Wilton Golf Club is a picturesque parkland course set in the heart of the Tees Valley. At just over 6200 yards, it is protected by thousands of trees aligning the fairways and well placed plateau greens which combine in offering a challenging, yet enjoyable and fair test to golfers of all abilities. Having invested heavily in new drainage over the last few years the course now remains playable in all but the most adverse weather conditions.
The first hole measures just 299 yards from the back tees, but don't be fooled by the yardage as it can represent a very tricky start to the round. The difficulty is not the tee shot as the fairway is wide with plenty of room to the left. The difficulty on the first hole is the second shot. The green is elevated and surrounded by bunkers, it is a very narrow green from front to back so it is neccessary to be precise when trying to determine your yardage for the second shot.
The 2nd hole features a fairway that slopes extremely from left to right. This means that it is very difficult to hit unless the tee shot is a right to left shaping shot that lands up the left side. The difficulty with this is that there is out of bounds left. Invariably most tee shots end up in the right rough. The second shot is extremely elevated making the club selection difficult and with out of bounds to the left and beyond the green, you have to be careful.
The 3rd hole is another short par 4. The fairway once again slopes from left to right but not as severely as the 2nd. There is out of bounds up the left and it runs the full length of the hole. A scattering of trees to the right mean that an accurate tee shot is required. The green is relatively big and relatively flat, but it is guarded by one of the deepest bunkers on the course, do not come up short and right.
The 4th hole is the first and the longest par 3 on the golf course. The hole measures 204 yards off back tees but it does play a little shorter than the yardage as it is downhill. Out of bounds to the left and trees to the right require precsion off the tee and in order to hit the green you must either send a high soft landing iron shot onto the green or if you are landing a ball short you must thread it between two bunkers guarding the front left and front right of the green.
The 5th hole is the longest hole on the course and the first par 5. There are trees on both sides of the fairway but there is definitely more room on the left. Going down the left side off the tee means you need to be aware of two fairway bunkers that are situated at about 250 yards and 290 yards off the tee. The approach shot into the green can also be played two ways, if you are approaching from distance it is easier to play up the right side and the ball will feed onto the green. From short range you can fly the ball onto the green.
The sixth is probably the hardest hole on the front nine and for many is a definite three shot hole. A good drive avoiding the fairway bunkers will give you the option of positioning a shot into the dip to leave an easy pitch or if you decide to go for the green you must hit your approach slightly short and up the left hand side as everything will feed right.
Hole seven is definitely a hole that looks easier than it is. The green is quite small and if you miss it, it can be very hard to get up and down as the green has many different slopes and drops off behind, to the left and to the right. The best play is to be sure of you yardage and go for the centre of the green as that is the best place to putt from for any hole position.
The difficulty on the eighth hole is that it slopes quite a bit from right to left so the drive needs to be taken up the right side in order to hold the fairway. However there is a bunker on the right hand side of the fairway. You must ensure that you can carry the bunker (about 240 yards), lay up short of it or just miss it on the left. The green is guarded by an extremely deep bunker on the left so the best approach is to drop your ball slightly short and up the right as it will kick on to the green from there.
A dog-leg hole with out of bounds left so sufficient care must be taken with the line and length of your tee shot, to hit driver you will probably need to take it slightly over the trees on the corner, especially low handicappers and big hitters. An alternative tee box gives you a straight hole that is fairly straight forward providing you do not hit it left out of bounds. The approach is very flat so generally plays longer than the yardage, and there is a small bunker on the left that is hidden from view.
The tenth hole is quite short and generally plays its true yardage. The green is relatively flat so you can be aggressive with your putts. The difficulty of the hole is that there is a very inviting bunker that sits at the front right of the green and more often than not the pin will be tucked behind it. The key to the shot is to play sufficient club to carry it or aim for the middle/left portion of the green.
The signature hole of the course consists of a right angle dog leg to the left. The whole entire left side is a maze of trees that will not generally give the golfer any kind of shot. The sensible play would be to not cut the corner. Playing straight down the middle you'll need about 240 yards off the back tees to reach the elbow of the dogleg. Just be wary of the water that is right of the fairway. The green slopes considerably from back to front and there is trouble behind the green, so try and keep your approach below the hole.
The twelfth hole is the longest par 4 on the course so a long drive is required. The fairway is quite generous but there is a ditch that runs across the fairway that is about 150 yards from the green so the big hitters need to lay up short of that from the tee. It is definitely better to miss the green right as there is a bunker and a cluster of trees left, however shots that are only slightly left will feed right onto the green.
The most difficult tee shot on the course as there is out of bounds, trees and heavy rough on the left and there are plenty of trees on the right. To reach in two you must find the right side of the fairway to have a clear line to the green. Going too far right will block the approach to the green and make a lay up shot very difficult. Anyone who decides to lay up must be precise as there are large trees left and right, and there is a large bunker in the middle of the fairway about 80 yards short of the green.
Out of bounds runs up the left hand side of the hole and is just a matter of yards from the left of the green. This makes the approach very tricky as the green is very small and drops of to the right leaving a very difficult shot from the right of the green. Unless you hit a good straight drive you should think strongly about laying up short, so as to leave yourself an easier shot. Going for the green from distance is a very risky shot.
A very straight forward hole but the fairway does bottle neck the closer you get to the green so the longer hitters must be slightly more accurate to hit the fairway. Fifteen is quite a short hole so a driver is not a necessity even for the shorter hitters. The green is quite well guarded so you are better of sacrificing distance for accuracy in order to hit your approach from the fairway.
A good par 3 that requires precision as the green is very narrow and well guarded by bunkers on the right. The best miss here is actually short as there are plenty of trees left and beyond the green so it wouldn't be a disaster to under club as balls that land short, but fairly close to the green quite often bounce on and find the putting surface.
A slight dog leg to left is better suited to a tee shot that shapes from right to left but going to far left can block the approach as there are a number of large trees guarding the corner of the dog leg. Thick rough and tree to the right make it a demanding tee shot so it might be wise to play for position rather than distance as the green is quite a small target to hit with out of bounds waiting beyond the green.
The key to playing the eighteenth is to avoid the two large trees that situated right in the middle of the fairway at about 230-240 yards out. If you drive up the right side of the fairway you must be certain that you can get beyond the trees as the ball will feed left towards the middle of the fairway leaving you blocked out if you do not drive far enough. The second shot will always feed in from the right and that is the best option as there is a small bunker left of the green.