Had the great fortune to play here on 8th June - 2 days after both courses had been used for Open Championship Final Qualifying.This was my 4th visit and in my opinion if there is a nicer place to play golf anywhere in the UK I have yet to find it. There are a few courses around which are undoubtedly stronger, but for the vast majority of golfers these are just too difficult to play day in day out. Don't get me wrong, Sunningdale is a very stiff test of golf, but also a very fair and playable one that will have you aching for a return trip as soon as possible.I played 10 holes of the New in the morning which I think is slightly more deamnding, and then the Old in the afternoon. Sandwiched in between was the legendary Sunningdale lunch which in itself is a very special experience.First of all the greens - apparently they had been 'ironed' yesterday morning and the pro informed us that they were running at a round 11 1/2 on the stimp meter. I can honestly say that in 15 years of playing top quality courses that they were the fastest I have ever putted on. Stories of 4 putts, putting into bunkers and off greens were heard from several players yesterday. A real test and without doubt the best surfaces I have ever seen.The course starts off fairly gently with a straight away par 5. After that there is a fantastic blend of short and long par 4's, par 3's of all lengths and one more par 5 on the back nine. Fairways in the main are reasonably generous, but if you wander into the heather you will beseverely penalised. Bunkering is good both from the tee and around the greens and you really do need to strike the ball well and have all parts of your game in good shape if you want to score well. That said, if you are playing well and think your way around (use the driver sparingly and stay away from sucker pins) then a good score is perfectly possible.All in all absolutely fantastic - if I was lucky enough to be able to choose 1 course to play for the rest of my life then the Old at Sunningdale wins hands down.
Date: June 08, 2011