Set in mature Berkshire countryside this course certainly serves up some great views together with the care & attention that has gone in to making the tees, greens & fairways absolutely superb. The tees were being sanded & aerated when we played here but that did not impose on our round one bit. The variety in tee positions is always nice to see especially as most clubs these days tend to just have one large rectangle for a tee area with the various tees spaced out along it.
With an elevated tee area overlooking the course the 1st gets you off to a nice start, miss the bunkers and find the slope on the fairway to leave yourself just a short pitch into the green. The 2nd is a little more challenging and very hard to reach in two, so play it as it should be played & you should have a putt for a birdie. The first par 3 on the course needs a good shot to hit the green, the bunkers in front of the hole look daunting but they are quite a way short of the putting surface so try to ignore them.
The 4th has another elevated tee with great views, a shot down the right is the best line as you should be able to clear the bunkers. Two cracking shots may get you on the 5th green with a putt for an eagle but again it’s wise to play it to regulation as the water behind the green can easily come into play. With it’s semi-blind tee shot the 6th fairway seems a little tight but there is room on the right, we promise you.
The 7th is a great looking par 4, tee off straight at the bunkers through the gap in the tree line to leave yourself an uphill approach to quite a tight green. Then it’s on to the 8th a short Par 4 with plenty of dangers, out of bounds on the right & water on the left, it would be wise to take two irons to reach this green. The final hole of the first nine again requires a solid shot to reach the green but there is room to run it on if you are struggling for length.
After a brief visit to the half-way house it’s on to the 10th, keep out of the trees and judge the distance of the downhill approach correctly and you should be alright providing you hit the correct tier on the green. The 11th is another Par 5 that looks reachable in two but the clever positioning of the bunkers and the uphill approach to the green make that task a tough one, if you are laying up with your second make sure you know the yardage to the end of the fairway. The Par 3 12th is another hole that just looks great, all downhill but make a note of the pin position or a long putt could put you in danger of making a four. The 13th has a tough carry from the tee but you do not want to reach the ditch that runs across the fairway and the Par 3 that follows requires yet another solid shot over the edge of the lake. These two holes can become even more tricky if the wind gets up coming off the lake.
The 15th & 16th holes are pretty straight forward as long as you steer clear of the out of bounds on the right and get your distances correct on the approach to the 16th. The 17th fairway is quite tight with the bunker on the left and slight kink to the right, the bunkers guarding the green make the approach quite tough too. The last hole can be quite a monster to play if you do not get a good tee shot away, anything down the left is going to fall away from the fairway and could leave a blind second shot. The approach is quite hard to judge too as the dip before the green can cause distances to be deceiving.
The staff we met were very friendly & the members were very welcoming, the speed of play was worth a mention too. We caught a couple of 4 balls up after nine holes but still easily managed to get round in 4 hours. If you get an invite to play here as a guest then we suggest you take up the offer it is a wonderful golfing experience.
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