The West Course
The signal being sent out from the spacious par five first hole is that a treat is in store for every player. This hole as well as the second with a prevailing tail wind should result in a pleasing score on the card with which to open the proceedings.
A number of rounds at Verdura will help the player to identify the best line of attack such as on the second hole where high and right offer a better solution than the lower left side of the fairway. The third is a mid-length par three with the beautifully restored railway station as a backdrop.
Those who know of Wentworth’s West Course will compare the next four holes to the renowned “Burma Road” as they explore the northern boundary of the estate along the River Verdura and head progressively towards the first contact with the sea.
The fourth is the longest hole on the Verdura courses; length will hopefully be assisted by forward roll on the teeshot.
The fifth hole looks innocuous from the tee but a surprise lies in store as the player approaches the second shot. The fairway falls away to reveal a vertiginous valley over which a full fairway wood will be needed to reach the distant green.
The eighth hole is truly exceptional in its concept and purity. Two noble blows are needed to attain the putting surface with its spectacular backdrop of the azure Mediterranean Sea.
The ninth plays along the beach and is the shortest par four on the entire estate. Long drivers should be aware of the central bunker awaiting those who seek to drive the green. This strategic hole is reminiscent of the twelfth hole at St Andrews Old Course with its cunningly camouflaged pitfalls and evokes memories of the great designer of Augusta, Alistair Mackenzie, at his best.
The short tenth starts a series of spacious inland holes played against the skyline of the surrounding rocky peaks and hill villages which prepare for the reappearance of the sea at the conclusion of the handsome par 5 fourteenth hole.
The course then takes us onto the coast for a final loop of four fine holes concluding in the spectacular eighteenth played from a tee built on a promontory next to the sea reminiscent of the final hole of Pebble Beach. A glorious second shot to the green situated below the restored Tower will earn applause from spectators dining on the terrace overlooking this scene of golfing delight.
Richard Wax, golf course rater