Walton Heath Golf Club was host to some of the worlds most renowned golfers this week. Although Olazabal and Montgomerie did not make make the qualifying cut for the US Open on Monday, Burton and Lisbon were both winners on Thursday when they each scored birdies for Door of Hope Childrens Charity.
Walton Heath Golf Club includes two terrific golf courses, both laid out in an expanse of several hundred acres of rolling heathland. Its original design by W Fowler has stood the test of time.
The course is very open yet full of danger from tee to green. Old style revetted bunkers strategically located throughout the fairway were complimented by heather and gorse that you do not want to be in. However in saying that the course does not make you feel restricted off the tee and the greens were all large (the 14th green was 60 paces from front to back). We also enjoyed the speed of the greens which were much more akin to Australian greens.
A trio of par 5s on the back nine are your chance to pull back some strokes lost earlier in the round. The risk reward equation tempts you on every one of these.
The wonderful thing about Walton Heath is that its team of staff are very warm and friendly making the experience fun. Caroline organised us from the office with friendly efficiency and Simon and his pro shop team were jovial and extremely informative about the course and the club’s history.
The clubhouse is made up of four buildings, all of which have been there from the beginning. A section of the caddie masters hut has been dedicated to a museum for the long time dedicated professional and five time Open Champion, James Braid.
Braid was a key part of the fabric of the club for over 6 decades having been the club professional and later the starter until his passing at the age 80. There is a large hedge alongside the putting green which is formed in the shape of James’s hat which he was renowned for wearing.
David’s birdie at the tough fifth hole was later offset by his three shots out of the monster bunker on 16 (which is in protest because he was being filmed). Gary found a lot of gorse through the day but tidied up with a couple of nice birdies and a solid back 9. The course was a joy to play.
We are finding that on many of these Crown Land courses, the public are often meandering freely throughout. In fact Gary blames missing a putt on the 7th hole because of a horse and its rider trotting past just as he was about to putt. Only in England…
Another impressive and fun day at a quality English countryside golf course
Overall birdie tally
David (1 birdie, cumulative 3)
Gary (2 birdies, cumulative 6)