Review for Worplesdon

Reviewer Score:


Worplesdon was the missing piece in my 3W jigsaw, so obvious comparisons were made during the round with nearby Woking and West Hill. One immediate area where Worplesdon holds the upper hand over its neighbours is the wonderful view from the clubhouse. A beautiful morning taking in breakfast from the patio whilst overlooking the course was the ideal way to start the day.

The clubhouse overlooks the first few holes and whilst it’s lovely to view from afar, it wasn’t until the 4th where I felt the course started to shine; an uphill par three played in front of the clubhouse that brings a close to the Worplesdon Golf Course - Photo by reviewer opening loop. The remainder of the front nine generally had a good flow, the 8th with its murderous two-tiered green and the 9th, a beautiful medium length dogleg of a par four probably being my highlights of the first half.

The 10th is a pretty hole and often marketed as the course’s signature, but I’m yet to be convinced by large amounts of water on a heathland layout, I had similar feelings about the pond in front of the 16th at Woking. But again we have another exceptional green on this hole with some great undulations to keep you guessing as the green slopes towards the water. Then comes the wander across the road, introducing you to probably the best stretch of land across the course. There is an element of taking your life into your hands as cars speed around the bend, but the crossing is worth it. Whilst the short, 173 yard 13th gets many accolades with a green that emerges above the ground, and the sand that surrounds it like a moat, the 12th was my personal pick. The 12th is a par five that’s reachable in two but has the narrowest of entry points to the green with mounding and a bunker to the left and another large bunker guarding two thirds of the green from the other side.

Onto the final stretch and the 16th reminded me of the same numbered hole at Hankley Common. It’s only a short hole but plays straight uphill over heathery bunkered humps and completes the set of fine par threes at Worplesdon. The bunkering on the 18th provides character to a quality closing hole where a well positioned tee shot would then suit a soft fade into Worplesdon Golf Course - Photo by reviewer the green to take the sand out of play. Sandwiched in between these holes is another magical green on 17, again two-tiered providing complexity to the approach shot, particularly if the pin is located on the front edge of the upper tier as it was when I played the course.

Generally, the condition across the fairways and greens is excellent, but the bunkers were sadly a bit of a let-down. Some courses in the area are undertaking bunker refurbishment so Worplesdon seems behind the curve here. The sand is full of stones and in need of some love and attention. It does look like they’ve already refurbished the bunkers around the green on 18, so there may be an upgrade programme already planned?

I’ve only given Worplesdon a 4-ball rating which may seem a little harsh. It's very close to a 5-ball course for me, and I'd rate the course as equal to the likes of Royal Ashdown Forest and Sherwood Forest in terms of quality which I’ve also given 4-ball ratings, so I’ll try and be consistent. However, if those bunkers were upgraded, the course would be a shoe-in for a higher rating but it’s also for that reason that my vote on the best of the 3Ws goes to Woking. Having said that, I hear plenty of tree-clearance has been carried out in recent times at West Hill, so I must head back there before I formally nail my colours to the mast.

Date: June 07, 2018

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