I don’t like Mondays……
Well the weekend is over and I’m generally up at 5am getting ready for work. Except today Monday isn’t so bad as a round at North Hants beckons. Playing North Hants is a labour of love for me, I tried to join as a junior twenty or so years ago but there was a 6 year waiting list so ended up elsewhere. Course always looked great from the outside looking in and now finally have the opportunity to play. But what about the history of the course?
The course was constructed in 1904 by James Braid and substantially altered in 1913 by Harry Colt. Tom Simpson fine tuned the course in 1929 and there was a further update in 1999 when Donald Steel redesigned three of the early holes. Among the alumni at North Hants is Justin Rose and there is a conference room named after him. Not a bad role model to have for the club!
Yardage totals 6250 from the yellows and 6475 from the whites, fairways are fairly tight protected by heather, pine and silver birch trees so accuracy from the tee is especially important. Good drives here are rewarded by short approach shots and here lies the course’s main defences. The greens are often multi-tiered and protected by well placed bunkers. Stray approach shots are often punished especially for mid level handicappers like me. I found the back nine to be stronger than the front, the stretch between holes 14 and 17 were particularly strong.
We were warmly welcomed by the club’s pro George Porter and he couldn’t have been more helpful, scheduling our twoball in between a club match and a society plus allowing me to try out a couple of putters. The only disappointment was a dressing down from one of the members who had arrived after work for wearing my cap in the clubhouse. It was a honest mistake and I don’t have a problem with the policy but do with the poor manners shown. These small minded attitudes need to change for golf to reach future generations. That said all the other members we encountered were friendly, obviously this guy doesn’t like Mondays either.
This was only a minor blight on the day so moving on. Today was the first time using Ashcam (Go-Pro on one of the holes) which was an interesting experience to say the least. I’ll try to play one of the holes of each course this way and display my anti Justin Rose skills.
Course Website – http://www.northhantsgolf.co.uk
Favourite Hole – Hole 16. Long par 4 where tee shot needs to be hit over heather with a cannily placed bunker around the 240 yard mark. Approach shot then needs to be hit to an elevated green surrounded by danger. Simply fantastic.
Hardest Hole – Hole 17. Although only stroke index 13 and the tee shot not overly difficult, the real challenge lies in the the approach to a very small horseshoe shaped green with danger lurking on all sides.