Silvermere Golf Club: course review

Surrey's spectacular Silvermere requires strategy, spirit and several extra sleeves

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 26 Aug 2015
0

Tight fairways, challenging approaches and a water-filled finish that makes you think twice about playing your fresh new Pro V1 over that brown old Commando. Silvermere is not a course for the faint-hearted. 

A tree-lined track that places a premium on precision rather than power, this Surrey gem, designed in 1976 by Neil Coles and Brian Huggett, is best known for its two-hole finale, a bit like the PGA Tour's Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

The opening 16 holes will keep you on your guard with an abundance of cramped tee shots, testing doglegs and sloped second shots - especially the rhododendron-lined first six before crossing the road where the course breathes out a bit more.

But it is the signature par-three 17th and par-four 18th that live longest in the memory.

Leaving the 16th, several deep breaths are required during the two-minute stroll across Redhill Road as you brace yourself for what lies ahead. 

Measuring 175 yards from the back tees, or 143 yards from the whites, the tee shot at 17 is arguably a tougher one than the wedge or nine iron the world's best players face at the famous island green in Florida - only there is no Players Championship on the line.

With a bunker left of the green, trees lurking either side and beyond, and a lake to swallow poorly struck tee shots, there is little room for error. Sip your water, wipe your clammy hands, commit to the shot and trust your yardage. 

Should you find the drink, however, you can at least take heart from the fact your ball has joined other valuable objects in the lake, as this is where English scientist Barnes Wallis tested his famous Dambuster bouncing bomb used by the Royal Air Force in Operation Chastise to attack the dams of the Ruhr Valley during World War II.

Wallis used a catapult to fire mini prototypes across the lake to test whether they should use forward or back spin, a spherical or cylindrical shape or a smooth or dimpled surface.

Unfortunately things get even tougher at the par-four 18th. Despite playing little more than 300 yards from both whites and yellows, a laser-like long iron, hybrid or fairway wood is required to thread the narrow chute of trees before turning 90 degrees to the right for a wedge into the semi-island green.

Should you miss the fairway either side off the tee, you will more than likely be chipping out sideways or re-loading.

The approach into the green may only be a wedge, and there really is no excuse to miss the green, but with ample visitors watching on from the clubhouse, this hole can quite easily become a card wrecker.

Take a par and run for that ice cool beverage as you kick back and relax at the "Inn on the Lake". 

But there is more to Silvermere than just a good golf course. 

The practice facilities are some of the best in the region with a 52-bay two-tiered floodlit driving range, indoor teaching studios, the leading launch monitors such as GC2, an experienced team of PGA professionals, and a well-maintained short-game area with bunkers and practice putting greens. 

On top of all that, the Doug McClelland golf store is arguably the best of its kind in Surrey with a tremendous choice of the latest equipment and apparel from the biggest brands in the game. 

Verdict

A terrific pay-and-play golf course with a wealth of facilities. 

It might not be the longest track in the world at 6,406 yards off the white tees, but this par-71 layout offers a very strict challenge from start to finish, especially off the tee.

The greens are not the quickest you will ever experience but they run perfectly true and will likely not disappoint, while the bunkers and tee boxes are beautifully manicured. 

Break your handicap here and you more than deserve a cold one in the bar afterwards. 

With prices starting from just £20 a round, there are few better public courses in the country, let alone the south. The fact it is also a seven iron from the M25 is another positive. 

If you're after a cheap, exciting and pleasurable round of golf that tests out every club in your bag, look no further than Surrey's spectacular Silvermere Golf Club. 

For more information visit www.silvermere-golf.co.uk/golf

 

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