Date Played: July 11, 2012
5.0 out of
This is going to be a weird review. On the surface this course has everything going for it. It's on a terrific piece of property with nice views of the Isle of Wight Bay (until they get more houses built), routed through mature trees and marshland. The conditions today were top quality - soft bentgrass fairways, firm greens that rolled true. There were very few unfilled divots or ball marks in the fairways or greens. The course obviously does not get much play. We had a 2pm tee time and only saw two other groups on the course the entire time.
This is a pretty difficult course. There are a number of holes that have significant forced carries over environmental areas. If you can't reliably carry 180 off the tee or 160-180 from the fairway you will have a very tough time here. (This is not a women-friendly course.) Also, many of the green complexes are designed so that if you miss the green on the wrong side you will have a very difficult up-and-down. Usually this means heavy rough in a low swale, forcing a flop-shot onto a slick green that slopes away from you. Tough situation.
In addition, a few of the holes are designed to just take driver out of your bag. I can see throwing in one short hole where you get a risk/reward option of trying to drive the green vs. laying up but come on. There are a couple of holes where after 220-230 yards you reach the end of the fairway and a 150 yard marshland carry to the green. There is a 300-yard par 4 which leaves you a sliver of an area to land your drive if you choose to try to get inside 100 yards from the hole. Worse, there is a 485 yard par 5 on which you must either limit your tee shot to 200 yards or again aim at a sliver of a target maybe 20 yards wide. I'm not a big fan of near-500 yard par 5's on which I cannot hit driver.
We had a good time out there today. Beautiful setting, immaculate conditions, no one else around. We got a great discount on the greens fee. But we probably won't be back any time soon. The course is just not that much fun. It's too bad because just to look at it you would think it was pretty fantastic. Well...... maybe not.