To play a round at West Hill in glorious sunshine on a pleasant day is one of life’s treats. I did so for the first, and so far only time, in June 2011. The course is easy enough to get to by road from London although the entrance could hardly be more understated. The welcome was cordial and professional, and this, along with the ample practice facilities helped me start my round well. The course merits its ranking due to a timeless design coupled with fabulous presentation. The course has enough undulations and changes in elevation to keep the interest of the more proficient golfer, but could be a little daunting for the newcomer. The course gives the golfer numerous options off the tee and into the greens, unlike some target style courses. With the help of a course planner the first timer should find the course a fair test with excellent greens: both receptive of well-struck approach shots and true-rolling for putts. The course is relatively short by modern standards with accuracy from the tee frequently being the best policy. I find it hard to pick the standout holes as the overall quality is so high although the quirky 11th, an uphill par four, is a personal favourite. The hole offers a generous piece of fairway to the left or what appears to be a mere sliver of fairway straight ahead, followed by a semi blind approach. It may be easier to select the weakest holes with only the par3 13th, being a minor disappointment, although it would be a welcome addition to many courses. The setting is tranquil with no roads with fast-moving traffic nearby so tyre noise is no problem. For some, the proximity of the railway may be a problem but for me it wasn’t here as indeed it wasn’t at Liphook, North Hants, or Woking. Railway lines also serve as adornment to course such as Dundonald, Western Gailes, Royal Troon, etc. Of the three neighbouring 'W' courses I found West Hill a close second to Woking and marginally ahead of Worplesdon. For the record I am a member of a club that has no links to West Hill: more’s the pity.
Date: July 01, 2011