Hole by Hole Guide by Andy Clapp PGA
After the short walk past the front of the impressive clubhouse you reach the opening hole…
Bayford View. This testing opening par five requires a certain amount of bravery as out of bounds runs all the way down the right hand side and your second shot is blind. Once negotiated, the green awaits invitingly at the base of the hill.
Blackfan Rise. This 339 yard hole has a sloping fairway from left to right down towards a stream that meanders along the length of the fairway so a tee shot down the left hand side is the ideal line. The approach is uphill to a green that slopes from front to back so exercise caution on your way back if you finish past the flag.
Fanshaws. Although one of the shorter par 4’s on the course at just over 300 yards and stroke index 18 the challenge is to master the raised sloping right to left green.
The Rookery. An uphill par 4 that plays every one of it’s 452 yards from the back tee. The smart golfer will play this as a par 5 and hope for a putt to drop on the two tiered green.
Captain’s Drive – This testing dog leg to the right requires an accurate tee shot to set up a view of the narrow, well guarded green with water awaiting the miss hit approach.
The Tower. The first and friendliest of the par 3’s has two cross bunkers 30 yards short distorting the distance but a nice straight hit over these should set you up for a good chance of a par.
Nobles Fade. A second dog leg to the right is once again all about position to set up your approach shot. Big hitters attempt to cut the corner by driving over the huge trees to set up a short pitch to the green but for most of us mere mortals taking aim for the marker post is the wisest move.
Crook. At 358 yards off the back tee this is a dog leg from right to left around a pond that can interfere with your tee shot or approach! A well placed drive sets up a good view of one of the flatter putting surfaces on the course.
Juniper. A challenging par 3 with a narrow entrance to the green with bunkers left and right. The undulating green requires a fine touch to complete the front nine.
Firs Dip. This 328 yard par 4 is an inviting start to the back nine, play across the dip and over the hill and a large slightly raised green awaits.
Moorhens. At 199 yards from the back tee this is the longest of the par 3’s. The cross bunkers not only catch the miss hit shot but also create the image that the hole is shorter than it looks. Once over the bunkers the ball is free to run onto the green that is protected at both sides by grassy hollows.
Cottons Choice. At 427 yards this par 4 has a generous fairway, with bunkers further down the hole on the right then left. A long accurate approach is required as the ball can be swept away on the left side of the green. A tiny shelf on the back right side of the green is a popular pin position for the clubs big events!
Langwhang. The first par 5 on the back nine requires some thought, after negotiating the narrow tree lined fairway the hole opens out to present a trio of bunkers that cross the fairway diagonally. It’s a risk and reward moment, lay up short leaving a long approach shot or take on the bunkers to leave a shorter shot into the green.
White Stubbs. A generous looking fairway guarded only by two fairway bunkers on the right hand side that may catch the sliced tee shot. The approach needs pin point accuracy as your ball can easily run off this upturned saucer of a green leaving a tricky chip or worse still a pond awaits to the left of the green.
High Tee. An inviting view down the hill from the tee encourages you to attack this par 5 measuring just under 500 yards. Many view this hole as the quiet before the storm as the last three holes present a challenging finish but not before negotiating the tricky undulating green.
Hole – Aldenham. A long uphill par 4 that turns gently to the left favouring the big hitters. Once near the raised green an accurate approach is required to set up any chance of success.
Ace of Herts. Named for its beauty and difficulty this hole is not for the faint hearted. Negotiate the narrow tee shot and you are faced with a stunning view of the green from the top of the hill. The fairway then sweeps down towards a sizable pond before climbing back up the slope to the green cut into landscape.
The Grange. An uphill par 3 provides a wonderful view of the clubhouse but there is work to be done to finish your round on a high note. An extra club will help you reach this large raised two tier green setting you up nicely for a visit to the 19th hole.