I like the John Jacobs designed Edinburgh course at Wentworth (with assists from Gary Player and Bernard Gallacher).
I do consider Wentworth to be the best club in the UK with three courses including the resort of Gleneagles. While I slightly prefer the King’s course at Gleneagles over the West at Wentworth, I have the East course a slight nod ahead of the Queen’s. Finally, I find the Edinburgh course to be superior to Centenary. With regards to Wentworth versus Woburn, while I have not played the Marquess I find both the West and the East to be superior to the Duke’s and Duchess’ where it can sometimes feel as if one is playing the same tree-lined hole yet again. Also, I find the routing, the beauty and the land to be superior at Wentworth versus Woburn.
If I were a member at Wentworth, I would likely find myself playing every ten rounds as five on the West, three on the East and two on the Edinburgh. While the West is the most difficult and the East is the easiest, the Edinburgh has a nice blend of challenge with most of the stress on the tee shot.
I see where some reviewers make the case for the Edinburgh to be on the top 100. I certainly would not include it on the top 100 in UK + Ireland, or even the UK, but I certainly think a case could be made for the top 100 in England. I do not think it belongs but I also think having the East on the top 100 in England is an interesting debate. However, I have not played enough courses in England to participate as I have only played approximately 60 courses.
I played the Edinburgh awhile back, before the Gary Player update. I would hope that the refreshment addressed more tree removal, particularly either in the fairway or close to the fairway. Also, I would hope they would have adding more mix to the contours to the greens as I felt they were benign/redundant and reduced the enjoyment of the golf course.
My four biggest critiques of the golf course were the boring or redundant greens, the suffocation of the trees when combined with doglegs, the doglegs are too sharp on too many holes likely as a result of a compromised routing to save land for building houses. Six of the seven dogleg holes are too sharp. Finally, there are too many trees either in the fairway or encroaching on the edges of the fairway.
I felt the bunkering to be good both in terms of placement and number. I agree with one reviewer who suggested the bunkers could be more interestingly shaped and deeper.
The greens are large which makes sense given the course can be longer than 7000 yards from the championship tees. However, as mentioned, they are dull either in slope or repetitiveness.
The land is relatively flat and do not dictate the holes with the trees being the primary determination of the playing corridors.
I felt the par 3’s to be pretty easy with the longer par 5’s and the long par 4’s representing the bigger challenges.
I did not find a standout hole, but I thought several holes to be good.
The first has three fairway bunkers on the left and a well defended green with four surrounding bunkers. It is a nice starting par 4.
The second is a short par 3 with a lovely stream fronting the green to catch the weak shot. It is another nice hole.
Three is a short par 5 that I felt to be unmemorable. It is the rare hole I felt could use more bunkers.
Four is a mid-length par 4 with a tree in the middle of the fairway which I always think is both stupid and is a result of an architect being lazy. The tree detracts from a finely routed hole to the right with one of the better green complexes on the course with three surrounding bunkers and a fall-off to the left. It’s an easy fix to remove the tree.
I like the fifth hole, the uphill 170 yard par 3 that has four surrounding bunkers and two tiers taking balls towards those bunkers. I felt this to be the best par 3 on the course.
The sixth hole, the number one index, is overly difficult due to the combination of length, the sharpness of the dogleg, bunkers on the corner of the dogleg, a ditch in the fairway, bunkers behind the green…..it’s all a bit too much.
Seven is a long par 5 of 600 yards that is a double dogleg with encroaching trees and another two-tiered steeply sloped green. Much like six, I felt the hole to be unnecessarily difficult.
Eight is a long par 4 with a narrow, tree-lined fairway. The hole has a stream crossing the fairway 50 yards short of the green. It’s an okay hole but lacking definition.
Nine is a short par 4 dogleg left with bunkers on either side of the turn. Again, I felt the dogleg to be too sharp. The bunkers at the green are the same shape and are boring.
The back nine kicks off with an average length par 5 but with another tree too close to the fairway as well as another collection of trees closer to the green on the right side also too close to the fairway. I disliked the use of trees on this hole so much it detracted from the best shaped green on the course.
Eleven is a mid-length par 4 dogleg to the right with bunkers on the left side of the turn and trees and heather on the right. I again felt the dogleg to be too severe and the trees close to the fairway should be removed. The green is tilted towards the bunkers on the left.
Twelve is a mid-length par 3 playing from an elevated tee to a thin, raised green surrounded by four bunkers. I felt this to be a nice hole.
Thirteen is a mid-length par 4 as another sharp dogleg left with bunkers at the corner on the right and trees pinching in on the left. The green is in a lovely setting.
Fourteen is another mid-length par 4 with trees as the defense to the green. The trees should be trimmed back as the hole is a bit suffocating. I felt this hole to be average.
Fifteen is a mid-length par 4 from an elevated tee with a burn in the fairway that the shorter hitter has to contemplate. The green has four bunkers surrounding it. I liked the hole.
Sixteen is a mid-length par 5 that has trees and bunkers for the tee shot. The green is flat. It is an average hole.
Seventeen is a splendid par 3 of 160 yards with a pond and flowering bushes. The green has four surrounding bunkers and a green sloped back to front. It is a nice hole and the second-best par 3.
The finishing hole is a long par 4 and a difficult hole to a fairway sloped left to right. There are a lot of bunkers on this hole, perhaps too many. Fronting the green is a swale with the green angled away from you and sloped back to front. The hole is memorable for its difficulty.
I do not think the course can be improved much to move it up in any ranking due to those six sharp dogleg holes. In addition, there are 3-4 holes that are overly difficult. Despite these critiques, it is a golf course that I did enjoy playing. It is a course that one should likely move up a set of tees from one’s normal tees as it is a golf course built for low-index players.
Date: February 28, 2020