It was a long awaited visit and for sure I got even more of what I was expecting. After and extense Tour which included The Open, playing in the Liverpool area, then driving to Sandwich to play all 3 and then back to London for a final 36 holes day before my departure to Buenos Aires. Not only the golf course was awaited, as I was going to play along with Schalk Brits current Saracens Rugby Player and former Springbok Legend.
Arrived early after a 5am wake up at Prince's Lodge and met Schalk, who was really excited to finally tick one more of his pending bucket list. We met in Argentina during his match for the Rugby Championship 2014 and our round together was a pending issue which we finally could do in this rainy morning. It was not only the chance to play with him but also have 4hs to listen and learn what the day by day of a high performance athlete is. So couldn't ask for more.
Rain bothered, yes, but what can you expect in the UK in Summer? Just don't complain and go play the course. We had a terrific time and a great match won by Schalk 3/2 (he is a 5 handicapper and can hit it a long way!), but that is just a detail of how much we enjoyed the Old Course at Sunningdale.
My first thumbs up goes for the three short par 4s (3rd, 9th and 11th) all measuring around 300yds but where you have to be extremely accurate if going for it, if not just lay up and go for the small bird. If wanting the big bird you might end up with a bogey or worse. I got +1 in the addition of all 3 which was very disappointing, but the price of hitting drive in all three!
More thumbs up go for the par 3s, specially both at the front 9 with not much of lenght but both uphill and accuracy needed.
Then the tough par 4s 2nd, 10th and 17th were after a good drive the problem is still to be solved, the approach shot is even tougher where 2nd downhill green makes it tough to hold the ball, then 10th uphill shot breaking left to right makes it extremely difficult to aim the shot and finally 17th where a missed drive got me in a mess but was lucky to get off the trees with a very nice cut stinger from 180yds..
And finally 18th facing the big tree is the perfect end to a great course, not long but good and challenging enough to still host top amateur and professional events.
I have already made the review of New, but have to say that this 36 holes Private Club has to be the best in England for sure and maybe in the UK or even Europe. Top Class Club House, extremely helpful staff, charming Locker Room and Members always making sure you are welcome at every corner of the Club.
Some final details of the Course: greens despite rain rolling true and fact, heather being a nightmare to get out (don't be greedy, hit a wedge!) and the mix of forest plus some blind shots make it a true jewel of the game.
If never been here, it is time to do it. Combine it with Walton Heath, St George's Hill and the 3 at Sandwich to make it one of the best experiences golf can give you!
Date: August 01, 2017