Long SuttonG. C.
Played 8th March 2019
Weather & Course Condition
Having stayed the night before at a park a couple of miles away from the course I was hoping for a early start but with thick fog this went out of the window, whilst being parked in the car park the fog varied in density from 100yds to 20yds visibility. After waiting for about a hour I decided with the approval of the pro shot to give it a go, the fog at this time was around 175yds, fortunately the fog cleared completely and the sun tried to break through. The course was as you would expect for this time of year, fairway’s slightly longer than during the summer and off the fairway’s a fair bit longer, the grounds staff were out working hard and the bunkers and greens were in excellent condition, all in all considering the time of year and weather conditions the course was in very good condition and enjoyable, a credit to all involved.
Normally I like to give a brief description of the approach to the course but for this one it is a little difficult due to the thick fog and as I was putting my trust in my satnav and not being able to see more than 15-20yds in any direction makes it near impossible, for example I only just noticed the entrance to the club as I was on it but as I was driving slowly managed to turn into the driveway which leads you down to a large car park with the clubhouse and driving range alongside. As I had hired a motorhome for this trip I parked just before the car park on a bit of hard standing that was big enough for the van and right opposite the driving range. The large pro shop was very welcoming and stocked all you will need, after booking in and listening to well delivered instructions on what is expected from me on the course from the member of staff I made my way to the 1st tee looking forward to this round. Now I must confess that normally after my round I normally go into the clubhouse for a drink and a bite to eat but due to having my wife with me on this trip and she was waiting for me with a cup of tea in the motorhome and the fact I was around a couple of hours late due to the fog and mainly to keep the wife happy I did not go into the clubhouse so cannot comment on the service there but if it is anything like the pro shop you will not be disappointed.
All yardage is from the yellow tees
Hole 1 – 390yds – Par 4
Looking back from the side of the 1st green
A short walk from the club house along the pathway brings you to the first tee, from here you look down the dogleg right fairway lined by trees on both sides, with the fog only giving about 170yds visibility it was difficult to judge the distance to the dog leg. Letting loose with my 3 wood, as soon as I hit the ball I realised that a coloured ball should have been used as I lost sight of the white one in the fog, the only clue as to where it went was the sound of ball rattling from tree to tree on the left. Fortunately it was easily found among the trees and there was a gap out that I managed to progress it another 100yds up the right hand side leaving a pitch onto the large green. As I had done no loosening up I was apprehensive as to how the green would play and as such found it much slower than I had expected, mainly due to the weather conditions as you can see from the photo looking back from the tee. (Notice how quick the fog had cleared in that short time)
Hole 2 – 348yds – Par 4
A uphill drive from the tee with the fairway gentle turning left to the green, for those who hit long drives the line is over the tree you can see on the left of the picture, for me I aimed at the pole in the middle of the fairway and enjoyed watching my (yellow) ball sail off towards it but lost sight of it once it landed. A slightly down hill pitch to the green with bunkers waiting to the left and right of the green await, for me I decided on a club I knew I could hit well and consistently and ended up just short leaving just a chip and a putt.
Looking back from the green
Hole 3 – 456yds – Par 5
Your first par 5 and you can really let rip on this one as long as you don’t go left it’s a pretty straightforward one, a good second should leave most players within pitching distance of the large green. Not a easy one for higher handicappers to get a birdie on but a par is certainly possible and a bogey will still make you feel good.
Hole 4 – 505yds – Par 5
A short walk from the green crossing another fairway and through a gap in the hedgerow will bring you to the 4th tee. Once again a straight forward drive as long as this time you don’t go right. With a good following wind I managed to hit my best drive of the day which left me in the middle of the fairway around 70yds short of a small leat that crosses the fairway. Even I was in a position whereby I may be able to get on the green in two, but as can be seen in the picture that shows the group playing in front of me who are just in front of the green there is a large tree right by the green, the prudent shot for most players is to safely play over the bunker that can be seen, leaving a simple shot onto the green. Wanting to record a good score here after the great drive I had done I decided my trusty rescue wood was the club, so taking aim between the bunker and tree I let rip and watched the ball duly fly high and straight…… straight towards the 5th behind the white bush on the right, after hollering fore I sheepishly found the ball alongside the teeing ground and after apologising to the group in front found no shot to the green due to the large tree. My hindsight advice is don’t do what I did…..
Approach to the green
Hole 5 – 306yds – Par 4
A short par 4 which dog legs right about 120yds from the front of the green, sounds a simple hole but there is a good sized pond in front of the raised green. Challenging second shot due to the pond and very little room to play with behind the green, good hole, good challenge you’ll be really happy to be on the green in two.
Hole 6 – 490yds – Par 5
Not too much to worry about on this drive due to it being so open but there is a leat that runs across the fairway some 230yds from the tee. A reasonable drive and second should leave you within a good distance from the green, a easier par 5 this one, even I managed to record a par.
Approach to the green
Hole 7 – 150yds – Par 3
Good par 3 this one, as can be seen it is straightforward as long as your drive is reasonably straight, on the day of my visit the tee had been moved well back which left a shot of 165yds to the front of the green which can’t be seen from the tee. Your line should be up the right hand side which is where mine went and the ball kicked left on landing but ended up just a few yards short of the green. Managing another par this can be a hole that could ruin your card so be aware.
Hole 8 – 380yds – Par 4
A challenging hole for me this one, a downhill drive to a right hand dog leg to a green over a good sized pond in front of it. Although I hit a reasonably drive it ended up on the right hand side of the fairway which is not the ideal position as it left a blind shot over trees to the green with the pond waiting for you.
The ideal way to play this hole is be either in the middle or left of the fairway leaving your second to play just short of the pond then a pitch over it to the green. Great hole this one but if it’s your first time here beware.
Approach to green from dog leg
Hole 9 – 154yds – Par 3
A easy par 3 to complete your first 9 holes as long as you hit reasonably straight this should not be much of a problem.
A short walk from the 9th green takes you back to the clubhouse which I was grateful to see the group in front of me which was a fourball took. I try not to get involved in people not playing at a reasonable pace but I did find this fourball (who I believe where more senior members of the club) were exceptionally slow and where not prepared to let me play through and as such I had spent around 5-6 mins on every shot for the last 4 holes waiting for them thus taking just nearly 3hrs to complete 9 holes whereas I completed the 18holes in 4 ¾ hrs.
Hole 10 – 406yds – Par 4
Straightforward hole without to much trouble unless you miss hit, reasonably straight hole to a large green without to many problems.
Hole 11 – 380yds – Par 4
Another easier hole this one although it is a slight dog leg left and a small ditch running across the fairway that may well come into play for most players. After skying my drive I ended up just short of this ditch but as it was in the middle the green was still reachable, well would have been if I hadn’t drifted left into the hedgerow on the right, but even with a dropped shot I was happy to record a six.
Hole 12 – 178yds – Par 3
An easy par 3 as can be seen in photo as long as you can hit the distance but even so should you end up short of the green a par could still be on the cards.
Hole 13 – 386yds – Par 4
Beware of players crossing from the 3rd green to 4th tee in front of this tee.
As can be seen there are trees lining both sides of the fairway so a straight drive up the wide fairway is required, for those who have never played here before I advise you take a walk to check where the green is before playing your second as if like me you don’t reach the top of the hill then the green is not visible. Having taken that walk and hitting a pretty good second (for me) I ended up just short of the large green.
Hole 14 – 175yds – Par 3
This hole for me and probably most other players is a challenge, as can be seen from the photo the green lies below you and there is plenty of room around it but if like me it seems like one of those holes whereby you can’t decide between driver or 3 wood. I chose the driver which had been good to me up until now as the ball went high and straight to the flag, then sailed over it and disappeared into the trees behind, so reloading the tee I let rip with my 3 wood and watched it land just short of large bush in front and to the righthand side of the green.
Hole 15 – 347yds – Par 4
A good wide tree lined fairway that turns slightly left to the green. A good drive that remains on the fairway and a reasonable second should leave you near on or near the green which is protected by bunkers that can come into play.
Hole 16 – 514yds – Par 5
A long par 5 that is slightly uphill with the last 50yds steeply rising to the green. From the tee I was a little apprehensive as it looked a long long way and all uphill and going through my mind was if I get a 6 I’ll be happy and if it’s a 7 then that’s ok. Although I did mishit my drive it still found the fairway around 170yds from the tee, with fingers crossed I let loose with my 3 wood which went straight followed by another 3 wood left me just a few yards from the top of the bank that leads upto the green. So walking off the 16th green with a 6 left me very happy.
Hole 17 – 144yds – Par 3
A short downhill par 3, those that know me I hate, due to the fact I’m rubbish with a iron on a par 3, this time however I took great pleasure in watching my 9 iron sail off to the left front of the green and land just short of it but then gently rolled to the centre of the green leaving a simple 4ft putt which I duly took two. As long as you don’t go right from the green a par is a very good possibility for all players.
Hole 18 – 415yds – Par 4
A good finishing hole, very similar to the 15th but about 80yds further to the dog leg. As I was on track to recording a reasonably good card I was determined to hit a good drive, big mistake I should have just taken my normal routine and forget about score as my drive was a topper and ended up just in front of the ladies tee in quite bad rough, another two shot’s, well a hack and a shot got me down the fairway to the dog leg. 4th shot was a diamond ending up about 4 inches from the front of the green, then only taking 3 putts on this green which is surrounded by bunkers my card was duly messed up.