Firstly, a lot of reviewers compare Rye and Royal St George's in the same breath; let’s get one thing straight they simply should not be. Why? You could argue that RSG has sold its soul to the devil, extending the course beyond its original design to ensure it is still on the Open rota as well as becoming a more commercialised operation where as Rye has not; it remains at its traditional best at only 6300 off the whites with a par of 68 and the quirkiness of how a club house used to be. I would say the only similarities are that they are both links courses; RSG should be compared to the other Open course to provide a true reflection of how good/bad it is. The question with Rye is does it need to change? No of course not. The course is a true test of golf with the wind generally coming off the sea it plays across the course and will play havoc with your ball, that coupled with the undulating fairways, deep bunkers and hard greens just makes it a great test of golf. The par 3s are just plain difficult and with hard greens you have to conjure up some magic to try get your ball on them as the approaches are protected by bunkers and humps and bumps to prevent the simple “land it short and let it roll on”. The par fours are great, the long ones enabling you to play some links bumps and runs which make them play a little shorter and the short ones really well defended by humps and bumps around the greens. However, and as you know, anything that ends up close to the flag always has an element of luck. Try and play on a Sunday if you can as roast lunch is just excellent. All in all a great test of golf and well worth playing if you want a taste of true links golf, well worth the excellent rating in my opinion if you put everything in to perspective.
Date: September 23, 2007