Oaks Golf Centre – Horley Course
18 Hole – Par 70
1. Starting with a short hole is often tricky, particularly when judging the distance is difficult. This hole plays slightly uphill, so take one more club than you think. The green is massive from left to right with a distinct tier so you can be over 100 feet away from the hole but putting.
2. Out of bounds all the way up the left is not the only issue on this tough par 4. A tree about 70 yards short of the green can block you out if you have boomed the driver, but if you go safe with the smaller woods it will leave you a long second shot to an elevated green that is difficult to make yourself hit enough club to.
3. Playing downhill and usually wind behind, this par 3 seems easier than the first, but the trees cut in from the left considerably so if you want to start your ball left and fade it in you will be in trouble. Landing short is made easy as there are no hazards before the green, but the ball will kick right and can take a very firm bounce through the green.
4. Long par 4, usually into the wind, so only the longer hitter can contemplate reaching in 2. A row of bushes are where a shortish drive will land so might be worth going for the big hit, plenty of room right, but out of bounds left. Just one bunker to protect the green on the left, but if you are long you will be lost.
5. The best shot into the green comes from the right hand of the fairway, but the trees up the right hand side of the fairway could ruin that plan if you go too far right. Perfect hole if you fade the ball, start it at the trees on the left and let it peel away into the fairway and do the same with the approach shot for a soft landing on a green facing you.
6. Time to open the shoulders, tons of room here on this short downhill par 4 which in summer with the big hitters is reachable. One small bunker to the right may spoil your fun, but if you don’t come of this hole with a smile on your face it is your own fault.
7. Now you could do with one leg shorter than the other. Long par 5 with out of bounds down the right, but you should be aiming so far left to allow for the camber of the fairway this should not enter your thoughts. It is the approach to the green that may tax you more. A bunker short and right draws golf balls to it so I would suggest play short in 2 and then leave yourself a short iron into a large green and take your chance with your putter. If you fly this green you are out of bounds so make that last shot as easy as possible as it will be from a hanging lie.
8. Long par 4 where if you get a draw on your drive with the correct line, you can have a short into the tiny green. If you fade to the right, trees await and so does a really long club for your second shot, no disgrace in dropping a shot on this hole, there are others later you get it back on.
9. Close out the front 9 like you started with an uphill par 3. This time the green is thin and like an upturned bowl, making club selection vital. Too short and the ball rolls back towards you, too long and you are in the trees and out of the hole.
10. Like hole 6, this par 4 is definitely in reach from the tee, but you will have to be brave as it is out of bounds just over the back and although if you get the line right the camber of the fairway will throw the ball in towards the green, if you get it wrong, there are trees and bushes either side to spoil your fun.
11. Blind driving hole with out of bounds up the right, so needs to be treated with respect. If you are safe with your driver, it is worth a go as the second shot will be quite short to a green guarded by mounding. If you stray left, some trees will block your path to the green and you will end up punching the ball below the branches, thus negating the advantage of taking the driver, so up to you to decide, you should know by now how your driver is performing.
12. Signature hole. Beautiful looking par 3 over a valley to a green protected in all 4 corners by bunkers. The green is another upturned bowl and a vicious slope from front to back, so even when you arrive safely on the putting surface your job is far from done. From the front tees this is a challenging, pretty hole, from the back tees, particularly if the wind is blowing, it is a monster, enjoy it.
13. Unless you love your driver, this is a hole to let it have a break. The out of bounds on the right is clearly in sight as are the trees on the left although a medium length drive will get past them. To add to the difficult decision, there are 2 very tall trees right in the middle of the fairway where a well hit small wood or long iron would land. So that could deflect the ball or mean that you are blocked for your second shot to a fairly large flat green. Whoever said this game was supposed to be fair.
14. Again you have the out of bounds up the right, although you have more room this time. The row of trees down the left are nothing more than annoying, but do grab the attention. So it might be best to play a small wood from the tee as this par 5 is out of range in 2 shots, so lay up is the best choice. But when you get near the green this hole comes into it’s own. There is a small copse of very tall trees 50 yards from the green. So if you play your second shot to the right you will have to take these on with your wedge into the green. The sensible approach is to play down the left of the fairway so the trees don’t come into your third shot reckoning, but the designer has thought of that and placed a couple of tasty bunkers there for you to avoid. So precision placement required.
15. If you miss this mid range par 3 hole to the right you are in a mess. The recovery shot will probably be made harder by the trees over there as well as the hill you will have to come over. Come in from the left and you can if you wish land it short and let the slope of the ground take the ball towards the hole.
16. Loads of room up the right hand side, the trees on the left shouldn’t trouble you here. The tough bit is the approach shot as the green is guarded by bunkers front left and front right that are treacherous. You need to fly the ball all the way onto the putting surface so try to get as big a drive down here as you can to make the club you use more lofted thus allowing you more spin to stop the ball on what is a fairly generous size green. Not sure that the stroke index on this hole is quite right, take advantage.
17. Blind drive to a fairway that slopes right to left. Try to keep the ball as far up the right as you dare to make the next shot easier as the lie will be flatter, but if you stray too far right, there is disaster waiting. The biggest hitters will fancy going for the green in 2 and so they should, but you will need a career shot to accomplish that. The bunkers to the right stop you rolling in from that side and the deep bunker front left is where everything gathers to, so advice is play your second to the top of the hill and wedge it onto the green, too much danger left.
18. Banks to the left and right will help toss a slightly wayward drive back into play, but a wild drive will be out of bounds. The green is very narrow and a yard over the back will be out of bounds so there is no way that you can take life easy on this final challenge. You need to come in from the right hand side of the fairway to give you the simpler approach shot, but you better get the club selection right or you could be reloading up the last, not a good way to end your day.