Golf Course Review of Sandy Lodge Golf Club
Sandy Lodge Golf Course
Reviewed by Ed Battye -
Quick Summary: A firm, fast-running golf course with lots of variety
Our 5 Star Rating: 3.7
Sandy Lodge is a course with tight, firm fairways and lots of interest throughout its 18 holes.
I played here in late-March and the course was in fabulous condition. It was extremely dry underfoot and the greens were nicely paced and true.
There are many unusual features that elevate this course, situated near Watford inside the M25, towards being one of the most enjoyable I have played in this area.
The wooden sleepered bunkers found at the second and 10th give the course character and it’s a shame there weren’t more of these throughout the round. Incidentally, and regardless of the bunker-style, these are two of the best holes on the course. The latter in particular is a truly exceptional short hole with a deviously raised green.
Reachable par fives at the first and fourth potentially allow you to get off to a fast start but it is the 11th and 17th that are the best three-shotters on the course. The 11th has cunning fairway bunkers some 50 yards short of the downhill approach to the green – these must be flown or well judged on the lay-up - whilst the 17th has a fine drive and fabulous two-tiered green. The 14th is also a par five with a tricky green that falls away from you.
Back-to-back par threes are quite uncommon on golf courses but that is what you find at the seventh and eighth. The first of these is played downhill through a chute, meanwhile, the second one is only around 100 yards but protected by bunkers and a tilted green. There are a total of six short holes on the course and along with the five par fives you are continually being asked to hit a different type of shot hole after hole.
Most of the par fours are quite straight with only the 12th significantly dog-legging to the right. These holes generally require straight hitting but lack bite. The green at the fifth has some nice contouring and at just over the 300 yard mark the 13th offers a birdie opportunity but the way the green falls away from you (one of many at Sandy Lodge) it’s all too possible to get too cute with this teasing two-shotter.
The course ends with the loveliest par three played across a large depression to a wickedly sloping green flanked by trees and defended by spectacle type bunkers.
Sandy Lodge is never going to be recognised as one of the UK’s great courses but it perhaps deserves slightly higher recognition than it appears to get.
Club Website: www.sandylodge.co.uk
Tournaments: Open golf competitions at Sandy Lodge Golf Club.
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