Celebrating its 30th birthday, Lingfield Park is a varied and challenging course that will keep you interested from start to finish - Rob Smith returns...
Lingfield Park Golf Course Review
The distinctive layout at Lingfield Park that runs either side of the horse racing track was opened in 1987. More recently a large hotel with spa has been added to appeal equally to golfers and race-goers, and it is now managed by Arena Racing Company under the Marriott brand. It is now in fine company as two courses in the Golf Monthly Next 100, Forest of Arden and Hanbury Manor, are also in the group.
The course opens with a short hole, usually played with the wind behind, which enables the golfing groups to spread out right from the start.
The next is a par 5 that runs adjacent to the railway line, and the 3rd is a very attractive par 4 where anything short will find water and there is a run-off to the right.
Holes four and five run through mature woodland, and the 6th is perhaps the prettiest hole on the course played over a pond to a tricky two-tier green. A short par 4 runs up the hill which you then descend and climb again at eight and nine.
The back nine starts with another attractive par 3, this one slightly downhill and to a green that can be difficult to find.
After the par-4 11th, you cross the racetrack to play the next five holes on the other side. The 13th is a pretty dogleg, played right to left, and the fifteenth is an excellent long hole which the really big hitters may want to go for in two.
Crossing the racetrack again, you play a short par 4 with an approach to a green that has OOB on the left and trees and a stream on the right. Anything offline will be severely punished.
The closing hole raises hopes of a par or even birdie as it is a reachable par 5, but once again it demands straight hitting.
The club has recently launched a new Academy with residential packages making it a great place to learn the game.
I have been playing the course at Lingfield Park on and off since it opened and it has matured well, offering plenty of fun from start to finish.
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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