NEW PHOTOGRAPHS – click on each photo to see additional views of the hole
Hole 1: Braid’s Hollow
A generous fairway combined with one of the flattest greens on the course. Wherever your drive finishes, you face out of bounds a few yards from the left of the green and a large, deep bunker inches from the right!
Pro’s Tip: Keep your tee shot to the left side of the fairway. If the green is out of range, keep to the left side again.
Hole 2: Railway
One of the most demanding holes at Verulam. A deep bunker on the right and out of bounds running the full length of the hole on the left! The green sits only feet from the out of bounds and a bunker guards the front right.
Pro’s Tip: If you catch the fairway bunker, be careful as many third and fourth shots are played from here.
Hole 3: Sopwell View
Driveable for the bigger hitter. Select a line that allows a clear second shot to the severely away-sloping green. Approach shots will often have to land short and run on. Not an easy two-putt!
Pro’s Tip: Drive to the right for an easier approach shot. Try to finish past the hole leaving an uphill putt.
Hole 4: Matthew’s Walk
One of the few drives with room on both the left and right of the fairway. Big hitters may need to avoid the large bunker on the left. Approach shots will be blind until you reach the top of the hill. Trust the marker in the tree, it is well placed.
Pro’s Tip: Drive to the left as tight to the bunker as you dare. If the putting surface is not in range, stay left to open up this harshly bunkered green.
Hole 5: Bluebell Corner
A tough left-to-right dog-leg. Enough club must be taken off the tee to reach the corner. Big hitters may try to hit over the corner but beware the out of bounds beyond the fairway. The green is lowered with a bunker to the right, out of bounds close to the left, and a tier running subtly through the centre.
Pro’s Tip: Shorter hitters must play to the left to leave a view of the green. Club selection to the green is vital – if short, you leave a tricky chip. Line up the putt from both sides.
Hole 6: Abe’s Ace
A short right-to-left dog-leg with out of bounds on the left side of the hole. The fairway sweeps balls towards two bunkers on the right. The green is raised and slopes from back to front, with a deep bunker to the right. Any shot played past the flag is a tactical mistake on this fast and sloping green.
Pro’s Tip: The percentage shot from the tee is to the corner of the dog-leg and to the left of the bunkers. Leave your approach below the hole for a great birdie opportunity.
Hole 7: The Oak
A long, demanding uphill hole that will require two long shots to reach the green. Higher handicappers will need three shots to find the putting surface. No danger on the fairway but a treacherous and well-bunkered green.
Pro’s Tip: If you are out of range after your drive, your lay-up must avoid the small but troublesome bank crossing 115 yards from the green. The ideal approach shot is short left of the flag to allow a straight uphill putt.
Hole 8: Trinity
Club selection is the first problem as the wind direction is difficult to assess. The green slopes sharply back to front with two deep bunkers guarding the right and left. Another bunker crosses the fairway. The green is difficult to hit and does not concede two putts easily.
Pro’s Tip: No harm should come from selecting an extra club. The ideal shot will be played to the right of the flag but not past it.
Hole 9: Mayor’s Parlour
The drive must be straight and any lay up shot requires thought so as to avoid the bunker and other trouble lying 80 yards from the green. Yet another well-bunkered green with severe slopes finishes the front nine.
Pro’s Tip: Your drive should allow for the right-to-left slope of the fairway. If you are tempted to go for the green in two, the line is the right-hand green-side bunker. A third approach shot should favour the left side.
Hole 10: Old Third
The second demanding par 3. Club selection is complicated by the putting surface not being visible from the tee. Out of bounds runs the full length of the right side and considerable trouble lies in wait if you stray too far left.
Pro’s Tip: Trust the yardage on the card and take plenty of club. The ideal line favours the right side of the green. If you miss the green, accept a 4 and play on!
Hole 11: Abbey
Again, out of bounds for the full length tight on the right. Fairway bunkers await a drive hit too far left as the fairway slopes this way. Concealed bunkers are to be avoided with a lay-up and your approach to the green will often be blind.
Pro’s Tip: Aim all your shots at the Abbey and you will eventually find the green.
Hole 12: Old Nunnery
A tricky hole with out of bounds on the right. You will not see the finish of a well struck shot as the fairway slopes away. A deep bunker awaits poorly struck approach shots. The green slopes away front to back and is well defended by bunkers. Be prepared for a chip from the back of the green.
Pro’s Tip: Length is of little advantage here but try to favour the left side. The ideal approach is past the flag leaving an uphill putt.
Hole 13: Ver Side
Out of bounds close on the right and well in range to the left. A cleverly positioned bunker sits on the left and will catch many drives. Further bunkers are placed at the green entrance and the river lies only a yard from the right side. Some subtle borrows on the green may fool you.
Pro’s Tip: The safe drive is to the right and the safer approach is to the left.
Hole 14: Swannery
A truly great hole! The River Ver on the right will collect any poorly struck shot from the tee. A ridge crosses the fairway 100 yards from the raised green which is protected by two deep bunkers. The putting surface cannot be seen from the fairway and its subtle borrows makes putts difficult to read.
Pro’s Tip: Aim your drive to the left side to find the fairway and try to avoid finishing on the ridge. The approach will need an extra club.
Hole 15: Chasm
A demanding and intimidating tee shot for many golfers. The bank, the trees, the wind, the carry, all conspire against you and you will not see your shot finish. The right-to-left fairway has out of bounds left and right. The green is severely undulating and is defended by a bunker to the left.
Pro’s Tip: Try to leave your approach on the left side of the green and past the flag. Few putts are holed from the front of this green.
Hole 16: Gatehouse
A short par 4 but a wolf in sheep’s clothing. An off line tee shot will rarely leave a shot to the green. The approach often plays longer than it appears and the green concedes few chip and putt pars. There is the chance for long hitters to go for the green but the risk is high with a narrowing fairway and deep protecting bunkers.
Pro’s Tip: An iron may be the wise choice to hit the fairway. Trust the yardage as you will not see the putting surface.
Hole 17: The Road Hole
Par 3 SI 16 / 18
Probably the only hole at Verulam where what you see is what you get. Judging the wind is a major factor here. Ensure you carry the hedge but expect no pity from the green as its severe slopes will not give away two putts easily.
Pro’s Tip: Trust the yardage and keep your head down! If you miss the green accept a bogey – anything better is a bonus.
Hole 18: Ryder’s Finish
Still a long way from the clubhouse! Three good strikes are required to reach the green in regulation. Out of bounds the full length on the left and cunningly sited bunkers are to be contended with. Shots must be positioned carefully to avoid disaster.
Pro’s Tip: Be careful of the cross bunkers and try to be past the flag for the chance of a single putt.