Hole by Hole Guide
Hole 1, 457 yards, par 4
The River Ravensbourne, which accompanies you on your way to the first tee, marks the start of your round at Shortlands. The river continues along the left-hand side of the fairway of the first hole, concealed by the row of mature trees but is also out of bounds. So a straight, controlled, good length shot from the raised tee onto the fairway is the best way to start on this, the toughest hole on the course.
Hole 2, 140 yards, par 3
As an antidote to the length of the first hole, the second is a short and pretty par 3. An accurate tee shot over the trees will land you on the green but beware of the strategically placed front and back bunkers, positioned to catch those a little off line.
Hole 3, 381 yards, par 4
A short walk from the 2nd green to the 3rd tee takes you through the hedgerow that you’ll need to clear as a blind shot to hit the fairway of the 3rd. A par 4 straight hole with an undulating fairway but look out for the trees and the bunkers to the left and right of the green.
Hole 4, 135 yards, par 3
Try not to leave your tee shot short on this gentle par 3 or it’ll roll down into the dip, a former lake with a steep bank up to the green. The old poplar tree celebrates the large, greenside bunker on the left. The green undulates like a potato crisp so you’ll test your putting ability here too.
Hole 5, 472 yards, par 5
From the deep 5th tee position, you’ll need to be accurate here. Woodland lines the route from the tee to the fairway 100 yards away so only a straight drive will keep you in play.
Hole 6, 158 yards, par 3
A good length par 3, with a green surrounded by bunkers and trees can catch out even the most seasoned golfer. Over the back and you’re in thick woodland.
Hole 7, 191 yards, par 3
Criss-crossing the fairway of the 6th is a full length par 3 and at 191 yards it also carries Stroke Index 7. There is a full-width fairway bunker guarding the front of the green and further bunkers and trees either side. So are you going to lay up or go for the green?
Hole 8, 475 yards, par 5
A wide fairway gives you the chance to get a good-length drive away from the tee providing you keep it on the fairway. You’ll need to avoid the large fairway bunker 140 yards from the pin and the trees on the right to keep your score on track.
Hole 9, 229 yards, par 4
The shortest par 4 in the country is also one of the prettiest. There are several ways to play your tee shot and negotiate the tall trees obscuring your view of the fairway on this dog-legged hole. The generous, picturesque green has out of bounds on three sides and the River Ravensbourne to cross to reach it. Did we mention it’s a pound to the Captain’s Fund if the river catches you out?
The Back Nine
While the holes on the back nine will be familiar to you and offer a second chance to master the course, differing tee positions on many of them certainly give food for thought and leave dilemmas over club selection or which shape of shot to hit. The two holes on which you will notice the greatest difference from the front nine are the 14th and the 16th.
Hole 14, 449 yards, par 4
On the face of it, the forward tee position of the 14th is less foreboding than the deep tee position of the par 5 5th. But the comfort comes at a price of a shot as the scorecard reveals this is now a long par 4. It represents a different challenge altogether and a tougher task to make a par.
Hole 16, 166 yards, par 3
The unique 166-yard 16th is only played once here at Shortlands . It’s a straight par 3 with trees and out of bounds to the left and the green nestles amongst more bunkers including one on the front edge, adding a further challenge.