My father submitted the first review of Meyrick Park when he played it with his golf society, last weekend I joined him for another visit and a night out in Bournemouth!
Your first thought when standing on the opening tee is, “what a tough opening hole”, if you are going to hit the green you need a clean strike. I got a bit too much draw with my lofty 5-wood and ended up by the path on the left, happy to walk off the green with a four though. Keep your tee shot right on the second and you should be on the green in two although I very nearly went too far right. The third is another tough one, aim just left of the clump of trees on the right and hope for distance otherwise you are not going to reach this green in two.
The designer certainly liked his 200 yard plus par 3’s as the fourth is another long short hole! Aim left if you think you are not going to pitch it on the green as the land will move the ball from left to right. I missed the green short right this time but managed to get down for another four. You could try to cut the corner of the fifth but there is loads of room straight ahead so the sensible option is to play it straight and pitch it on.
I managed to play the par 5 sixth in regulation, posting a five after my second putt, it is quite open and if you steer clear of the solitary fairway bunker you should be able to do the same or better. The seventh is a nice looking hole and does not need a driver off the tee, I reached the green with a 4-iron and a lob wedge, an accurate iron off the tee is what is required.
I was quite shocked at the eighth, a par 3 under 200 yards! I missed the green right and my ball rolled at least 20 yards down the hill, mind you it was the side to miss on as you are in the trees if you go too far left. My short game was preventing me from having a terrible round as once again I managed to pitch back up to the green and sink the putt for a par.
Keep left on the ninth, in fact I would go as far to say, take an iron and aim at the trees on the left because anything slightly right is going to fall away with the downslope of the fairway. If you do find the fairway with your drive make sure your approach does not go long, you do not want to be pitching back down the hole as the slope of the green and apron may well take your ball 20 yards down the fairway. I speak from experience as I ended up in the trees on the right from the tee and one of my laying partners went just through the green with his approach and upon chipping back saw his ball just keep rolling all the way off the green.
A birdie on the tenth is a possibility if you get your club selection right and stay clear of the solitary hazard while the drive on the eleventh, though short, is extremely tight. The twelfth is the shortest hole on the course and should be easy if you play for the centre of the green. This was probably the strategy of the golfer in our group who won nearest the pin as it looked as though the marker was dead centre. The pin position was front left which meant it was just behind the large tree and greenside bunker, I missed the green short left but still managed a three, short game to the rescue again.
The next hole was our longest drive hole, a good choice as it has trouble down the right but is very open down the left. The marker looked a good distance down the fairway so we all had a bash at trying to beat it. Two of us managed it easily but were both off the left edge of the fairway, the injured golfer in our group got out his driver for the first time in his round and hit a low runner, under the wind that was against us, straight down the middle surpassing the marker by about 20 yards.
The par 5 fourteenth was a costly hole for our group, all four of us hit our drives into the trees on the right meaning reloads for everyone. By some miracle I managed to find my first drive, chip back to the fairway and eventually post a 6. I was the only one to post a score as my fellow golfers all lost another ball to the trees. The fifteenth requires a decent drive that is maybe slightly down the right for a better approach to the green, if you don’t get a good drive away this can be a tough hole against the wind.
I would advise you hit an iron on the sixteenth and avoid the trees then with your approach stay well away from the right side of the green as there is nothing but trouble if you miss it that side. Seventeen is a blind drive that needs to start down the left, hit it far enough and you will catch the downslope that could propel your drive beyond 300 yards leaving just a pitch to the green. This is exactly what one of my companions did, although his pitch was just short of the green but his 40 foot putt found the bottom of the cup for a 3 net 1, giving him 5 points!
The final hole is played uphill with trees on the right and a fence protecting the car park on the left, if you are going to miss the fairway then the left is probably the better side. Get your drive far enough and you will be left with another short pitch to the green, if not you may still be playing uphill so choose the correct club as the two hazards in front of the green will collect anything falling short.
I enjoyed my round at Meyrick Park, you certainly need to plot your way round here and leave the driver in the bag.