I was forced to play off the mats at Hurst, with temporary greens on every hole, but the tee areas and greens did look quite well kept. If you are wayward off the tee there is plenty of space to recover from but I would only suggest a visit for a quick practice round if you are in the area, there are virtually no clubhouse facilities, just a small bar to refreshment.
Uxbridge is a municipal parkland course with tree-lined fairway’s, not much water but quite undulating, a word of warning if you do not like slow play then this course may not be for you.
The sixth hole on this course has to be one of the toughest par 4’s we have ever played 466 yards all uphill. If you get a 5 here you have played it well. On some of the holes the greens are quicker than they look so some of the putts you get are tricky. The back nine are slightly easier and if you have held your round together up to the eleventh you could get back in the clubhouse with a very good score.
Dartmouth is an absolute joy to play, tees, greens, fairways the whole course is up to championship standards, the clubhouse has great facilities with very friendly staff, a special thank you to Tamzin (hope it’s spelt right) who looked after us at dinner.
The 4th is our favourite hole and is described below. The par 3 5th is not too difficult if you stay right and the same goes for the par 4 6th. At this point we must mention the wildlife that we encountered during the opening holes, rabbits, robins, bitterns, pheasants, 8-inch crayfish!! and we didn’t see any, but there is a snake path on the course.
Bird Hills Golf Club is a gently undulating open course with a couple of water hazards, not too demanding if you do not hit the ball straight down the fairway as the only densely wooded area on the course is the course boundary. Ditches run across the fairway’s of 7 of the holes which can make you think about which club to take off the tee.
I found the back nine a lot more interesting than the front, the has hidden dangers, it is a slight dogleg and there are three little pot bunkers hidden in the rough on the left to stop you cutting the corner, if the rough is left to grow a little these bunkers are not visible from the tee.
Badgemore Park is a well maintained scenic course where the tees, fairway’s and greens are all in top condition. The course starts with two fairly easy holes, the 1st has lots of room on the left if you are wayward with your drive and if you hit it right you will be on the 10th fairway with the green still reachable but a blind shot over trees.
The 2nd is a par 5 that if the wind is right can easily be reached in 2, so you could be standing on the 3rd under Par! which is a good thing because you may just take 7 or 8 on the next hole.
The 3rd is a dogleg which curves at almost 90° to the left and at 460 yards is very difficult to reach in 2. You could hit quite a good tee shot to the middle of the fairway and still not be able to see the green.
The next few holes have bail out areas for the wayward golfer but there are long rough & wooded areas to stay clear of. The 10th, 12th, 15th & 16th will make you think about what club to hit off the tee as a driver/3wood is probably not the best club to take on these holes.
The round was a little slow, but I think there was a society in front so maybe it was a one off, although I think the shared tees on the 2nd/11th and the two holes where the fairway’s cross over each other do slow the round down a little.
Tylney Park is a superb looking course set in an undulating tree lined area just outside Rotherwick. The fairways and tees were in great shape and the greens, well you certainly can’t say that they are a bit flat, humps, bumps, slopes and tiers on nearly all of them.
All the holes apart from 10,11 and 12 are played through tree lined fairways where a misplaced drive will cost you dearly, the rough at about 2″ deep doesn’t look a bad place to be, but it is the type of rough where your ball sits right down making it almost impossible to see, even when standing right next to it.
I had a great day here and recommend this course to anyone who wants a challenge and likes to enjoy the scenery while playing but be warned the course record of only 3 under tells you that this is no easy course.
Bishopswood is a well maintained 9 hole course, the greens were great to putt on and ran very true, the fairways were in good condition, trees line most of them making a straight shot a necessity and the rough will definitely hold you up on your approach to the green.
The only bad point was the number of GUR areas around the course.
Witney Lakes is a good golf course in a nice resort, kind of reminded me of Wokefield Park. The course is still a bit young so not many trees around to hinder your play and the fairways are quite open although you do have to wary of the lakes around this course. Tees and fairways were in great condition while the greens were looking great, a few of the holes are quite picturesque and I am sure that when matured the course will look great to the eye.
Chiltern Forest is one of my favourite courses, having visited every year since first playing it in 1999, I can certainly recommend a visit here. When I first played the here I asked the secretary what the course was like, the reply I got was “There are some ups and some downs but not many flat bits”, which was quite a good description.
Set in the Chiltern Hills near Wendover Woods, the course has Beech, Yew and Pine trees lining the delightful rolling fairways of many of the holes.
Worth a mention are the second that has a gaping valley to cross to reach the fairway, the seventh will have you trying to decide what club to hit from the tee and in what direction. The same problem occurs on the eleventh, the thirteenth is tucked away in a corner so if the tee shot is not in a perfect position your not going to get on the green, then there is the 160 yard eighth hole, lets just say it plays longer than the yardage suggests.
Magnolia Park, set in the outstanding Buckinghamshire countryside, is very pleasing on the eye, the fairway’s and greens are immaculate and the water features on a few of the holes add more beauty to the course, one complaint would be that the tee areas could have been a bit more like the rest of the course, but being a new course I’m sure they will sort them out.
Overall this course was a pleasure to play and once your round is finished you have the great facilities in the clubhouse to enjoy.