Princes Risborough GC
by Matthew van Reysen
Princes Risborough Golf Club is an attractive spectacle with views people can only dream about at some of these richly spent on American courses. The course is designed with a mixture of huge bunkers and some carefully positioned lakes like an American course but has thick rough and some bumpy Links style holes. The views are amazing sweeping across the wide country hills. It is a wonderful feeling when you stand on that elevated first tee.
Hole 1: This hole is 389 yards but the first half is down a very steep hill. It is necessary that you capitalise on this by hitting a good tee shot especially because at 267 and 301 yards you have two very deep wide bunkers. Along the left are out of bounds, and along the right is very deep rough with small trees and two ANNOYING lakes! The green slopes from left to right with a bunker in the front left corner. To the left is a steep hill which can leave an awkward chip down the hill. The green is also very small and leaves a target that is very hard to stop the ball on. Every time i have played it i have got a bogey because i have hit it onto the green which has pushed it off the back into high rough.
Hole 2: This hole is 447 yards and is slightly uphill. The fairway is very tight with a bunker at 279 on the left and tight out of bounds just 10 yards from the right of the fairway in heavy, heavy rough. The hole slightly dog-legs to the right with another bunker at 357 (90 yards to go). The green is in two layers with a high plateau second layer. It is very big and normally easy to hit. Beware though – it has a bunker on the front right which is a huge American Links style bunker.
Hole 3: This hole plays 170 from the back. It’s a deceptive Par 3 that is highly guarded by numerous bunkers. The green is ‘above’ you (it suddenly slopes up to the green which is on a ‘plateau’). The right side bunker is a very deep St.Andrew’s style pot-hole type bunker. The front-left bunker is very wide as it circulates willingly a fifth of the green. Then their is also a bunker in the back/back-right. This is less hard to get out of because balls are not normally hit their. It is more of a running hole with the ball hit in low and bounced onto the green. The best way is to hit a club very low in and land it 30 yards short leaving it to roll up the fast surface.
Hole 4: This is in my opinion the hardest hole. Playing 338 fromt the back. It has seven fairway bunkers and a massive lake. The hole has a slight dogleg to get round the green which is about 100 yards long. The first two bunkers are at 239 yards and reach across the fairway. If you hit it over these two which you should then at 269 yards directly behind is another bunker stuck into the side rough (because of the dogleg) and another at 297 to the left of that. The green is flat and fast. It is protected along the right by a wiggly ranging bunker and on the left by a selection of carefully placed trees. The worse your first shot is the more shots you will drop!!
Hole 5: This is the second easiest hole and is 347 yards. Because of a great downhill slope it can be reached in one. However if you play less with an iron it will not roll at all because of the wet different type of grass. The second can be difficult if it is hit badly because of the very small green and the forth deepest bunker on the course. But for a good player a birdie on this hole may be called bad.
Hole 6: This is a very hard second shot hole. The hole reaches a maximum of 376 from the back but you can only hit a drive a maximum of 276 because after that the fairway is about 4 yards wide and slopes widely to the left. Their are bunkers at 272 yards on the left center of the fairway and at 328 (48 to go). The green is the smallest on the course and probably (i wouldn’t be surprised) one of the SMALLEST in the WORLD!! It has two bunkers that could compete with any for steepness and if you miss the green to to left/back or back-right then your ball will roll down a slope for about 35 yards. That is why the hole is hard, you haave to hit the ball in a 6 yard area and if you hit it to far you will have little chance of getting back in 4, to less and you may roll steadly into two terrifying bunkers! Hard choice!
Hole 7: This hole is a very steep uphiller with a fairway that slopes from left to right causing many a straight drive to go into the rough. It plays 443 yards as a Par 4. The fairway is easy to make but the second shot drops back down as much as the drive raises you. This means that the shot is sometimes hit out of the golf course, because of the hedge at 5 yards off the green. Their are also three bunkers surrounding the contouring green.
Hole 8: This hole is a very uphill hole and is 200 yards from the back. The green is in three layers and has a deep bunker on the front left of the green however i have got par here so should you!
Hole 9: This is a lovely sweeping dogleg with a uphill first shot and a downhill second. It is one of the longest holes at 455 yards. The tee shot is relatively simple for a good player. The second must be played downwind and downhill as you look from the hill down to the beautiful clubhouse infront. The green is severely contoured and in a L-shape. Their are three bunkers surrounding the green. A bogey with the green here can be called good.
At just over 3100 yards it is not the longest course but one of the best – and built in 1990 it has some amazing facilities. The second nine has different tees and plays either 100 shorter or 100 longer.