Occupying a piece of pure linksland, Hayling Island stands on a Site of Special Scientific Interest close to Portsmouth and looks over the Solent towards the Isle of Wight. The course has had at least three incarnations. It was extensively remodelled by the five-time Open champion JH Taylor in the early 20th century, but the club itself dates all the way back to 1883.
Much of what stands today is the work of Tom Simpson, who came along in the 1930s to address the issue of too many blind shots, some of them quite extreme examples of the genre and involving substantial carries over large dunes.
Hayling now measures over 6,500 yards from the back tees and is regarded as an excellent test, all the more so when a breeze comes in off the sea, which is more often than not.
In relative terms, the start is largely unremarkable but the stretch in the middle through the dunes is outstanding. The pick is perhaps the 11th, Woolseners, a par 3 that would not be out of place at an Open venue.
In relative terms, the start is largely unremarkable but the stretch in the middle through the dunes is outstanding.
6th 434 yards, par 4
This stroke-index one hole relies on a good drive and a second shot over the cutting. If it is into the wind it is best to play it as a three-shotter.
The cutting was excavated before the course was built for an intended railway line to take people to the beach. The line was never completed and the cutting with its meandering burn will catch the wayward approach shot.
A large green awaits so make sure you get your club selection right.
9th 414 yards par 4
A challenging dogleg that requires a drive out of the dunes onto a plain. Cutting the corner requires a long, high drive over the holm oaks. A large bunker on the corner catches many an ambitous drive.
The 9th plays away from the sea towards Langstone harbour and to the right of the fairway is the most extensive patch of the purple bell heather on the course.
The approach shot is to a long narrow green – better long than short.
11th 157 yards, par 3
Set in the dune with the spectacular backdrop of the Solent and Isle of Wight the hole was named after a large sand bank.
Depending on the wind this short hole calls for anything from a wood to a short iron with the hole protected by deep bunkers.
A great short hole where nothing less than a well-struck shot is required to reach the putting surface.