Local player Rachel Drummond, from Bourne End, has worked in the Pro Shop at Buckinghamshire Golf Club on and off for the last two years and turned professional two days before the ISPS Handa Ladies British Masters with a handicap of +2. She will be playing in the tournament courtesy of an invitation. Here she describes how to play the course.
Rachel says: Buckinghamshire Golf Club was created by the legendary John Jacobs OBE, former European Tour player, Ryder Cup Captain and in recent years, renowned course designer. His skilful use of the natural features and local topography allied to the devoted skills of our green keeping staff who presents the course to the highest standards year round have meant that our course has quickly become recognised as one of the finest inland courses in the British Isles.
A long demanding opening hole, longer hitters may want to favour a fade off the tee to open up the approach. Most deceptive green on the course being 43 yards long, make sure you are smart with your club choice as you could be left with a lengthy putt!
Straightaway par 5, keep right from the Tee to avoid Out of Bounds, an easy hole if you stay straight, birdies could be made.
Be sensible here with your tee shot, longer hitters may find a driver isn’t the club as a stream at the front protects the green. Another long green being 47yards long, trust your yardage!
Tricky uphill dogleg left, choose a confident but not too aggressive line off the tee, you don’t want to be blocked out by the trees on the left side of the fairway. A tough par four with a green 39 yards long, another deceptive hole, will be interesting to see how many people get there approaches to the hole!
This green is perched on top of a plateau and is often affected by the wind. Any shots by the ladies that finish centre of the green are in a good position, if the flag falls at the front of the green it will be important not to fly too far past the flag as the challenges really start as the green slopes back to front. Will be imperative to stay below the pin!
A sharp dogleg right, this hole deserves respect as you can easily find one of the bunkers that run up both right and left of the fairway. The percentage play will be to hit a club that finds the furthest part of the fairway between the bunkers. More aggressive players may find that they can take off some of the right hand corner to leave a pitch shot, the pin position could either make this hole benign or very difficult.
Straightforward par 3, hit the heart of the green, don’t be too aggressive with your approach if the flag sits on the left.
A tough hole that plays uphill and is often into a prevailing wind, a slight draw off the tee will help on this slight dog leg left. A demanding green to hit in two as the green is guarded by two large bunkers.
A relatively simple par 5, a large oak tree however ditacts both your driving position and length off the tee. Drives should either favour the left or right half of the fairway. Once the oak has been negotiated you have a simple approach onto a large green, to make birdies you will need to pepper the pin.
Favour the left side on Tee shot-avoiding the water, leave the shortest lay-up possible to help a precise approach which is crucial if you want to get up and down for birdie. Some professionals may be able to reach this par 5 in two but if not look out for some tactical lay ups.
Short but sweet, is a generous fairway but avoid the left bunker. Green can be deceptive depending where the pin is, make sure you take enough club.
Toughest Par 3 on the course with a relatively narrow green. If you have to miss the green, miss short and left, this will create the best chance for a par save. Centre of the green is a great shot on this hole as there are plenty of sucker pin positions that should not be attacked!
Find the fairway off the tee with a slight draw on this dog leg left hole, longer hitters may be able to cut off the corner but this is not a hole to take too much off as the rough is ready to take shots that go too far left! This hole has a deep and wide two tiered green so club choice is important.
A relatively easy drive which you should favour the left half of the fairway, this will make sure you stay out of the right hand bunkers. Longer hitters may be able to give this par 5 a shot in two, if not watch out for the sneaky bunker with your lay-up set back around 100yards short of the green.
Avoid the gorse on the right and find the fairway a great line is over the middle bunker, a well positioned drive is crucial as this tricky green has three tiers and can bring tears if you find the wrong level.
Play to your strengths and avoid the 2 brooks, the green once again is fairly wide and is 32yards in depth, however choosing the wrong club with your approach could leave yourself with a demanding putt on this subtly undulating green.
A hole that can make a score, the ladies will have two options, longer hitting professionals will take on the water, a precise drive is needed, any drives that leak to the right will find the water. Also a tough hole if you choose to lay up, a careful club selection is required which also needs to be accurate, the balls can be attracted to the right bunkers situated around 220 off the tee.
A tough finishing par 3, accuracy is required as anything right will find the water. The green is extremely challenging, being two tiered, a flag on both the front or back tier will favour anything central, players that find themselves going for a right pin are being very courageous!