Stanmore is a course that places a premium on strategy rather than how long one hits the ball. At 6000 yards and with tree lined fairways you have to be accurate off the tee but the real defence is the undulating and false front greens. Designed by Mr. Augusta himself, Alister MacKenzie, his work is evident here and design parallels can be seen with Augusta and in particular, Hadley Wood in this respect. Over the last few years, the club has undergone a lot of on-course work to beef up the "playability" and boost speed of play. Thus some of the tree lined fairways have been cut back slightly and some of the ground cover in trees cleared, making the course more visually appealing and scoreable for all standards. The front 9 is the shorter and the standout holes have to be 2,7,8. The 2nd is a long par 4 up to a very slopey elongated green, with emphasis on the 2nd shot accuracy as drop areas either side of the green leave a tricky up and down. The 7th is the signature hole without a doubt. A Short Par 4 which plays just over 300 yards given the elevation, great views and the tee shot is paramount to score well here. The following 8th hole is a 175yard par3 which a large false front. Getting the ball to the top level is key to this hole but anyone walking away with par would be happy. The back 9 is longer with 2 pars 5's, 2 par 3's and the rest par 4's. Most of the par 4's are long, other than the drivable 14th. Personal favourites on this 9 are the 15th up the hill, slight dog leg right with another false front green and the very scoreable par 5 18th where birdie is always the target. Overall the course is well conditioned, however the tee boxes do need some TLC. Club members are friendly and welcoming, a far cry from 20 years ago perhaps. This is well worth a visit and certainly top 4 in Middlesex given how good the greens are through the Spring and Summer.
Date: June 27, 2017