Golfmagic reviews the host venue for this week's Volvo World Matchplay Championship

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 7 Oct 2014
0

Risk reward: Par-5 13th

My favourite hole on the course was undoubtedly the 532-yard par-5 13th, which Kirby once described ‘the best par-5 I’ve ever created.’

This beast of a par-5 really does test your course management skills. Drive your ball down the left side of the bunker in the middle of the fairway to set up the classic risk and reward dilemma over a huge lake, or opt safe down the right and lay-up in two.

The lay-up was certainly the most prudent option given my drive got caught in my skirt on the downswing. A lay-up some 100 yards short of the green left me with a pitch shot into a generous target. So generous in fact, I found the greenside bunker short of the pin.

Other memorable holes included the 201-yard par-3 eighth across water, which I carried with inches to spare and the par-5 18th that drops away to a hogs-back green protected by a cluster of sand traps.

Two of the strongest par-4s on the course were arguably the fifth and the 16th. The fifth, measuring 406-yards, requires you to stay on the left side of the fairway with your tee shot to avoid the inviting bunkers. From there, the green is long, narrow and raised, so club selection proved vitally difficult.

On 16, left is simply no option from the tee as the ground drops away from the fairway. A big green that slopes away from back to front awaits and underlines any weakness in putting. 

One hole I don’t care to remember is the par-3 14th. Ball in the air and posing for the cameras, my Titleist Pro V1 lipped out to some 20-feet past the pin. Content with a birdie putt, I once again lipped out. Content with par, I once again lipped out. Discontent with bogey.

Hands up, who has ever lipped out three times on one hole?

Aside from that blip, I posted a 10-over 82 and thoroughly enjoyed my round. I am also in no doubt the International ranks as one of my favourite courses in the south east. Green fees start from £70 depending on the time of season, but include a course guide and use of Callaway balls on the extensive practice ground.

London Golf Club is growing from strength to strength and it's easy to see why it's been picked by Volvo, IMG and European Tour to host the 50th playing of one of golf's most iconic championships this October.

While it has two stunning courses to showcase to the world, the club has also been granted planning permission for a 130-bedroom luxury hotel and leisure development. Once completed, the hotel will bring to fruition the vision for a world-class golf resort just 20 miles south east of central London. Not to mention, within close proximity of international airports, major road networks and fast rail links to Continental Europe and the rest of the UK.

London Golf Club will also feature UK’s first state-of-the-art European Tour Performance Institute, designed by European Golf Design and complete with a nine-hole academy course.

For more information on London Golf Club visit www.londongolf.co.uk

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