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Walton Heath, UK

Walton Heath is located south of London and designed by Herbert Fowler. It has a long history with Open Championships and the Ryder Cup in 1981. I had been looking forward to playing the course and only heard good things about the course. We got to the course in the morning and had breakfast. The breakfast was really good and the hospitality, welcoming and service by everybody we met was fantastic.

 

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The ryder cup room with lost of history

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We played the course on an autumn day and started with 5 holes on the new course for a quick war up. We were extremely lucky with the weather in the beginning of the round as it was around 0 degrees. After 7 holes we got a little snow and the wind picked which made it more challenging and of couse colder.

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1st hole, par 3, 193

Opening hole is not an easy one. The green is protected by bunkers and it takes a good shot to hit the green. My tee shot ended up right of the green and I started with a bogey.

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Hole 2, Par 4

2nd hole a par 4 with a large dip in the fairway and it gets narrower the further you go. Can be a difficult approach if you miss the fairway due to overhanging trees. I hit a good drive and was left with 138m.

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Looking back down the 2nd hole. Decent approach shot, but didn’t convert for birdie.
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Hole 3, par 4, 197m

It was playing really shot for a par 4 and even though the green is protected and trees down the left it is too tempting not to go for it. Hit a great shot as you can see below and managed to get a birdie.

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6th green
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11th green

 

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12th green

 

 

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par 5 13th

A good-looking par 5. Even though it’s a relatively open the bunkers are well placed and you definitely want to miss the heather.

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Approach to 13th
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16th tee shot
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green side bunker on 16th, needless to say that you should try to avoid that one

16th is a shot par 5. I had 180m to the green, but came up short and only made par on what is a really good birdie opportunity.

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Par 3, 17th my favourite hole on the course. A well designed hole with an elevated green protected by bunkers. Relatively short, but still needs accuracy.

 

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18th tee short, par 4 uphill
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18th green. The bunker in front is not really in play, but still intimidates you eye from the fairway. The green is uphill and it as difficult approach shot on the final hole.

I shot 81 and thought it should have a been a least 2-3 shots better. Made some poor short iron shots and missed to many drivers into the heather which is a real penalty. Extremely difficult to get the ball anywhere from the heather.

If you keep the ball in the fairway the course is straight forward, but that goes for most courses. It is not particularly long and many greens are pretty flat with minimal undulation. Many of the bunkers are real penalties and you just have to advance your ball, but that something I like about these old courses compared to many newer courses.

The courses didnt live up to my expectations. Maybe because I compare to the many other similar courses around London where I prefer the layout and design of the holes – sunningdale, st. georges hill, swinley forest etc… It will of course be a different experience during the summer months, but that doesnt change the layout and architecture of the course. Still a good course, but just not up there with the other golfing opportunities you have in the area.

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