What a delight – Worplesdon in the morning followed by West Hill in afternoon! How good can a day’s golf get? I thought the opening loop of four holes was a terrific “warm up” with the routing returning players to the clubhouse before they set off again for the rest of the round.
The greens alone were really interesting on the opening par fours: sloping back right to front left at the 1st, canted left to right at the 2nd and slanted right to left at the 3rd. And an uphill par three at the 4th over heather to a plateau green is always a challenging hole to play early on.
The remainder of the front nine was marvellous, starting at the 5th, with an incredible double dip in the fairway immediately in front of the green. The second uphill par three at the 7th was even more heavily bunkered than the 4th and the pronounced two-tiered green on the 8th has to be seen to be believed!
On the back nine, the par five 12th and par three 13th are standout holes. The 12th narrows noticeably on reaching an offset green that angles to the right, protected to the front by a deep bunker. The following hole then plays from an elevated tee to a green fronted by an enormous expanse of sand.
I also liked the final par three at the 16th – again, another short hole played uphill, which is never easy to make interesting – where there’s far more room around the green on top of a ridge than you imagine from the teebox. That’s just the sort of simple design feature which sets Worplesdon apart from others.
Currently, the course is ranked between the other two “Ws” of Woking and West Hill, which is probably about right, though there’s not much to separate them. Imagine if you were a club member with reciprocal playing privileges for all three courses – now that would bring real meaning to the expression “spoiled for choice”.
Date: July 18, 2017