North Hants Golf Club Course Review - The ever-improving heathland design at North Hants is both a strong test and very attractive

North Hants Golf Club Course Review

Originally laid out by James Braid, the course at North Hants opened for play in 1904 and is a favourite in the Golf Monthly Top 200 UK&I Courses.

The ambition was for it to be at the heart of an extensive, country-club style development.

In 1913, the great Harry Colt made major revisions with further modifications by Tom Simpson 17 years later.

As the club entered the 21st-Century, they sold off some land that led to Donald Steel designing three new holes.

This was soon followed by an excellent new clubhouse with all mod-cons.

On the upper floor is the Justin Rose room which opened following the local hero’s triumph in the 2013 US Open.

The Front Nine

Unusually, both nines open with a short hole, each of which requires a mid- to long-iron or wood.

The 1st is the longest on the course, and it is followed by a strong right to left dogleg where it is all too easy to block oneself out.

The third is a genuine risk-reward par 5 with a large pond beckoning anything short and right

The third hole is a real feature; all the fairer now that a guardian Scots pine no longer threatens to derail your approach.

Positioning is key on the short par-4 fourth

The next should be just a drive and pitch, but the two-tier green may have something to say on the matter.

Three testing but varied par 4s come next, all of which have much to offer.

The attractive par-3 eighth is the shortest hole on the course

Relief comes at the lovely 8th, the shortest hole on the course, but watch out for another very tricky green.

Another challenging par 4 takes you to the turn, not quite at the clubhouse but with a halfway house.

North Hants Golf Club Course Review

The Back Nine

A shade shorter than the opening hole, the tenth is still a tough but attractive start to the homeward half

Into the prevailing wind, the 10th will play longer than it looks.

Looking back from behind the eleventh green

Two more very strong two-shotters, a real feature of the course at North Hants, come next.

They are followed by two more left-to-right par 4s at 13 and 14 where positioning off the tee is key.

The final short hole at fifteen is over heather to a perfectly-framed green

You now come to the final par 3; a real beauty at the furthest part of the course.

With its elevated approach, the par-4 sixteenth requires two good blows

The run for home starts with yet another tough par 4, this time up to a green where judging distance is key.

The penultimate hole is a strong par 5 to a tricky green tucked away in the corner

As at the previous hole, the 17th runs parallel with the railway line where anything too far right is likely to disappear for good.

Play it sensibly, and a par or better is very achievable.

The closing hole is a suitably testing par 4 in excess of 400 yards

As you would want and indeed expect here, the course finishes with a very fine par 4.

The approach to the closing hole

Two strong strikes in line with the flagpole in the distance and you should be home.

North Hants rightly prides itself on its course, but also on its warm welcome and relaxed atmosphere.

With its springy turf and fine conditioning, it’s a lovely place for a day of golf.