Another long waited one for me. 12 years ago my fellow Pro Golfer Friend Tomas Argonz played the South of England Amateur there in both courses and told me the place was just superb and I have to say he was damn right!
It was one of those demanding experiences as I went directly from Heathrow after a 12hr flight from Buenos Aires to the course, a quick breakfast and directly to the course with not one single ball hit at the driving range! And to start the round with a 235yds par 3 and a tough 450yds par 4 it is not the easiest way to get your score on track! But I have to say it was an amazing experience, as I was cheduled to play on my own but a friendly member named Andy invited me to join him plus guests Mark and Tomy for a great friendly match which finished all square after 18 holes, we were close but the putts on 17th and 18th just didn't drop but it is just a detail, there is no regret after enjoying the golf course in a nice 24C sunny day!!!
As mentioned the course starts with a 235yds par 3 which used to be a par 4 and which could disappear if Club House is moved to the other side of the road as member Andy told me. I wouldn't say it is an easy hole, but maybe not the nicest start when the rest of the course shows beauty, design and challenge in great balanced ways.
Hole #2 is on of the toughest where tee shot is to be necesarily accurate before an uphill tough approach shot. Short par 4 3rd hole is a perfect risk vs reward one, if you go for it you might find a birdie but also some deep trouble in one of those bunkers!
I found 5th as one of the best where the tighter the angle to cut the dogleg, the easier the hole gets but a missed tee shot to the right go me into the heather for the first time and a double appeared! Then 6th has a tough green, which doesn't show how downhill is from back to front and you need to be careful when you putt (I was not and 3 putted after 2 great shots). Short par 5 8th is maybe the first real chance to get a shot back, but again tee shot must be on the fairway.
I found downhill par 3 11th to an enormous gree and great example of how a "short hole" can give you a great variety of distances and angles to change the hole every single round and make it not to play the same every round, loved it.
Dogleg 12th was the second time I got too greedy and caught, DONT GO FOR THE GREEN!!! It is too tough to get it there and a narrow miss will be a big number. When I play it again I will make sure to lay up, it is the best way to play the hole. Then the 2 consecutive par 5s get you the second chance to get shots back, but you have to hit the fairway. I missed 13th and from thr heather the only choice is lay up.
Stroke index 2 15th hole is maybe the toughest, where a good driver that rolled too much got me to an unplayable lie and had to battle for a bogey, it is maybe the toughest tee shot on the course.
16th is last par 5 and the best approach shot on the back 9, where a good tee shot is not enough for getting home in 2 as the big green will challenge your long game before you are put to putt for eagle. 17th close to another par 3 on the New Course is downhill but not that tough, just hit it high enough. And the finishing hole has a cross bunker before the green (which I caught) very well put to catch those who miss the fairway and are not clever enough to lay up short enough to avoid the sand. In a summary, a fantastic course on great rolling greens and penalizing heather which make it a great test for the most skilled golfers. Will I be back DEFINITELY and hopefully play the New as well.
The 19th hole at the terrace was the final great touch of a Golf Club which offers a kind of those unforgettable experiences which real golfers need to live. a deserved spot in the World Top 100 not only for the course, but to the Club as well!
Date: August 01, 2017