“YOU JUST HAVE TO HIT THE FAIRWAY”
The expansive plateau of Walton Heath means the course lacks the dramatic elevation changes or water-based hazards that characterise the modern ‘signature’ hole. That said, the rugged, natural beauty of its setting ensures there are no shortage of memorable moments during the round, and for head professional Simon Peaford the finest of these comes at the 5th – played as the 3rd in the British Masters.
“The hole plays around 380 yards off the tees of the day but can stretch to 485 of the backs,” he says. “That back tee pretty much always demands a driver, but otherwise, take the strongest club you dare that allows you to find the fairway. Gorse and sand lie in wait up the right, while left is dead. However, the further you hit it, the further left you need to play to find the ideal line.
“It’s a hole where you just have to hit the fairway. But get a good one away and you are a rewarded with a wonderful approach of 120-180 yards, from the top of a rise down to a beautifully sited green that falls away on both sides. With deep bunkers framing the green short left is probably your best miss, leaving you a simpler line into most pins on what is probably the most undulating green on the course.”
October 2018 Golf World 101