Walton Heath is a top notch heathland course and in my opinion, second only to the might of Sunningdale in this part of the country. Granted, the clubhouse is not as traditional as many and yes, the monstrous putting green is a little peculiar. I would be more critical about the first hole had my sweetly-struck hybrid not landed five feet from the flag. So, get to Walton, get the long and dull opening par-3 out of the way, then cross the road and enjoy every moment. There's a string of five superb par-4s, followed by a sequence of varied and interesting challenges through the turn. For me, one of the stand-out holes is 12; a short dogleg right par-4 requiring not power, but precision from tee to green. The final three holes would serve as a perfect setting for a grandstand finish in any matchplay battles. The long downhill par-5 16th is followed by a 200-yard par-3 with a multi-tiered green. The closing hole is a lengthy uphill par-4, with a huge bunker defending the final green. I've only played the course once, but I can certainly recommend a visit in late August / early September as the heather blooms bright and brilliant purple. Superb.
Date: November 15, 2011