CHART HILLS - 15 POINTS
We played Chart Hills by accident really but it turned out to be a very nice tour opener course, nothing too demanding, quite open but plenty to keep you thinking. It opened with much fanfare with Nick Faldo designing the course, one of his first, and the club has plenty of Faldo memorabilia around to remind you of the heritage.
The staff were great, really welcoming and very keen to ensure we had a good time. The lady at the half way house was particularly helpful, making sure we had plenty of food and drink to keep us going for the back nine.
The course is very nicely laid out and was in great condition at the end of May. The course is open from the tee and bunkers are the main hazards -(there are many, many of them) as well as strategically placed water. It's the kind of course that if you played every week you would probably find you could get your handicap down nicely but have all the shots required to play well when you travelled away.
I'm writing this a couple of years after playing and I can still remember at least half a dozen holes (which is pretty good for me!), from the dogleg 1st to the lovely par 3 17th over water and then the strong finishing 18th.
This course is never going to be able to hold it's own with the true greats of English golf, but that's not what it's trying to do. It is a strong members' course which you will enjoy to play and probably score well on. If you can keep out of some of the 138 bunkers that is.
BOOKING THE COURSE
The website has all details about green fees and then you can email or phone to book. It's worth having a look at the different prices on offer as it is quite a complex picture. Twilight rates start from 12pm which is bizarre but great, with a 'twighlight plus' from 2pm. That means that you can tee off at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon for £37.50, that's immensely good value.
As a stopping point on the way to the Kent coast Chart Hills worked very well for us. We met up in Gatwick airport and then drove the hour to Chart Hills. After the round we then drove another 45 minutes to Canterbury where we stayed before playing Royal St Georges and Royal Cinque Ports. While Princes is supposed to be another good links course we felt that Chart Hills added a nice bit of variety into the trip and Canterbury is a good place for cheap accommodation and plenty of options for food and drink.
Chart Hills Golf Club
Kent, TN27 8JX
Tel: 01580 292222
Web - https://www.charthills.co.uk