What they say….
North Hants is a friendly and informal, non-stuffy golf club with a 108 year heritage and a great golf course that is well looked after and in excellent condition.
Here is a course which stands up to the most rigorous comparison with some of its neighbours in Surrey and Hants. A James Braid design that was improved by the legendary Harry Colt in 1913, the course is a superb example of a mature heathland layout with a delightful mix of heather and tall trees bordering each impressively manicured fairway. Measuring 6475 yards from the back tees, North Hants is a true test of every club in the bag and now enjoys the sort of greens and fairways that only a recently installed irrigation system can ensure.
What we say…
No wonder he won the US Open. Justin Rose hails from a fantastic club with a friendly membership and great facilities all round.
North Hants Golf Club is situated less than half a mile from fleet station and only a few minutes off the M3 so the club can be accessed from a large number of regions, on the day of our review our team travelled from north London and were at the club via the tube and over ground in no more than 100 minutes, some drove from Southampton and were they in 45 minutes by car. The club is easily accessible from most of the south so it’s a great meeting point for groups, friends or a society day out.
The place is well catered for with a large short game area, a good compliment of driving nets and an expansive putting green at your disposal. The club has recently installed a new irrigation system and it truly does work wonders. We played on a drizzly morning in December after a night of heavy rain, the greens in the morning were still plenty quick and stayed true throughout our round.
The course says it’s a test for every level and every club in the bag and its true doesn’t let you exactly ease you and certainly gets you in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenge. A 200 yard par three looks back you from the tee box, its well protected bunkered green, tucked tight into the tree line, is a hole even a low handicapper would be pleased to take a bogey on.
The second is another tough challenge but come the third hole you will have you first real chance to make birdie, even eagle. The beautiful par 5 can be reached in two but the lake in front of the green does tempt the less able golfer to play left and head for dry land, lay up 100 yards from the green and take two putts to safety.
There is another birdie chance at four, the 290 yard par 4 green is driveable and the cut of the grass will allow a well struck shot to bite and stay on the putting surface.
Hole six is another great hole at North Hants, the club doesn’t have this down as signature hole but it really should do. The tee box is set back into the trees and leaves you aiming out of a fairly tight hollow aiming for the crest of the fairway. Walking down the first 200 yards of the fairway you cannot see the green as it drops away by 50ft. A wedge in your hand for the second shot will get you down to the reverse green but anything left will be collected by the bunker and the thick grass will collect anything out on the right.
It wasn’t open during our round but the half-way house here is usually manned and caters for every taste, grab a chocolate bar and sports drink or take ten minutes (avoiding slow play) and get yourself a brew and a sausage bap.
Another challenging, long par 3 starts the back nine so even if you start your round at the 10th it hardly breaks you in gently, take one more club as all the trouble sits at the front of the green. Shorter hitters can play out to the left leaving a short pitch onto an undulating green.
The hardest hole on the course is the 12th, the long dog left fairway takes you two a two tired green a smidge over 450 yards away. The fairway narrows within driving range thanks to a well-placed trap on the right hand side. The second shot in for most will need to be a well struck low/mid iron, the green is long but narrow so the two hardest things in golf (length and accuracy) are of paramount importance on the this hole.
The last 6 holes of the course are a delightfully varied mix; up and down, doglegs both ways, a great par 3 15th and a long, challenging par 5 17th that has a green reminiscent of the Road Hole at St Andrews. This collection of holes is one of the best in the south of England, every hole offers a different test and a different challenge depending on the level of each golfer.
The 18th tee is 420 yards from the clubhouse and half way down the fairway you will be able to see if anyone is watching your final few shots from the balcony or the lounge areas that looks out on to the clubhouse green. The fairway is best on the right side here for a clear view of the putting surface. Longer hitters can certainly carry the left trap and threading one through the middle is a great shot. The green is guarded by a deep left trap and two more on the right side but the majority of golfers will be make a par on this hole leaving you in the perfect frame of mind to enjoy drink in the extremely relaxed and friendly club house.
It was £35 for a round here on a weekday (in the winter) and it was thoroughly worth it, we haven’t played here in the dry or the sun but with the course in as good condition as it is in December it will most definitely be worth £65 in the summer.
The facilities here are worthy of a US Open champion, the course is well looked after, the members and staff are incredibly friendly and the club house has one of the best atmospheres in all that we have been in.
No wonder Justin is one of the best and most liked players to come out of the UK in recent years.
- Great location, easy access by train or car
- Plenty of practice facilities
- Quick greens even in winter
- Good drainage
- Good food
- Good challenge for all abilities