Similar to The Berkshire and Sunningdale, the debate as to which of Walton Heath's courses is better will rage forever more. What shouldn't be in doubt is which course has the better short holes. The New's 6th continues a lovely run of holes. At ~165 and uphill the hole does present an element of difficulty, especially if the winter wind is blowing from the north. Just in shot to the left, is the remnant of an old bunker. Simpson sketched this hole (in his style
) perhaps while in partnership with Fowler. This sketch clearly shows a lower green right of the bunker remnant. A Carter's ad also has a photo of women putting on the lower green. It would have made the green huge, not unlike the greens Fowler built at RAC during this same period.
The following hole strides toward the gallops. Unless there were unbuilt earthworks/bunkers, I can't quite grasp the Fowler quote concerning the idea for the original double dogleg 7th, but today the hole flies straight as an arrow toward the gallops to the rear. The next two are long half par holes with the fairways broken up by heather and sand. Ever present are the interesting earthworks as seen on the 9th.
The short 10th is another cracking par 3. With holes of this quality it is a great pity Walton Heath New features a scant three short holes.
A closer look at the left bunker which obscures a second bunker.
At 374 yards the 11th isn't onerously long, but it does feature bunkers which are of the intimidating variety. Many drives on The New aren't visually enticing, the 11th is an exception.
Despite appearances, most of the green depth cannot properly be perceived from this angle.
And...the ugly duckling bunker which really dictates the strategy.
Dead straight, the 12th moves in the same direction as 11 and ups the ante in length by 35 yards. As on 11, there is a bit of space to aim at for those not wanting to face the greenside cross bunker.
A reachable par 5, thirteen doesn't move my needle much. The fourteenth, however, is excellent. While the tee shot landing area is blind, it is quite evident the hole curls left and plays downhill...this is perhaps the greatest elevation change on the course. The green was canabalized from the Old when its short 12th was abandoned.
Walton Heath excels in offering features such as the patch of heather/rough near the bunker which greatly improve the aesthetics by focusing on the heath element of the property. I do recall seeing old photos of Walton Heath when the bunkers were revetted and I think it has been a recent decision to go more toward a heathland style bunker. This is perhaps a shame because the revetting does add to the primitive nature of the bunkers which I find immensely attractive.
The 15th commences the run home with all the remaining holes cheek by jowl with the Old. We head back up the slope and veer right. There are just enough doglegs to dispel the idea that Walton Heath's dance card is filled with flat, straight holes.
More to follow.