A GREAT DE­BATE

Golf World (UK) - - THE SPIN -

Very re­cently I played Prince’s in Kent. The price of play­ing this pres­ti­gious course was a rather hefty £95!

Our four­ball headed off on the links, with a light breeze in our faces. Af­ter launch­ing our tee shots up the mid­dle, we ap­proached the green, I hit a lovely lit­tle pitch in, only to see it bounce on the green and kick vi­ciously to the left, run­ning down the bank into the long grass. Like a true gen­tle­man I kept my cool and sim­ply com­mented “a lit­tle harsh, that!”

Over the next 17 holes, all sorts of good shots were heav­ily pun­ished, and all sorts of bad shots were heav­ily re­warded. This was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent game to the one I’m used to, at times mag­i­cal, with scenery to die for, and at other times so frus­trat­ing.

It made me se­ri­ously think: is links golf all it’s made out to be? I went home and asked my­self, was it worth it? The an­swer even­tu­ally ar­rived: No!

I play at Ten­ter­den Golf Club in Kent, a lovely lit­tle park­land golf course in great con­di­tion. When I play there, 95% of the time the ball ends up where it ought to.

The scenery is also spec­tac­u­lar and the cost of play­ing at the same time on a week­end is £40, less than half the price of Prince’s. The drinks are cheaper too, and while the chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties are not as good by a long way, vis­i­tors will change their shoes and go straight out and play, so a good shower is not so im­por­tant.

Do not get me wrong. I thor­oughly en­joyed the day. But in sim­ple terms, a re­li­able park­land or an over­priced day at the sea­side? Park­land wins ev­ery time for me... and my wal­let. Kev Steele, email

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