Having helped in the administration of the recent England Golf English Women’s Strokeplay here at the birthplace of “stableford” I simply had to come back and play what looked to be a fantastic layout. I was not disappointed.
Along with a colleague, we were matched up with two American’s from California – one an overseas member and the other a budding young professional who was in the country to play in a few Challenge Tour / Europro events. This gave us a great insight to the course – some local knowledge and the inspiring viewpoint of someone who hits the ball further than I can only dream of!
Blessed with good weather for late September and only a zephyr of a breeze, we were warmly greeted by the professional team before stepping onto the course. We were not to be let down and from the very first hole, where you do not want to go right, we had a great time. Whilst some of the holes are fairly flat in comparison to the rest of the course (7th and 8th) they are no less interesting than the rest of the course which rolls through mountainous dunes. These holes are extremely well defined by the topography of the land and having the knowledge of a “local” to guide us round certainly helped as the signage is not always obvious.
The condition of the course was spectacular with tees, fairways and greens in great condition. Bunkering was well placed and certainly gobbled up any misplaced drives or approaches. Thankfully, the rough was kind given the time of year and I would certainly not like to visit it too often during June and July when I expect it would be at it fiercest.
With huge changes in elevation, several of the greens were well above the levels of the fairways – the 3rd and 11th being great examples and shots to these greens demanded your full attention.
I’d heard the Club had recently completed a “modernisation” of routing people around the course and I have to say that the pathways to and from the tees were excellent and subtle management of the walkways by the greenkeeper ensured they remained in this condition. The shaping of the fairways and management of the greens and surrounds were testament to the hard work put in by the greens team.
Greens were a pleasure to putt on and you needed a keen eye to read the subtle borrows.
Outstanding holes for me were the 4th and then the run for home from the 16th. The 4th is a par 5 from an elevated tee with two fairways to hit (it runs alongside the 17th) and OOB to the right. The 16th – a par 3 that is all carry to the green and gives you a great sense of satisfaction if you hit it, the 17th, a strong par 4 with a green that is well hidden unless you are in A1 position on the fairway (long and left) and the 18th which invites a drive to a narrow fairway before a second shot to a large picturesque undulating green in front of the clubhouse.
Whilst the practice facilities are limited, we really enjoyed our visit and would certainly look forward to playing here again and although the club is quite traditional, they extend a very warm welcome to everyone.
Date: October 13, 2021