highest mark. This is SI-3 and a big par-4 at 443 yards – a tight drive out of a tree-lined chute to a right to left cambered fairway that will still leave a long slight left to right approach – a real standout hole and a design triumph.
In a time when course length is discussed far too often, Puttenham at under 6300 yards is a great advert for the game and how the course is suitable for the masses and not just the elite golfers looking just at length to impress.
The back nine continues well with so much variation – the 11th a par-5 with a blind second shot, the 14th a 302 yard par-4 with a fantastic green and the 350 yard 17th that need approaching over a gorse hedge. A tree lined par-3 at 176 yards ends the round and I really think that all that play here will enjoy the course. Glad to have found the course and look forward to seeing a ranking position next time in England’s strongest golfing county.
Date: September 04, 2019