When we moved out of London, we nearly bought a house here. You get a lot of house for the money and when you are driving in from Dover over the white cliffs, you can even see the European Union on the horizon. On a clear day. As it is, we settled on the northern tip of Hampshire that just about clings on to the sand belt that runs down to us through surrey from Berkshire. For the schools, you understand…?
Every time I play here, I question why we didn’t buy in Kent. 3 Open Championship Links Courses of very different character tumble amongst the dunes and roll across the low links land. Access is varied. And most reviews here start with “I was lucky enough…” which usually means. “I paid a three figure sum and it was worth it.” Princes is reasonable and great value. RCP is a manageable treat and well worth it.
RSG is eye watering and has an opportunity cost for most but is well worth it. First timers should always play 36 and take a caddy for the morning round at the very least.
It’s a very tough golf course too. Not in just a subtle way either. Whilst it is holding a gun in your face and demanding your wallet, its also hacking your email, forging the invoices it has found there and resending them to you with new bank details. Before you know it you have no handicap left for the last few holes.
A few years ago, I decided to give up waiting for the invite and stumped up for the 36 hole day ticket. And now I return again. It was like glimpsing the beautiful woman I wanted to make my wife but I strolled on by with just a glimpse. I wanted to get her number. I wanted to take her on a date. Over the next few glorious months we would know each other intimately.
If ever a course was worthy of a month ticket then this is “the one” I would buy. I’d rent a house. I’d play every day. I’d hope the wind would change direction. I’d See the pins in different spots and get to know the members and hear their stories. I’d see the rough come and go.
One visit is a joy but there is so much to RSG to appreciate that you will never tire of it.
Sadly, I played so badly here it was academic. It was wasted on me. Lip wabblingly, achingly bad. The sort of Round that keeps eBays golf section in business. But the fine company of my recently retired Firefighter friends was a pleasure none the less and they too felt the journey from the midlands was well worth it.
As the sun set, we turned for home; into the breeze and the turning light. Casting shadows in whispering grasses and the bunkers yawning.
Atop the greens, buffeted golfers conspired on plumb bobbed lines and relished the rumpled climb.
I’ll be back again. One day.
Date: April 29, 2019