I’ve had Rye on my hit list for some time now and got the opportunity to play the course the other day. The opening three holes are rather pedestrian, with out of bounds to the left of every fairway as they head away, one after another, from the clubhouse.
I did love the low-lying wooden shuttering along the side of the green at #2 and #3 (repeated later in the round at #14). I don’t think that they’re anything other than decorative (and they do prohibit recovery shots along the deck) but they’re lovely little peripheral greenside items.
There’s great use made of the ridges running through the course and, truth be told, the real strength of Rye lies in the way the holes are routed alongside, on top of, or across these sandy stretches that run the full length of the property.
The best holes (by far) for me on the outward half were the very strong par four 6th – complete with traffic lights on the blind tee box – and the slightly downhill par three that immediately follows. The par four ninth is also a terrific short par four, rising up gently towards the clubhouse.
Once you get over the shock of hitting across a rather large pond on the 11h, you’ll find that the inward half is highlighted by three terrific holes at 13, 14 and 15 – and the first of these is probably the best on the card, played blind over one of the elongated dune ridges to a green on the other side.
Some might question Rye’s modus operandi in the 21st century but fair play to them for cocking a snook at the modern world, continuing to do things exactly as they’ve always done in their own time-honoured way. Looking ahead, I really don’t think there’s much of a future for GolfSixes here…
Date: August 15, 2019