West Kent Golf Club
The first full round of 2020 has been completed. I had another great round with @attacktheflag at West Kent Golf Club a couple of weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, given we were playing in January, the conditions weren’t the best but I was glad to get around all 18 without losing a ball or having any terrible holes. The round was a chance for me to catch up with one of my best friends but also get a steer on what I want to work on over the next few weeks over the winter season.
The course itself is a beautiful par 71 parkland course with undulating terrain and tree-lined fairways. I've had a chance to walk the course before and hit a few shots but had not played a full round. I was surprised to find out that it is the longest ladies course in Kent. The locker room has a traditional feel but is spacious and the clubhouse has great views over the last few holes of the course.
After hitting a few balls on the driving range (where you actually hit out onto the fairway of hole 1 so have to be careful of anyone playing!), I was pleased to hit a strong first drive on hole 1 and it was nice to have an elevated tee to start the round. There were several temporary greens and tees on the course given the wet conditions but the round was a good test of my irons and short game to try and get onto the green. I am definitely a bit more hesitant about committing to shots in the wet because there is a strong possibility of mud flying up into my face! The course is not very flat at all which lends itself to beautiful views and some elevated tee shots but also meant that I was able to practise hitting off the slopes on the course. This is where practice on the range has no bearing on the course because you have to adapt to the slope and adjust the club. When I committed (and took a bit more club!) I was able to hit some good shots.
It's always hard for me to pick my favourite holes, especially on this course where each of the holes are quite different to each other but if I had to choose, I'd probably pick the par 4 hole 5 with its downhill blind tee shot and the downhill par 3 hole 13. I was generally pleased with how I played and really enjoyed getting out for a full round to start off the year. I then played a course a week later and played exactly to my handicap which was comforting!
I felt the round was a good warm up for the year ahead and some of those tricky shots on the slopes in the wet conditions are ones that I need to work on and commit to.