Walton Heath is not as photogenic in the vein of other Surrey courses such as the Addington, Woking or West Hill with their more noticeable changes in elevation. That is not to say that Walton Heath is flat or dull. Where the land is crumpled it adds challenge and visual appeal without causing extreme lies and stances. However, the flatter pieces of land, in common with many links courses, make distance judgement more important. The placement of hazards serves to confuse the eye further. The course demands straight and long driving throughout, with the cumulative effect adding to mental tiredness and will inevitably lead to the odd missed fairway and a lost ball if snaffled by the abundant and all too welcoming heather. Not even the 18th gives any respite. Firm summertime fairways offer opportunities to gain distance without extra physical exertion, although flighting high drives into softened autumnal fairways might make for a less stressful experience. The greens are nearly the equal of the billiard table smoothness and speed of Burnham & Berrow. If one were to criticise the course it could be for a lack of variety, with holes 2-6 all par fours running roughly due south. Later, frequent changes in direction do much to diffuse the feeling. The holes are harder to separate in the mind than at some courses but each is worthy of its place in the whole. The rather incongruous par 3 1st , which uses length as its primary defence is a rare exception. The noise from the M25 as mentioned by other reviewers is a minor bugbear, but it is an acceptable trade-off for such easy access. Walton Heath may not create strong affection with the visiting golfer but it is certainly worthy of its ranking, as a course for the discerning golfer to respect and admire, more than fall in love with.
Date: August 05, 2011