It’s long been recognised as one of the finest locations for golf in the region.
With views across the city, the Solent and even as far as the Isle of Wight on a clear day – Portsmouth Golf Club at Crookhorn combines the countryside and it’s coastal location for one of the more scenic rounds you can find – and it’s on our doorstep.
In the past, criticism has been directed at the general maintenance of the course, rather than its design or standard.
In years gone by, greens were more like fairways and fairways were fields.
And even for the understanding golfer who recognises the pay-and-play nature, accessible environment and reasonable green fees and membership, an element of enjoyment is lost when course conditions hamper the experience.
While you won’t find greens that are quite ready to challenge Augusta just yet, things are definitely improving on that front with some intensive work in recent times to get them up to scratch for this season.
It’s still a work in progress.
But those who have hauled themselves up some of the most physically demanding holes in our region are more prepared to make allowances when they see the efforts.
Your legs will know they have been in a serious workout after the round.
But it’s certainly not a requirement to carry oxygen in your bag to help climb the hills, for anyone with a modicum of general fitness.
The views from Portsdown Hill are its major asset and the variety in layout – with strategy and placement vital on so many sloping holes – is excellent.
Doglegs are also used extensively – the 13th, in particular, with its sweeping right to left, while there is extra satisfaction for any golfer who plays from an elevated tee to watch their ball soaring off into the distance.
There is also a nice balance to the par threes – five of them in total – but all requiring thought and accuracy, rather than allowing you a breather on this tricky par 69 course.
While a few extra rakes wouldn’t go amiss for the bunkers, there’s value to be had in both green fee visitors (less than £20) and memberships, which can give you full seven-day privileges for around £500 for the year.
A jam-packed calendar of events and competitions also makes for a busy playing and social life. And with a bit more time to continue the improvements, Crookhorn looks set for a bright future.
– steve wilson