Hole #3 – 442 yardsThis par 4 is one of several character-lacking holes on the course. The straight hole features a grouping of bunkers in the landing area, followed by two green side bunkers on the front left and right of the green. It is by no means a bad hole, but follows the formula required to comply with “professional tournament specifications.”Additionally, the conditioning of the greens was disappointing given the time of year and greens fees. You would expect any course that charges £195 to have the highest quality conditions, even during the spring months. Further, the 2nd hole was even played to a temporary green, set 40 yards short of the putting surface.
This dogleg left par 5 featured yet another stunning approach shot. Longer drives reach the bottom of the hill, while shorter tee shots have to contend with the creek crossing the fairway for a layup. One of the largest private homes that I have ever seen borders the right side of this hole.
Hole #6 – 342 yardsThis green complex on the sixth hole represents much of the bunkering found later in the round. Bunkers flank the right and left entrances to the slightly raised green. Many of these raised greens create semi-blind approach shots, which don’t necessarily detract from the round, but do make it difficult having never seen the course.
Hole #8 – 388 yardsThe 8th hole is a short par 4 that, while fun to play and nice to look at, would not resemble Colt’s original design. The approach shot is over a lake to a raised green guarded by a single bunker on the front right.
Hole #10 – 174 yardsThis great par 3 is a glimpse of one of Wentworth’s traditional features. This classic one shot hole is a long, narrow green with two bunkers right of the green. The hole is a great use of the landscape and could be found on any top 100 heathland course in England.
Hole #12 – 475 yardsThis unique tee shot has to be played over, or between, the large trees guarding the fairway. The dogleg left par 5 was one of my favorite holes on the course. Shorter hitters would definitely struggle with the trees and tee shot… Imagine Augusta National’s Ike’s Tree taken to the next level.Layups are guarded by a small stream crossing the fairway, and a raised green is yet again guarded by two bunkers on the front left and right.
Hole #15 – 458 yardsThis is the number 1 handicap hole on the course, and, although it cannot be seen in this photo, a stream runs up the right side of the hole before eventually crossing the fairway at around 300 yards from the tee. Bunkers guard the green that slopes off the back.
Hole #17 – 549 yardsTwo par 5s conclude the round and this, the 17th, is the first of the difficult duo. The dogleg left hole features a beautiful approach shot to a green with no bunkers, which may likely be the only bunker-less green on the course.
Hole #18 – 491 yards The finishing hole was completely re-designed by Els and his team. The par 5 is a sharp dogleg right, with an approach shot over a small lake. The hole is fun and challenging, but it follows the template for a European Tour finishing hole. This is not a bad attribute, but it has no resemblance to Colt’s original design, and this fact will bother design purists. I enjoyed my round at Wentworth. Arriving at the castle clubhouse and observing the gargantuan 30,000+ square foot homes bordering the course certainly create a sense of occasion. However, two questions rattled around my brain during the round. First, does the course deserve to regain its previous world top 100 rating? Not in my opinion. The design now lacks character and subscribes to the formula of so many other European Tour courses. Second, and more important, would I recommend that someone spend £360 to play the course in the summer? Considering that you could play two rounds on the St Andrews Old Course and stay one night in a local B&B for the same price… the choice is yours.