The Spitfire layout at West Malling Golf Club is longer and more undulating than the Hurricane. Both 18-hole courses were designed by Max Faulkner in the 1970s and named in honour of the emblematic World War Two fighter planes that flew from the nearby airfield.
West Malling has two short 18s when I think one long course would have been better. The 'Spitfire' is 5200 yards from the yellow tees and has far more bad holes than good, in my opinion.
7 and 16 are identical short par 3s, the 6th has railway sleepers behind the green to bounce back anything hit long. The 14th is a short par 4 with the second shot up a stupidly steep slope – I can hit a wedge up there but others can’t. The worst for me though was #17 where the fairway slopes steeply right to left and kicks everything behind a tree; you can’t try and go long-right of the tree as there are bunkers. I’m still not sure what the best play is – try and put it in a bunker from the tee?
There are also a lot of unnecessarily long walks between holes. There are some positives – the fifth is a fun par 4 over a pond, 18 is a nice finish with water, it was in decent condition, it has a large pro shop… I just felt underwhelmed, partly because it’s on this website! Therefore it falls into the ‘only play if discounted’ category for me.
A Max Faulkner golf course gets its first review this week of all weeks!