Moor Park Golf Club – High Course

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At A Glance

The clubhouse at Moor Park Golf Club is a Grade 1 Listed Mansion! It is one of the grandest in all of golf.

Moor Park Golf Club is home to the Carris Trophy - a tournament for England Under 18 Boys.

Some of the holes are better played from the forward tees. One such example, in my opinion, is the 18th from the left winter tee.


Full Course Review

The Moor Park Golf Club High Course is the Championship test at Moor Park. Capable of being stretched out to over 7000 yards it also reaches the psychological par 72 championship threshold. The club is the host of The Carris Trophy and has had ambitions to host high ranking amateur competitions and professional events. In wanting to do so, it has had to add length to toughen the challenge. In order to test the best, tees have been added with some long walks back if playing from the tips.

Ravines

There is a reason why it's called the High Course. It is situated at the high side of the site and it works its way over a series of ravines. These are used to good effect particularly on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th and 12th. These ravines are used to create heroic carries in a variety of ways. The use of the ravines is used twice on one-shot holes. On the two-shot holes mentioned, carries are required twice on tee shots and once on the approach shot to 11.

Bunkering

Mr Hawtree was hired to rebuild the bunkers on the High Course. It must be an unenviable task to rebuild and modernise Harry Colt's most renowned design element. The bunker work was not a complete restoration in the truest sense of the word. Locations, size, orientation and look have been altered from the originals near enough 100 years ago. Maintenance has been simplified and the overall presentation is good.

I particularly enjoyed seeing the 5th and upon reflection, it is even better when one recalls the 3rd. When contemplating what to do, it appears that there are a plethora of bunkers from which there is no relief or safe passage. However, there are in fact only five... the same as on the 3rd. The layering and visual deception is done very well and was a highlight.

Green Sites

The mounding around the green sites and shaping also appears to have been enhanced. The green sites and surrounds are full of lumps and bumps and they do contrast with the overall nature and feel of an otherwise rolling site with little contouring. The green surrounds will provide a variety of shots for members to enjoy despite feeling somewhat manufactured but in an appealing way.

On a variety of green sites, you could see where they cut material to use of the original construction of the green complex. This is particularly evident on the opening hole, where it extends into the fairway. It is a pleasing design element, almost imperceptible and creates a lovely Valley of Sin type playing feature. I've seen this done by Fowler, Simpson and now Colt. Perhaps this design feature was a by-product of a construction technique from a time when heavy equipment was unavailable and the material nearby. It is seen repeatedly on the High Course before and to either side of multiple greens.

First hole green complex DTM.

Summary

If you show up with your hickories and plus fours looking for an authentic Harry Colt original you won't find it here. You may not see an untouched Colt but you will see how he laid out holes overland with a lot of movement and utilised some fairly stern ravines. Harry Colt didn't shy away from long carries, awkward questions or blind shots, especially from the tee.

One must not forget this course is used to test the best on occasion and cater to a mature membership most of the time. This is a tall order for any course and the tack the club has decided to take is to move with the times as they try to test the best when necessary.  Due to the topography and membership, buggies are in constant use and the paths will perturb the purest. The Moor Park Golf Club High Course is a Harry Colt routing. It's good golf in the heart of London with a classy clubhouse.

With the potential of another 18 holes ripe for redevelopment, it will be interesting to see the tack the club chooses to take. The High Course is no doubt the Championship test. The West Course has all the potential in the world for a thrilling restoration. Perhaps one day soon, Moor Park will have a Championship test and a fully restored Harry Colt?


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