What they say…
Southampton Golf Course offers a challenging 18 hole fully mature woodland course. For the experienced golfer the 18 hole requires distance and accuracy from the tee, good iron play and accomplished putting. The course is a fascinating mix of holes with an abundance of natural hazards, unseen greens and challenging water features.
What we say…
It should get a little more credit.
Golf courses are in abundance in and around the area of Southampton, and it’s usually the private clubs that get all the plaudits but when we visited Southampton Golf Club they proved that municipal courses should get more air time.
Southampton Golf Club is another course that is looked after by the non for profit company MyTime Active, another venue where the revenue is reinvested into the course. It shows.
Over the past 12 months they have re-sculpted and fixed holes and bunkers throughout the course, although they were not in a dyer state the small touches have made a number of the holes very enjoyable. In places the grass could be cut a little neater, but when you have a full tee time sheet being filled by an array of handicaps the course is bound to take a bit of a hit in places.
The course has a full host of facilities: driving range, chipping areas, putting greens are all at your disposal before you head out on the course. The club house wasn’t open before 8am when we attended so those of you who like a catch up and a coffee before your round may need to tee off a little later in the morning.
The first hole is a deceptive downhill par three. The green is protected by bunkers a on the left, right and to the front. Although the yardage is only 153 don’t be fooled into playing a soft wedge in to the green, the front bunker hides a false front meaning most players end up short. It’s not a difficult hole to start with but one that makes you think about your game from the off.
The second hole has been re-sculptured, previously a par 4 at 464 yards it is now a par 5 with no extra length. The par has been increased due to the difficulty, although the fairway is fairly straight the first 180yards in front and left of the tee box is OB and then on the right from 180 yards on is a small stream making a straight tee shot imperative.
The par 4 7th is a great hole. After playing the long 6th hole you walk to an elevated tee box and look down the fairway to an inviting green. The hole slopes away from you, at about 200 yards you’ll reach the crest of the fairway before it drops away in to small valley then rises to an elevated green beyond a pond on the right hand side. This a great hole to attack, drive to the crest which will leave you 160 ish yards to the green, go for it and the banking at the back of the putting surface will catch anything long and help you pick up birdie.
The back 9 holes are a little easier than the front, a number of long par fours and fives that run adjacent to each other. 13 through to 16 are all tree lined with a number of bunkers placed to pick up shots that are not centre fairway, a large drainage ditch runs across the middle of the course meaning that each fairway requires a long drive to carry or a shorter wood leaving a longer second in to the green.
The “easiest” hole on the course, the 17th, is a great par 3. You play your first shot from a slightly elevated tee box, the ground drops away from you to pond at the bottom, the green is tucked right in to the slope, anything short will either run down leaving you a difficult loft wedge back up or you’ll be wet. If you get your tee shot right you’ll hit the large green and leave yourself another birdie putt.
The 18th is a mid-difficulty hole, following the pattern of number of holes on the course it starts with a high tee box that plays into a downhill fairway with trees on the right to pick up anything wild. If you’re fighting for a win your second shot becomes a lot harder, you play back up the hill to a green which you cannot see, it’s protected by bunkers to catch anything short. If you aim slightly left of the hole you’ll be safe, you can take a par on this hole but it’s easy to leave yourself with a bogey putt with anything other than a well struck 2nd shot.
Southampton is a good course to play, especially if you can pick up a deal, you can get on this course for as little as £11 at times. It has plenty of good points, the greens are consistent, there are some beautiful holes and it’s a good test of golf. It does have some negatives though, if you are paying full whack, which is £28 on a weekend you may be slightly frustrated with the pace of play, a fourball can easily take 5 hours.
The staff and members here are friendly and welcoming, it has a good atmosphere. If you are visiting in warm weather then you can enjoy your drinks out on the patio and look over the course. The club house needs a little more investment, it’s a little tatty but the drinks are good and well-priced.
On a green fee deal Southampton Golf club is great value for money, if you are going to pay full whack then it’s still worth a visit, it’s a good track, just make sure you give yourself a little more time to get round on a weekend.
- Good test of golf
- Great value with vouchers
- Long play time on weekends
- Open to Public