The Wentworth Club needs no introduction; after all, the West course is the most televised course in Britain. Even those disinterested in the game of golf have heard of the stylish and famous Wentworth Club. But do you really know how good the Edinburgh course is?
The Edinburgh is not a relief course, it's 100% the real thing. The East and West courses are tough acts to follow, and when Wentworth identified 150 acres of land between the existing two courses and Sunningdale, the heat was on to create something really special. John Jacobs was chosen to design the new course with assistance from Bernard Gallacher (Wentworth club professional for 20 years) and the legendary "Black Knight". Gary Player. Player was well acquainted with the Wentworth property having played in 20 consecutive World Match-play Championships on the West course.
1,500 tons of wood was cleared in record time by a team of New Zealand lumberjacks and, in 1990, after a huge effort, the South course opened for play. The course was later renamed the Edinburgh in honour of the Duke who conducted the opening ceremony.
"For the most part the course winds its way through 'The Great Wood' which does call for straight hitting. However, the fairways are not so narrow as to inhibit the use of the driver, rather to encourage it." Wrote John Jacobs. And he's absolutely right, this is a driver's course and, with a yardage that stretches out beyond 7,000 yards from the back tees, you can't afford to leave your big stick in the car.
There are so many excellent holes that it is almost unwise to single one out, but the long par five 7th is a truly magnificent three-shotter. Many good handicap golfers will struggle to reach this green in regulation. The hole doglegs on and on to the right, seemingly indefinitely. The green remains invisible, hidden by an avenue of pines until you are virtually on top of the two-tiered green.
If you find yourself in the wrong position on these big greens, expect a few three putts and if your driving is wayward, expect a few sideways chips from the pine straw. Host to the Senior Masters, the Edinburgh course is a challenging test. In many ways there is Woburn feel here, reminiscent to the Marquess course.
Wentworth is perhaps the best 54-hole inland golfing destination in the whole of the British Isles. It's by no means the easiest venue to access these days, but it is undeniably a special place. If you haven't played the Edinburgh course attempt to befriend a member immediately.
In 2016 it was announced that Gary Player Design will be spearheading an Edinburgh course renovation.
May 10, 2009