News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0


Reigate Heath is part of a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which covers some 120 acres. While the site makes for a stunning golf landscape, it is the post mill which evokes thoughts of times gone by.  Built around 1765 where a gibbet once stood, the mill ceased working by wind in the early 1860s.  The roundhouse was converted into chapel of ease to St Mary’s in Reigate and it is known as the St Cross Chapel.  Services are still held in the chapel during summer months.  Interested parties may tour the chapel; contact the golf club for information.



Other than the lack of vegetation and different clothes, the scene depicted below looks very similar today.  Although, I suspect the routing has been dramatically altered because the second half of #4 feels odd.


Built in 1895, possibly by Tom Dunn, the course was on land owned by Lady Henry Somerset and a stipulation for her permission was that ladies would be treated as equals, being allowed to vote and take part in competitions.  Lady Henry Somerset was a head strong woman and became embroiled in a scandal when she sued her husband for custody of their son on the grounds that Lord Somerset was a homosexual!  On her death, the entire heath was bequeathed to the people of Reigate and the club now rents the course on a long term lease from the local council. 
 
Set at the base of the North Downs, the partially chalky soil provides very good year round drainage for golf.  Unfortunately, this is all I really know about the course.  Although, with several fairways set dangerously close to roads and a steady stream of walkers crowding the course, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn changes were made to the original design.  Just looking at the above black & white photo, it looks like the the 1st played as a legger right down the hill. 

Reigate has 18 tees playing to 9 greens.  Most of the alternate tees don't make much difference, however, probably the most radical difference comes straight-away.  The first from 10 and 1 tees. The green is shelved into a sharp rise. 




The triangle shape green.


Space is at a premium at Reigate, this is evidenced by the shared (with the 1st) 2nd fairway.  Trees down the right are effectively placed to make the drive look tighter than it is...but many approaches are blocked due to careless play. Visually, it seems like the hole should play right of the trees back up the first fairway.




A sumptious view of the house from the fairway.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 01:43:13 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Peter Pallotta

Re: Righteous Reigate Heath: The 2016-17 Winter Continues 1-2
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 09:35:06 PM »
Thank you, Sean. I have been looking forward to this for a long time. This seems from readings a cracking good course!
Peter

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues 1-2 New
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2017, 11:46:54 AM »
Yer welcome Pietro.

Reigate Heath Tour Cont.

The opening two holes are good, but we get into the meat of Reigate with holes 3-5; all tough, demanding holes.  The trio begins with #3, a decidedly uphill short hole.  From the 12th tee the full measurement is 220 yards.


165 yard tee. 


The course has a natural quality which is wholly satisfying, however, Reigate is more than meets the eye.  For instance, a common miss would be right of the greenside bunker.  While the kick right of the sand slopes left, the rear of the green moves right. 


The 4th will be the pick of many as their favourite hole.  A pulpit tee off the back of the clubhouse provides two convenient starting points.  On the front nine the hole measures 450 yards (in praise of yellow tees)...par 5, exactly one yard longer than the par 4 of the back nine!   One can clearly see the sharp angle of the dogleg which requires a decent tee shot to make the corner. 


The approach will often be over 200 yards to a narrow target.  In fact, it is no exaggeration to say Reigate is a close fitting design which will not flatter muffin top play.


Reigate has a good variety of greens, but an over-riding feature of all nine is the shots must get up.  The various styles of greens which include false front, dome, ledge or fronting hazard, necessitate aggressive approaching.  Balanced against this is some greens have serious trouble to the rear and/or wings.  The artwork in the holes is a nice touch!


While much shorter than the 4th, the 5th is just as difficult in the main due to the green.   


Looking back to the tee. 


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 04:44:18 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues 1-5 New
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 04:20:57 AM »
Reigate Heath Tour Cont

The next three holes are plagued by the troublesome Flanchford and Bonnys roads.  It is fair to say these holes are the weakness of Reigate, but even with traffic whizzing by and meddlesome thoughts of law suits interfering with the swing, as a set these aren't bad holes. Although, the least engaging comes at the 6th, a decent length par 3 covering flat terrain and hugging the roadside kerb.  The pair of holes to follow are short two-shotters which are examplars of the road issues.  Apparently, the Skimmington Castle is a popular pub as traffic can back up play.


It seems to me that the spot below may be a good tee for one of the nines.


Dungate Manor Care Home sits behind the 8th green and its drive cuts straight across the fairway.


Looking back to the tee; intensely cozy! 


One final battle with Flanchford Road takes us to the 9th tee, a graceful hole highlighting the lovely natural texture of Reigate.






Reigate is blessed with some of the best bunkers in golf...the sort which few archies or greenkeepers these days would give their stamp of approval.


It is difficult not to remember the more automotive aspects of Reigate Heath.  On the other hand, it would be churlish not to appreciate the beauty and quality of holes such as 3-5 and 9.  The idea of a common for shared activities which includes golf has had an immense impact on the way I view the game.  Sure, sharing a course with walkers, horses, and livestock can cause irritation from time to time.  However, non-golfers must feel the same way at times about golfers.  If a spirit of responsibility and common good prevails, all can and should work just fine.  With this in mind, I encourage all golfers to play courses such as Reigate Heath, you too may wonder why golf "needs" to be such a secluded game.  1*  2019

Ciao
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 02:00:11 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues 1-5
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2017, 04:24:56 AM »
Thanks Sean.
Appears distinctly tasty. Looking forward to the rest. 9-hole courses often have a rather nice particularly clubby atmosphere about them and I like the idea of very different teeing angles and lengths for the different 9's but a 220 yd uphill par-3, bloody hell!
atb

Mike Sweeney

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues 1-5
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 05:51:17 AM »

It is difficult not to remember the more automotive aspects of Reigate Heath.  On the other hand, it would be churlish not to appreciate the beauty and quality of holes such as 3-5 and 9.  The idea of a common for shared activities which includes golf has had an immense impact on the way I view the game.  Sure, sharing a course with walkers, horses, and livestock can cause irritation from time to time.  However, the non golfers must feel the same way at times about golfers.  If a spirit of responsibility and common good prevails, all can and should work just fine.  With this in mind, I encourage all golfers to play courses such as Reigate Heath, you too may wonder why golf "needs" to be such a secluded game.  2017



This statement fits perfectly at the 9 hole Winter Park in Florida.


As always, well done and thanks for your efforts.
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us."

Dr. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2017, 04:25:35 AM »
ATB

That long 3rd tee was closed for upgrades, but the 165 tee was still a 2 hybrid! 

Mike

Yes, Winter Park looks very appealing to me.  Do people walk around the course while golfers are playing?  I gotta say, the situation at Reigate is quite dangerous and requires patience and considered decision-making or disaster could strike in a flash. For sure it helps to have extra eyes searching the grounds prior to ball striking. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 04:48:01 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Tim Gallant

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 05:56:44 AM »
ATB


That long 3rd tee was closed for upgrades, but the 165 tee was still a 2 hybrid! 


Mike


Yes, Winter Park looks very appealing to me.  Do people walk around the course while golfers are playing?  I gotta say, the situation at Reigate is quite dangerous and requires patience and considered decision-making or disaster could strike in a flash. For sure it helps to have extra eyes searching the grounds prior to ball striking. 


Ciao


Sean,

Great write-up as always. Also, I see that you snuck it into your favourite Top 25...big statement considering some of the great British courses you have played.


On the walkers/vehicles, I actually didn't encounter this as much. Mind you, I was off at 8am on a Saturday morning, but probably saw a half-dozen walkers throughout the round, and a few cars pass, but wasn't distracted in the least. At North Berwick in the summer, it requires a lot of patience as there are lots of pedestrians going to and from the beach. I embrace it and love the community feel of the links!

Paul Gray

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 06:38:42 PM »
Excellent review, as always, Sean.


I'll have to offer a different opinion about #7 and #8 though. #8, as we discussed, has tree issues but I really rather liked #7. I suspect positioning from the tee on #7 would be a bit more of a strategic quandary if the course were baked dry. A good hole, in my humble opinion.
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues New
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 11:04:38 AM »
Paul

Cheers.  Yep, 7 is a decent hole, but I prefer 8 even if its dangerous as hell. 7 too is dangerous as hell...not just from the road, but for the 8th tee as well.  I would make it a par 3 from the safe side of the road...think it has much more potential as a short hole. 

Tim

I have a lot of time for Reigate Heath.  The course is plenty good enough, pretty and reasonably priced...all the hallmarks of a favourite course.

I think it was busy with walkers because of half-term.  Kids crawling about the place like ants.

Ciao 
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 06:30:41 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues 1-5
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 10:00:46 PM »
you too may wonder why golf "needs" to be such a secluded game. 

Thanks for another worthy tour.  Your comment quoted above illustrates one of the most interesting things I've learned from golf in the UK.  Looking forward to seeing this course in August.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues New
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2017, 03:29:30 AM »
Tucky

Do you plan to play the Friday before Buda?

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 05:18:24 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2017, 01:00:18 PM »
Sean,
That was my thought.  I arrive at LHR early that morning and had hoped to combine Reigate with another course on Friday. 

Duncan Cheslett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 05:30:31 AM »
I'm looking to combine Reigate Heath Fri am with Crowborough Beacon in the afternoon.


My preference would be 9 holes at Reigate at 10ish followed by 18 at Crowborough at 1.30ish.


Thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 05:33:07 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2016-17 Winter Tour Continues
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2017, 05:35:24 AM »
I don't think Reigate allows visitors before 11:30AM. Maybe a call to the club may help. I suspect it is a way to keep down the number of golfers on the course and thus reducing the number of dangerous situations.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 05:43:33 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Righteous REIGATE HEATH GC: The 2018-19 Winter Tour Continues New
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2019, 05:40:30 AM »
I had the great pleasure of returning to Reigate Heath this past week.  As much as I thought Reigate is a good and enjoyable course, I underestimated its qualities.  Having had the chance to kick it around a bit I found the greens much more interesting than I previously estimated.  The use of trees is also an eye opener.  They are used somewhat sparingly in an intelligent manner to help with safety, but also to create angles and the odd forced shot where nothing but execution will do.  I now lean much more toward Reigate being not only a very fun and pretty course, but it is also a very good one. Reigate Heath should be one of the first calls for anybody looking to play golf in Surrey/Berkshire on a budget.  See the significantly upgraded tour.

Previous Stops on the 2019-20 Winter Tour:

Cleeve Cloud
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49796.0.html

Cavendish
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41162.0.html

Hallamshire
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,66568.0.html

Saunton East
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,51415.0.html

Saunton West
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,66490.msg1587657.html#msg1587657

Westward Ho!
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,66480.0.html

Aberdovey
www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,43564.0.html

Planned Stops

Walton Heath
Barton on Sea
Isle of Purbeck

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 03, 2021, 09:30:54 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back