I'm very fortunate to play my links golf at Rye and always enjoy taking my friends and family down for a day out of lunch and 27 holes.
If you are wishing to play a two ball, it's probably preferable to go out late morning or in the afternoon as the members predominantly play foursomes and whizz around the course at the start of the day.
As mentioned in previous comments, the opening three holes are not particularly inspiring but the golf course becomes alive once you've climbed up onto the 4th tee. The next four holes are brilliant and the 9th is a potentially driveable par 4 if there is a favourable wind.
The back nine is similar to the front in that the opening couple of holes are poor. The lake on the 11th hole is a monstrosity and totally out of keeping with the rest of the course. There is then another strong stretch from the 13th until the 18th green.
I don't think (and sincerely hope not) that Rye will ever fall into the category of ostentatious. They are still using the same understated "temporary club house" from the 1920s and it does very much feel like you are stepping back in time when you don jacket and tie and amble through for a delicious buffet lunch.
If you have the energy after lunch, it's always worth making the effort to play nine holes on the Jubilee course as it has a couple of really cracking holes - in particular the par 5 followed by the downhill par 3.
The secretary and staff are all polite and attentive, and you're sure to have an enjoyable day out.
Date: April 16, 2021