- Paul Graham-Fielding
TRENT PARK - DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
Driving in to this place is like driving up to the changing rooms on a Sunday morning council football pitch, it doesn’t look great. You are greeted with low slung 70′s brick buildings that have seen better days, a tired club house with a burger a van next to it and a worn out looking pro shop, but don’t let that put you off ,this is a good place to play golf.
Once you get past the rough and ready look of the car entrance and car park you will find it has plenty to offer, the pro shop is well stock and staffed by knowledgeable guys, the driving range is well looked after with plenty of different ways to warm up your game and there is a large putting green and chipping green just before you head to the first tee.
You need to make sure you grab a course guide if you haven’t played here before, you need to know where to play your ball as there are well placed hazard on most holes.
The first hole is a 470 yard par 5 dog leg left, you need to be pretty straight, the driving range sits up against the fairway on your left and anything pushed out to the right will be collected by the rough fed by the steep slope or in to the two large fairway bunkers. A good tee shot will still leave you with a question, “go for the green or lay up in front of the water hazard that sits at the bottom of the valley”. You can reach the hole in two here and grab a nice start to the round or you can easily be cursing yourself after you hit a six or a seven
We were playing mid-morning on a Saturday and by the 5th hole we were already witnessing the downfall of this course, its popularity. It is the best kept pay and play in the area so it’s jam packed here on a weekend, our round was over 5 hours. We were also only a three ball so we had to let someone else join up with us to ensure they got as much money through the door as possible.
Having to wait around on most holes did give us the chance to take the course in, it’s clear that the money that they make from filling out the tee sheet in goes back into treating the course, the fairways were well looked after and although the greens were not lightening quick they were consistent.
Every hole on the front nine has water of some description encroaching into the fairway, whether it’s running alongside or cutting across, it will give you something to think about with every shot.
The back nine is a different story it is terrafirma that will cause you problems, the route in to the club house is a testing one with every hole incurring some sort of undulation, and you’ll either be playing against the hill hoping to make the brow or with the hill willing the ball to keep on rolling.
The 16th is a great hole. The tee box sits up high above the bottom of the fairway, the fairway is tree lined on both sides and will see wayward shots taking you in to the rough, a well-placed tree just inside the fairway on the left makes you think about drawing or fading the ball in. A good tee shot should leave you in a position to take on the row of the tress at the bottom of the hill with a fairway wood, you can attack this green as sits on the up slope and the pin is located towards the back. This is a good opportunity to get in another birdie before the stroke index 6 18th hole.
This is a nice way to finish your round. A stream cuts across the fairway at about 185 yards, clear this then you have a 200 yard uphill shot to a green protected by two tightly packed bunkers at the front. If you have made it here in three and par the hole you should be happy with your game.
For a pay and play club you cannot fault this course for its quality, at £27.00 its one of the best value courses in London. However if you’re not a patient player this isn’t the course for you, tee off any time after 9:30 and your round will take you over 5 hours.