Hindhead Golf Club

Hindhead Golf Club

Type of course? Heathland.

Pleasant staff? Yes.

Best hole? Holes 2 to 9 follow valleys formed when glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age and the setting is just magnificent, but hole 12 has a great sunken green that makes for an interesting approach shot (I messed it up). Also, cunning is required with your tee shot as a messy bank that looks miles away actually comes into play, as I found out.

Après golf? Excellent lunch. I wish I’d had the Daim cake.

Nice round? Wonderful. The surroundings are beautiful, with pine trees and purple heather starting to come out and the course is just gorgeous and interesting. No wonder Peter Allis (he’s famous in golf, apparently) has chosen it as his home course. And we were lucky enough to be paired up with two lovely ladies who gave us a nice little golf lesson on their way to becoming the day’s champions.

Special memory? Winning the straightest drive on the 18th (see below) with my only straight drive of the day.

Must play again? The Hindhead Open is the latest entry on my “bestest Opens EVER” list, so yes.

Castle Royle Golf Club

Castle Royle Golf Club

Type of course? Linksy parkland. It’s a new classification I’ve invented.

Pleasant staff? We were there for the ladies’ Open, so we didn’t really interact with the staff. The Captain and Vice-Captain couldn’t have been nicer to us. Everyone was very impressed we came all the way from Brighton. We didn’t realise it was quite so far when we booked it.

Best hole? The 8 par 5 because it really forces you to think very carefully about how on Earth you’re going to find your way to the green without getting into trouble (I got into trouble).

Après golf? Excellent lunch and the Lady Captain went to get me extra strawberries and cream for pudding. Like I said. I loved her.

Nice round? Brilliant. The course was flat and rolled like a dream, but there were so many hazards and the greens were so tricky that you really felt like a golfer. My usual “hit and hope” strategy was no good there.

Special memory? 3rd par 4 because never have I achieved an uglier par. Banana drive into the rough on the right, thin approach shot that ended tittering on the edge of the bunker at the back of the green, duff chip that went 2 inches and a stunning 15 foot putt that ended in the hole. So ugly. But a par!

Must play again? Yes, we might have to brave the M25 again to defend our title next year!

Littlehampton Golf Club

Littlehampton Golf Club

Type of course? Links. Very very linksy.

Pleasant staff? The two ladies who served us our sandwiches and cream tea after our round couldn’t have been more lovely.

Best hole? All the ones with elevated tees by the sand dunes so you get a view of the gorgeous beach and the course, so 7, 9 and 10.

Après golf? The cream tea was very good.

Nice round? Challenging but great. The wind made it difficult, but that’s links golf for you. We were there for my committee away day and we all loved it, including 80 year old Caroll, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and who experienced her first selfie ever after the round (see below).

Special memory? Walking up the 11th and seeing a player wave at me. I realised it was someone I played against last year, when she was a member at Ham Manor. She recognised me and it was lovely to see her; I invited myself back to do a review of the course with her.

Must play again? Yes, for the review, but also because even though it’s not listed in True Links – An Illustrated Guide to the Glories of the World’s 246 Links Courses, which seems to be the bible on the subject, it’s still a great links course.

Cirencester Golf Club

Cirencester Golf Club

Type of course? Undulating Cotswolds countryside gorgeousness.

Pleasant staff? The pro wouldn’t give me courtesy of the course (apparently I needed to call before), but he did give us a guest rate because both our clubs are part of the James Braid association.

Best hole? The 16th par 4 because it’s a great risk/reward hole.

Après golf? We had to rush off to meet our non-golfing friends. Yes, we still have a few of those.

Nice round? Brilliant. The “find the ball and hit it” method (also called “grip it and rip it”, but I find that appellation too aggressive) seems to be working. 33 points and a swing that works consistently.

Special memory? Driving to within two feet of the 16th green (276 yard par 4). Ok, ok, it is downhill and the wind was behind, but it put me in a perfect position left of the front bunker. Obviously it still took me three putts to finish it off.

Must play again? I would love to. The course is beautiful and varied and the walk in the Cotswolds countryside is magnificent.

Dyke Golf Club

Dyke Golf Club

Type of course? Downland course. Great views over Brighton & Hove golf course.

Pleasant staff? Yes.

Best hole? The 12th – interesting choice of angle from the tee and tricky approach shot.

Après golf? Excellent two course lunch. Special mention to the tarte tatin.

Nice round? Excellent fun. I was playing in the Dyke Challenge Bowl with the club captain, the secretary and the pro and I loved the best two scores format: you’re allowed to mess up! My golf seems to be on the mend, which is a relief. Shank status: 1/5.

Special memory? Stepping up to the tee on the 17th par 3 knowing that we only had one ball on the green after three tee shots and needed another one. I came good for the team and relished the girl power.

Must play again? Yes, because it’s a fun course, it’s so close that we can see the clubhouse from Brighton & Hove and *whisper* I find it quite easy so it’s always a nice ego boost.

Worthing Golf Club (Upper Course)

Worthing Golf Club (Upper Course)

Type of course? Classic Sussex downland course. Great views.

Pleasant staff? Yes.

Best hole? The 16th because I like a drivable green (although my ball ended up in an equally drivable copse of trees).

Après golf? Two pieces of Victoria sandwich, as my teammate Hazel was playing and tradition demands that she gives me her piece of cake.

Nice round? Magic. It was a greensomes match and my partner and I just had the most amazing round together. I only had a couple of shanky shanks and played much better. There is hope!

Special memory? A lovely 8 iron from inside an old bomb crater that somehow found the green for a par.

Must play again? I think I’d rather play the Lower Course next time, as it’s longer and has more interesting par 3s.