A spectacular golf challenge
Hindhead is one of England's premier heathland courses. It is ranked 36th in England and 82nd in GB & Ireland. Founded in 1904 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in conjunction with others, in the past it has been used as a Regional Open Championship Qualifier. The course is a par 69, ie only 6,099 with an SSS of 70. I entered the club's visitors Seniors Mens Open Stableford Competition. The CSS (Competition Scratch Score) was 71 on the day.
There is a significant difference between the terrain and difficulty of the front and back 9s. The terrain of the front 9 is the most difficult, in terms of elevation changes, particularly up from and down from tees to greens and vice versa. It is one of the highest golf courses in Surrey. The 1st hole and the back 9 holes are on an upper plateau; whilst holes 2-9 meander through valleys. There is a lovely half way house to provide mid round sustenance.
The fairways were in immaculate condition, fairways are extensively watered as well as the greens. Heather is prominently in play off the tee in all par 4s and par 5s. Straight hitting, ie less agression off the tee, pays dividends on this course. Severe trouble awaits anything offline, be it heather or the severely grassed slopes.
The fairways and greens were in immaculate condition. Greens were generally large, undulating, fast and tricky to read, especially on first attempt. Putting heaven or hell!
The course is littered with bunkers, fairway and greenside, all within range, deep and most standing proud above the level ground of the fairways or greens. Once in one progress is simply getting out.
The course terrain gave the impression that it played significantly longer than the actual card yardage.
The weekday (Mon-Thurs) visitors green fees to play Hindhead is £89 or £61 with a County Card. Entry to the Seniors Open Competition was £50, including coffee, 18 holes, a two course lunch and prizes. An excellent VFM way to get to play such a wonderful course.
A pre-match scampi and chips meal was taken in Alliss's Bar. Hospitality from club members and the pro-shop and catering staff was excellent. The one slight downside concerned the post-match meal; ie as a late finisher I ended up eating my main course whilst the competition prize giving was in progress. Not a best impression of club service or competition organisation. Hindhead has been the only club so far that has held an afternoon start to the competition, causing the time pressure on the post match evening meal. I guess the playing needs of the members take priority! A mere quibble in the overall context of the golfing experience.
Although I found the course a difficult walk at times, particularly the front 9 holes, this is a wonderful must play quality course and I highly recommend this to fellow TSGers.