It’s been quite the transformation for Chart Hills. The Kent course was always known as a well-bunkered, strategic, and varied test. But its the subject of a huge renovation and refurbishment.
There is the rarefied air of a grand facility, sweeping drive, turning circle, bag drop, epic range, and enormous club house.
It has that ‘find a bag tag in your boot 6 months later‘ feel to it. The course is well put together and still exceptionally bunkered. It’s not enormously long – choose between 5,503 off the reds, 5,891 from the yellows, or right up to 7,132 off the back tees – and it presents you with lots of options from nearly all the tees.
There are very few stop signs and genuinely many ways to approach each hole.
The 1st, a sweeping left to right dogleg par 5, is a great example. You could hit any club off the tee depending on how much you want to try and take off the corner, and you can see it all unfolding in front of you. It is excellent use of the land.
Then there is the cute par-3 17th which is 125 yards to a tiny little island green. Deliciously unexpected.
The fairway work is complete. Next will come all 18 greens and there is certainly some tree removal and rough management to do.
The team from Prince’s are proper golfers and understand the work that is required. Anyone who has played their 27 coastal holes will note the excellent work they have done there over the past three seasons.
When they have finished with Chart Hills, the suspicion is that it will be re-established as one of the very best parklands in England.