- Paul Graham-Fielding
SANDWELL PARK - A HIDDEN GEM
Sandwell Golf Club is a truly traditional members club in West Bromwich, West Midlands. The club dates back to 1895 and was designed by HS Colt.
The course is situated just minutes from the M5 in a secluded location and it is hard to believe a golf course is hidden away in such beautiful surroundings just minutes from this busy motorway network. Be careful not to blink or you may miss the rather inconspicuous entrance.
When you arrive at the pro shop at the front of the club house you are met with a stunning panoramic of the course and far beyond. The 18th green sits adjacent to the 1st tee and both are in noticeably immaculate condition.
The pro shop is on the small side but it stocks all the essentials along with top end brands that include JLindeberg, Galvin Green and Titliest. Our greeting was pleasant without being overly welcoming.
The 1st hole is a really tough start, at 435 yds it is the longest par 4 on the course and accuracy and length are required in equal measure from the tee that allows a mid iron to a fairly firm green. The pace of the green was unbelievably quick, especially for the time of year.
Holes 2 and 3 both demand accurate tee shots, anything leaked either side is not good. The par 3 4th is a really challenging hole, this plays a yard short of 200 off the whites and the green is treacherous, I managed to four putt from 20'! The remainder of the front nine are all great holes with the same demands from the tee and fantastic putting surfaces, where a 2 putt is welcomed.
The back nine starts with a par 5 which is straight forward enough but as with many of the holes on the course the left of fairway is mature tree line and the right side is Out of bounds, so make sure it's straight. Hole 12 is another stunning par 3, from an elevated tee at 188yds you hit down to a front to back sloping green which is hard to hold.
One of my favourite holes was the 15th. A slight dog leg, ideally right of fairway from the tee allows a good line to the uphill green, this hole is also noted as one of Lee Trevinos personal favourites, it seems great minds think alike! Another lovely par 3 at 16 and two nice par 4's to finish.
Another enjoyable round was complete, the course was in superb condition from 1 to 18 and the greens were the best we have played this year, the speed was extremely quick and I am told they can play as quick as anywhere in the summer months. I was astonished to find that you can play this course for £35 which makes it unbelievable value for this kind of quality.