Richmond Park Golf Club – London

Despite being in the middle of London this course has a nice little tree-lined country feel to it. The fairways were in perfect condition but the greens could have been cut a little closer, we will overlook this as we did play it at the end of September after it was wet all week. Well placed ditches in the middle of the fairways come into play from some of the tees and you have to watch out for the occasional deer crossing in front of you. One thing we did not like was the bunkers, there was slightly more mud in them than sand.

Aldwickbury Golf Club – Hertfordshire

Aldwickbury is laid out among 170 acres of mature undulating parkland, the course was under very wet conditions when we played it but the fairway’s were still in good condition and there was nothing wrong with the tees either, we couldn’t really comment on the greens as they had just started spiking (vertidraining) them.

Although in some areas where there were no holes the ball did run well and some of the greens looked to have interesting slopes on them. The trees around the course do come into play on some holes and a few holes have some well placed bunkers, the 9th being one example.

Altogether a nice course to play and we will have to revisit in the summer under better conditions.

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Pine Ridge Golf Club – Surrey

A very scenic public pay & play golf course, the fairway’s on most holes are flat and lined with pine trees but they are very undulating with slopes going in all directions. The whole course is surrounded by pine trees but there is space amongst these trees to find gaps to recover back onto the fairway (Simon can verify this as he spent most of the time around the course amongst the trees).

The greens are undulating too and you will find some interesting putts on some holes if you are more than 20ft away. The tees on this course are amongst the best tees we have played on, they are all built-up tees with log surroundings and look great, the course is not too hilly overall but the second nine is definitely more tiring than the first.

Silvermere Golf Club – Surrey

Nice course with some tight wooded holes at the start, opens up after then and is more forgiving to the odd wayward shot. There is water on every hole after the 13th and the lake at the clubhouse makes the 17th and 18th holes very interesting.

The 17th would be easy if it was all grass but it is a 170 yard carry over water, I bet a few thousand pounds worth of golf balls are in that lake.

Oak Park Golf Club – Hampshire

Oak Park is a very nice 18 hole course which also has a 3200 yard 9 hole course. The main course is hilly in places and most holes have very tight tree-lined fairway’s which were in excellent condition as well as the greens, considering how good the fairway’s and greens were the tees were a little bit of a disappointment and could have been better.

There is some sort of water feature or ditch on nearly every hole so careful placement of your tee shots are required for good scoring.

Shendish Manor Golf Club – Hertfordshire

Shendish Manor is a nice tree-lined, if a little short, course, the trees and woodland around this course are mature and come into play on quite a few holes. Don’t remember seeing any water on the course and a few of the par 4’s are very reachable from the tee.

This course is a good one to play if you are a high handicapper as most of the holes are a bit on the short side in length, mind you the greens are very tough to putt on. They were in good condition and the ball rolls well on them but they are certainly not flat, Tony had nine birdie putts in his round and did not make one of them.

West Middlesex Golf Club – Middlesex

West Middlesex is a nice tree-lined course in built up area, you have to cross a main road twice on the way round, but the fairways, greens and tees were in great condition. If you have not played this course before, as I had not, then I suggest you go round with a member or walk the course first. A few of the holes have blind shots and you can easily lose a ball into trees or river if you do not know where the hole goes.

The fairways have quite a few ups and downs in them with some well placed mounds in the middle of some. There is only one hole affected by water, the 11th, a river runs along next to the 17th but does not really come into play unless you miss the fairway by a long way to the left.

What I liked about this course was the par 3’s, most were long and the short one is over a lake.

Stanmore Golf Club – Middlesex

Stanmore is a nice course which is very close to London, there is a variety of wooded holes and some hilly ones too. The hilly part of the course tests your hitting power and length as many of the tee shots land on an uphill slope so will stop where they land. The wooded part of the course is where accuracy is required otherwise you will find yourself in the middle of a spinney looking for a gap to get back to the fairway.

The 7th hole was the highlight of the round, the tee shot looks daunting, it’s a raised tee up on the high part of the course down to the fairway on the low part of the course. The drop is flanked on either side by trees and it looks as if one pine tree directly in line with the tee and fairway got just a little bit too big as it has been cut down to size allowing the tee shot to sail straight over it.

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Ashford Manor Golf Club – Middlesex

Ashford Manor is a very nice course with a nice clubhouse which was once the mansion house of the Ashford Manor Estate. The greens are very good and look to run true, some are very undulating and the pins were placed on the slopes of some greens making those little tap-ins a little more difficult.

The fairways look great as well and are lined with woods of pine, oak, elm, fir and cassia. The course looks as though it is in the middle of the countryside, not right next to Heathrow on the outskirts of London. The only disappointing thing about this course was that the par 4’s feel all the same, straight up and down, there is only one dogleg on the whole course. The only other thing that is worth mentioning is that it is Jackets and Ties in the clubhouse after 7pm.

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