OK but had it's issues - (Closed 31/3/19)
Redhill & Reigate GC was a parkland style course in Redhill, Surrey. It was established in 1887, and was Surrey's second oldest course! However, for financial reasons, the club owner decided to terminate it's lease on the land on which it was located; and the course closed at the end of March 2019. It is understood that the local council attempted to find an alternative tenant/manager for the course but to no avail. A reopening in some form is possible but a long-shot especially if a full/partial need for public funding was what was necessary to resurrect it! Could it work as a 9 holer?
Membership was less than 100, and presumably usage of the course was low!
Hearing of it's pending closure I decided to play it to see what the golfing world will be missing; joining the list of closed courses in our region, eg Austin Lodge, Beckenham Park Place, Broke Hill, Woodlands Manor etc.
Oddly, while the course is wholly situated on public common land the clubhouse is across the road and the golf club, ie the club owner owns its freehold!
There is a modest and homely clubhouse and there was a small but well equipped pro-shop.
The golf Course: it was a par 68 off the whites, par 67 off the yellows and par 69 off the red tees! Yardages were 5,272, 4,988 and 4,711 respectively!
I played the yellow tees! The SSS's are 66, 64 and 67 respectively so expected to play easier that par!
There are 6 par 3s, 11 par 4s and 1 par 5.
The indexing of the course was 'old' style, ie they were mixed odds and even numbers off both 9s whereas nowadays all the odds and evens would be on either the front or back 9s!
The course whilst not long has many doglegs! There are no bunkers on the course (a feature of many courses on common land).
The greens were generally raised requiring uphill approach shots! They were in excellent condition, smooth and fast running!
Two of the par 3s, ie the 7th and 17th, were over 200 yards off the yellows!
Apart from a couple of 'minor' elevation changes the course is a comfortable walk. However, a busy road needed to be crossed to play 4 holes, ie 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th! Only the index 1 par 4 15th hole is well in excess of 400 yards!
However, the course contained two particularly awkward holes, to golfers and public alike, namely the 161/148 yards par 3 9th, and the par 4 10th. The 9th involved a blind or semi blind tee shot depending on whether the white or yellow tees were used and then the tee shot from the 10th tee needs to fly over the 9th green!In additional, the 10th tee shot was wholly blind over towards a ditch and roadway. Without a course map you wouldn't know what you were hitting towards and whether anyone could be in danger!
The course was an interesting challenge for the medium/highere handicappers but the low handicappers would take it apart!
The public's access to the course is a major negative to the appeal of this club/course, constantly used by dog walkers, but I also encountered a family having a picnic at the bottom left hand side of the 1st hole oblivious to the golfers and the risk!
Low membership means low income and therefore lower standards of maintenance. Some of the fairways and general areas were not in good condition!
The absence of complete seclusion of the golfers from the common area, eg like there is at Richmond Park, seriously detracts from the potential appeal. Also the course owner is seriously restricted about what can be done on the course!
The loss of this course is regrettable because of its uneconomic situation, the readily available alternative courses both members and pay and play types, makes this closure understandable.