It was the perfect end for my 10 rounds trip to England this past 10 days. After a rainy but amazing round in the morning with my friend Schalk Brits at the Old Course and a proper lunch, I took my clubs and carried them again for an afternoon round on the New before taking a plane back to Argentina.
I played the first 3 holes with 4 old members who gave me the basics of the course which I continued on my own and completed it in less than 3 hours losing only one ball (and having found a couple of them). There was some more rain, but not as continued and hard as during the morning round.
The Members had told me the "short holes" are the trademark of the New and they are completely right: every par 3 has its own character, greatness in design and challenge. And you'd better hit the green, if not the up and down will be a hard quest to conquer.
It would be more of the same stuff to describe every hole, so let's try and explain why I loved the course: despite being on the same piece of land as Old it feels a completely different course, longer and maybe tougher where driver MUST work and putting has to be at its finest. Here it is not wisdom off the tee but straightness that you need and some length.
The opener is one of the toughest par 4s I've played in England, a driver and hybrid from the white tees to start? Not a bad bogey! Par 5 6th hole is a perfect risk-reward hole, where the green will make you think twice before taking extra risk. Par 4 9th has the nicest tee shot on the course, blind to a valley before a tough approach to a left to right breaking green. Par 5 13th is long for the standard of the course, with a middle cross bunker behaving similarly to those on the 14th at Royal St George's. And the final hole is a short but great par 5, where again being too greedy might be a penalty.
End of the tour, fantastic golf and a nice food at the Club to finish some of the best 10 hours I have spent at a Golf Club. The clubhouse is special, very special, where at the entrance there is a welcome letter with the surnames of all visitors of the day. And the pro shop is very tempting, you will buy something for sure.
If you are here, don't stay only with the Old and go play the New, either the same day or another one. It is fairly put in its World Top 100 position, it really deserves it!
Date: July 28, 2017