I arrived at the course with Ken, my father, who tends to tag along when I am off somewhere that could be quite interesting, a couple of hours before we were due to tee off. We had coffee in the superb clubhouse while looking over the course and the sea beyond. Royal Cinque Ports has everything a true links should, mounds, hummocks, bumps and plenty of bunkers, the terrain just looks and feels so natural.
Gerrards Cross provides a good test to golfers of all abilities, with no hole the same as any other. The course is a good length for a par 69 and it’s undulating fairways (and some greens) make for an enjoyable challenge. Over recent years the course has been improved with the introduction of course irrigation and more defined fairway to rough cutting.
My only grumble would be the consistency of the bunkers, also the greens can be a little unpredictable when not in good condition, but I was told they are generally good through the summer months. Off course facilities are also very good as is the hospitality of the staff.
We played the longer of the two courses here but we are sure both courses are to the same standard. The clubhouse, a 17th Century Mansion House, looks magnificent for a start and we seemed to be treated like guests in a hotel so full marks to the staff and very friendly members. The fairways at Moor Park are well defined and the tees were in great condition too although there didn’t seem to be much variation on them, just large rectangular mounds with tees at the front middle and back. The greens were great, they rolled true and were a little firm but at least they were very consistent.
For quite a new course Buckinghamshire is sure looking good, the facilities here are great and the Mansion Clubhouse looks superb. The staff were very helpful with Reception telling us where everything was so I wouldn’t get lost. You get a good test of golf here but it is also an enjoyable one, the course has enough tee positions to be setup for all abilities and the fairways & greens were second to none.
The Berkshire is a stunning and beautiful heathland course, the mature trees, the rolling fairways, the rugged looking bunkers and the gorgeous heather make it look as though the course was always there, just another natural feature of the land.
Formby is a great parkland layout with very nice views from the course including wonderful greens and well placed bunkers as well as a few lakes protecting a number of holes. The whole resort was great from the condition of the course, the rooms we stayed in and the hearty breakfast the next morning to the refreshing leisure facilities including sauna and swimming pool.
Rickmansworth is quite a hilly parkland municipal course.
Re-visited Stockley Park after major earthworks were completed there and I’m afraid to say that the new layout has spoilt the course. The 9th and 18th holes used to be quite scenic with tree lined fairways leading to waterside greens set in front of the impressive clubhouse, now they are rather boring looking holes surrounded by mounds of earth.
The course was maturing well but the people in charge have managed to ruin that along with removing all the beautiful trees and spoiling what was a nice country park set within a European Championship standard course.
This mature parkland course is not very long but still provides a good test of golf. The rolling fairways with well defined bunkers, nicely spread tee boxes and large greens combined with the River Brent coming in to play on many of the holes make a round here an enjoyable experience.