Course Review- Brighton & Hove Golf Club (www.brightongolf.co.uk)
Conditions: Clear, Breezy.
Green Fee: £14.00 (all you can play after 15:00pm)
A beautiful Saturday evening in sunny Brighton and some spare time led to my decision to head out to Brighton & Hove Golf Club to make the most of the lovely weather.
Brighton & Hove Golf Club was again another local course that I hadn’t had the chance to try. I chose Brighton & Hove Golf Club for my round as they had a very good offer of a twilight rate of £14 for as many holes as you want to play after 15:00pm. I had every intention of playing until the sun went down, hoping for some fantastic photos later in the day from up on the downs, and boy I was not disappointed.
Upon arrival, I headed straight to the pro shop where I was welcomed, and the Pro was kind enough to give me a little talk through the 9 hole layout. Despite having no driving range, Brighton & Hove Golf Club does have a small practice facility, adjacent to the 1st and 9th fairways, a practice putting green and a driving net. Despite being a course with only 9 holes, it has the ability to be played as 18, with two different sets of tee boxes on each hole, offering differing angles, yardages, and even pars. This adds a nice twist as opposed to playing the exact same 9 twice.
After warming up hitting a few balls into the net, a short stroll to the first tee had me ready to tee off, with not another soul in sight. The 1st starts with a fairly straight hole slightly downhill. From the first fairway, there are views over Brighton in the distance. I manage to get a decent drive away down the left side of the fairway, but a pulled second shot has me failing to make my par, after having been left with a tricky approach after my ball was kicked left down the bank.
The 2nd is a dogleg left uphill par 5, with a blind second shot over the crest of the hill. Again, I manage to get a nice drive away, but a pulled second shot (again) from a ball above the feet lie, leaves me in trouble down the left rough. I manage to come away with a 6 after a one putt.
The 3rd is a par 3 to a large flat green, although the putting surface isn’t overly visible from the tee. Let down by my rusty short game after missing the green with my tee shot, I come away with a disappointing 5.
At the 4th, a short par 4, it is tempting to go for the green from the tee for longer hitters, but a shorter club and the middle of the fairway should be the sensible play. Playing on my own- I opt for the risky approach out of curiosity more than anything, and end up over drawing my drive into the long rough- lost ball. I had hit a provisional off the tee, with a 5 iron striped down the middle- definitely the play next time! A lofted wedge safely onto the green, before 3 putting has me come away with a triple.
The 5th is a long slight dogleg right par 4, up the hill back towards the coastline, with a fairway that slopes from left to right. setting up nicely for a draw. I block my drive right, and luckily stay in bounds with a swing (just). I advance my ball further up the fairway with a 6 iron, before leaving my approach from the centre of the fairway short right, behind a bunker. Despite being short sided, a risky flop over the bunker sees me tapping in for bogey.
The 6th is a very steeply downhill par 3, and one of Brighton & Hove Golf Club’s signature holes. Measuring around 155 yards on the scope, and surrounded by bunkers, I boldly pluck my Pitching Wedge out of my bag (usual 120 yard club), and hold off the finish, trying to flight it down a bit. I judged the distance perfectly (more luck than judgement) and end pin-high. A 2 putt sees me walking away with a solid par.
The 7th is a pretty dogleg right par 4, with a tee shot that goes over the 6th green. Luckily with the course being so quiet- this provides no hold ups. At the corner of the dogleg, the 2nd shot has you hitting over an area of small trees, so having a decent lie and being in the fairway off the tee is key. A pulled drive sees me hitting my long approach from a downhill lie and end up leaving it short right again. The short game woes continue which sees me take a further 2 shots to get onto the green, and a further 2 to get it in the hole! Double!
The 8th is a long par 3 from the white tee box. A crisply struck 7 wood has me just left of the green, chipping downhill from a few yards off the green- one of my main weaknesses! An average chip followed by a 2 putt sees me make another bogey.
The 9th is a severely uphill, and doglegs sharply to the right when reaching the top. It is hard to judge quite how far to hit it off the tee, but I pull my 4 wood, and a nice strike sees me going through the fairway- definitely need a gentle fade off the tee (a shot not currently in my locker!). A random shank from nowhere with my second, sees me again failing to make par from a good position. I come away with double, to close the front nine in a disappointing 47.
The 10th plays very similar to the 1st, but the tee is pulled forward approximately 30 yards. I get a solid drive away, down the left side, but the less said about the rest of the hole the better! Shank, Penalty, poor approach and a 3 putt compound the misery.
The 11th changes from the par 5 2nd to an uphill par 4 which plays longer than its yardage, despite the tee coming forward 120 yards. Another solid drive again sets me up for a decent chance for a nice approach, which again fails to find the green. A chip and a 2 putt sees me make bogey.
The 12th changes the approach angle into the 3rd green, increasing the yardage and adding a couple of clubs. I leave my tee shot way right (down the 11th fairway!), but a fantastic recovery lob wedge and 1 putt sees me come away with only my second par of the day.
The 13th tee adds approximately 60 yards to the downhill par 4, taking 5 iron out of play. I opt for 4 wood and get a decent drive away down the middle. A solid approach to the heart of the green and another two putt for back to back pars.
The 14th adds 50 yards to the already long 5th, but gives you a shot back turning it into a par 5. A similar drive to before down the right has me playing sensibly with the second back to the centre of the fairway. Again I fail to find the GIR but a tidy putt from the fringe and tap in leaves me with my 3rd consecutive par.
15 is another par 3 in which they change the angle of attack- this time, adding approximately 10 yards. I try to get a little extra out of my Pitching Wedge (greedy!) but end up finding the front fringe. My next doesn’t get close enough and I’m 2 putting for bogey to end the run of pars.
The 16th becomes an even tighter dogleg, by shifting the tee box 40 yards right. For me this opened up the line on the tee shot a bit better for me, and I left myself in a good place with a 4 wood. The uphill approach is again left short, but nothing a chip and a putt can’t fix. Back on the pars!
17 becomes a nice mid range par 3 at around 160 yards, simplifying the hole. An 8 iron to the centre of the green followed by a 2 putt and I’m going back to back again.
The 18th again shifts the teebox further to the right, sharpening the dogleg. A nice 4 wood finds the centre of the fairway, leaving myself a considerably shorter yardage than before. A low, spinning sand wedge into the green, sees my ball nestling up to around 8 feet. I make a decent putt for what feels like the first time today and I’m signing my card off with a birdie. I rescued my card on the back 9, with a 39 helping me finish with a an 86.
Whilst there was still some daylight left, and by which point I was the only person left at the course, I headed out for an additional 4 holes to get some much needed practice in.
In summary, Brighton & Hove Golf Club is a friendly course, which I have to say offers a fantastic twilight rate- particularly in the summer. Holes that stood out for me were the downhill par 4 4th and the challenging par 3 6th, The course was in very good shape, and I would definitely return to take advantage of the twilight rates. I would hope to score better the next time round, with my newly acquired course knowledge.
–The Sussex Golfer