Weather & Course ConditionReview
Played here during our heatwave, another really hot day with little or no wind the only saving grace was that the course is relatively flat.
Finding the course felt a little strange as you drive through a housing estate then take a lane that goes over the A14 then turning right into their large car park. Considering the busy A14 is just yards away you can hardly hear the traffic, there is a large clubhouse with a large putting area in front of it, the pro-shop is found in the far corner of the clubhouse and is large with an indoor practice net and all that you would need and expect. I had a warm welcome from everyone there including club members and the green staff I spoke to on the course, an enjoyable day was had, and I can assure anyone going to this course they too will enjoy the facilities. Due to the ground the course is on nearly all the holes have course boundary running down the right of the fairways meaning anyone that hits left to right will find it challenging but will make you try harder to hit it straighter.
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 1 – 151yds – Par 3
A straightforward par 3 with only a bunker to the right front of the green that can come into play even though there is a large flat green waiting for your tee shot, deciding on a 8 iron and a slow easy swing I was hoping just to get a shot that went off in the direction of the pin, unbelievably it got on to the front of the green.
Hole 2 – 413yds – Par 4
Off to the right of the first green is the 2nd tee, a slight dog leg right but as you will see from the photo trees and course boundary are on the right which I duly landed in the ditch, punching out and taking a drop shop still left me with a long approach shot to the large green. Not too much trouble around the green except that on this day the grass on the right of the green was longer than elsewhere on the course and I duly found it. A par on this hole is a great result but I suspect my score of 6 could well be hit by many others.
Hole 3 – 413yds – Par 4
Not often you get two consecutive par 4’s of the same yardage, from the tee you need a straight drive and reasonable carry to clear all the problems in front of you, drift to the right and your ball has gone, for your second to the green that is tucked near to the hedgerow you will not want to overhit the green. I was left with around 190yds to the green for my second, deciding to use my 7 iron and hoping with the rock hard fairway I may end up near the green, instead it made two huge bounces then rolled across the green into the bunker. Once on the green, which I must say considering the weather we have had were in great condition, made it easy to putt on once you’ve got to grips with the speed.
Hole 4 – 158yds – Par 3
A sort of blind shot to this green which is found by going directly over the short hedge you can see in the photo, anything too far right will be lost but there is plenty of room to the left and behind the green, for me I selected my 9 iron as just lately I have been hitting this one reasonably straight which I duly did here but was a little short and left me in the bunker just short left of the green. Nice par 3 this one and for once one I enjoyed playing.
Hole 5 – 503yds – Par 5
A long slightly uphill par 5 that gently curves round to the right following the boundary of the course, with a wide fairway there isn’t too much trouble, for the long drivers a good drive and 3 wood could reach the green, for myself I had a reasonable drive then took my 3 wood but was still some 150yds short of the green, as the green is raised my rescue wood duly did the trick and got onto the front of the green but as the hole was at the back of this two tier green with a steep slope between them I ended up 3 putting. How annoying when you cover nearly 500yds in 3 shots then take another 3 for the last 10yds.
Hole 6 – 332yds – Par 4
Going back down the 5th fairway the 6th tee is just off to the left, from here this hole goes up hill then turns slightly right then down to the green, as you can see you need a straight shot as trouble awaits too the right. My drive actually made it to the top of the hill on the left, from here it was a easy pitch and run to the green, or should have been my pitch went off to the right and ran into the greenside bunker.
Hole 7 – 186yds – Par 3
Water to the left, trees to the right and a long par 3 makes for a interesting decision as to which club to use, selecting my 3 wood and aiming down the right hoping to just miss the trees was mine, watching the ball sail away on the perfect line and knowing it had the length was a joy, until it caught the branches of the trees in the distance which left me some 20yds short of the green. A chip and run onto the large green set me up for par which I duly got.
Hole 8 – 506yds – Par 5
A long par 5 with the course boundary running all the way down the right of the fairway means you do not want your shots going right, as you can see from the tee there are bushes and trees on the left which makes it a interesting drive. I found the last tree on the left but luck was with me as it kicked the ball back onto the fairway but only about 90yds in front of me. Two good 3 wood shots helped me recover and left me off to the left side of the large flat green, at this point I would love to say I walked off with par or even a bogey which would have been a good result considering the start I had but no my score was 7
Hole 9 – 389yds – Par 4
From this tee which is the furthest point away from the clubhouse the fairway gentle rises and slopes from right to left so staying on the fairway is our first challenge, starting to feel the heat at this point so I took an easy swing which duly rolled off the fairway on the left, you may be able to get over the brow of the hill which will leave you in a great position to go for the green. My second left me just short left of the green which is raised above me, taking my 65 degree wedge (yes 65) I duly knocked it up onto the green but once I’d climbed up the slope found it had rolled off the back, the green is again large and flat.
Hole 10 – 359yds – Par 4
Once again the boundary runs all the way down the right and trees down the left but the fairway is wide so shouldn’t cause too much problems. A drive and rescue wood second saw my ball race across the green and ended up some 15yds off the back, I believe on any normal day with a fairway that was not rock hard I would have been just short of the green.
Hole 11 – 400yds – Par 4
One of the few tree lined fairways where course boundaries do not come into play. As long as you don’t end up in the trees there are no issues on this one and is one too enjoy.
Hole 12 – 167yds – Par 3
A straightforward par 3 as long as you land on the green as bunkers and dips are all around this green, my drive went once again to the left of the green and a little short and my pitch was a little strong leaving another pitch from the other side of the green.
Hole 13 – 301yds – Par 4
Straight hole that turns right with the green just behind the group of trees you can see in the photo. My drive ended up amongst these trees as have many others as during my time visiting them I found five balls and noted just as many in the bottom of the hedge that is just right of the trees.
Hole 14 – 418yds – Par 4
This is the only hole I found that is all uphill but I’ll admit my feet did drag a bit due to the heat and with no wind it was starting to take it’s toll. No big problems on this one, keep out of the bunkers around the green will help you as the large green has a great putting surface.
Hole 15 – 175yds – Par 3
The last par 3 for you and should be an easy one as long as you don’t drift offline, from the tee it’s all downhill to the green so taking an 8 iron and a half swing my tee shot duly went high and straight to the green…. Landing in the clump of hawthorn bushes once it had returned from the sky I duly walked off the green with a 5 but all of us have a good chance of par or better on this one.
Hole 16 – 453yds – Par 4
With trees all around on this hole a good drive is essential to give you a good chance for par, my drive on this one was one of the best I’ve hit for a long time and managed to get around 250yds, would have been even better if it had stayed on my fairway and not going well right down the 17th. Funnily enough where I ended up left me a good line to the green and somehow a par was scored, wether the same could be said if I had gone down the correct fairway is unknown and I would love to go back and play it again sometime.
Hole 17 – 310yds – Par 4
A straight fairway on this short par 4 to a large green which big hitters can and will reach and eagle’s & birdies will be plentiful, even for us normal folk a birdie is a distinct possibility.
Hole 18 – 424yds – Par 4
From the tee the fairway turns slightly right too the large green in front of the clubhouse. Wanting to finish on a high a reasonable drive which left me on the right of the fairway with no shot to the green followed by a 8 iron put me about 20yds short of the green just to the left, walking up to my ball I could see all the club members sitting out on the veranda enjoying a pint and thought I’m looking forward to joining them. Having played better than I had for a long time I was looking forward to the simple pitch shot onto the large green and a par or bogey at the worst, 3 shots later I’d done it……I was on the green which certainly gave the club members a chuckle my only saving grace I did manage too 1 putt from 20yds.