Rye is a top top quality track, probably the best I've played and the overall experience was fantastic. I had wanted to play Rye for years and was fortunate enough to arrange a day off for my best mate and I to play with a couple of colleagues who were members. We received a warm welcome and we headed out for a game of morning foursomes. The weather was amazing for the beginning of October, jumpers had to come off down the first as it was so warm.
What struck me was the excellent balance between the immaculate up keep of the tee boxes, greens bunkers and grass around the strategically placed railway sleepers without effecting the experience of the rugged backdrop. Although not particularly long at 6278 of the whites, this is a very tough golf course (par 68 but SSS 71) but it is fair. What I mean is there is plenty of trouble to get yourself in, like any links course whether it be awkward stances, deep bunkers, sloping fairways with drop offs, blind shots, gullies, pits but there is most of this on every hole! The greens are really hard to hold as firm and many have drop offs as well but you will always find your ball and you'll get assistance from the firm running fairways - all reasons why links golf trumps parkland stadium courses for me every time because it is so much more interesting and you will hit so many different shots.
Rye GC has character in abundance and almost every hole is memorable, the WW2 pill box on 4, blind drive on 6 to the lower level, well guarded par 3 7th, blind approach to 13 and a cracking finishing 18th. There are no bland par 3s, except for maybe 17. Okay there is only one par 5 and that might annoy some people but they have the balance absolutely right here.
We changed into jacket and tie for a fantastic three course lunch, bottle of wine and a glass of Kummel before heading out for 2 x 2 balls in the afternoon. They have no conventional 3 or 4 ball golf here so play is fast and we got round in 3ish hours. It was brilliant to play the course knowing where I was going, and although I drove the ball well, I just couldn't hold the greens enough and Rye definitely beat me that day but I'll be back! The atmosphere is relaxed, the members are friendly and it is not stuffy at all as you might expect from such a private club. As one of the members said to me in the changing rooms, it is proper golf. BB.
Date: October 06, 2011