I had the pleasure of returning to Walton Heath's new course today, ten years on from my last visit. Playing on a warm June afternoon, the condition and layout of the course was fabulous. It plays much differently to the west surrey heathland courses as it seems to play on much harder and faster turf, giving a links type feel to many of the holes. The expanse of the land and the exposed nature of the heathland brings the wind in to play on most holes, meaning precision off the tee and conservative course management is imperative for low scoring. There are ample opportunities for birdies and pars, with a number of short par 4’s and reachable par 5’s, but you must take those opportunities when you can, as the longer and tighter par 4’s and testing par 3’s will be quick to punish the inevitable lose shots. Straying off the fairway is invariably met with deep thick heather and the well placed bunkers are keen to swallow any misjudged approach shots. As soon as I finished I wished I could go out again and make good my mistakes, as it feels like a very scoreable track. It’s clear to see why this venue is regularly chosen to host high profile events, such as the US Open qualifying and British Seniors, as it’s a unique, classy, interesting and fair test of golf.
Date: June 25, 2015