RAC Country Club
RAC Country Club, Epsom, South East, England, KT18 7EW
2 reviews of RAC Country Club
Played the Coronation Course and have to say was impressed with the condition. Both courses appear to be fairly tight with a good base of mature trees lining the course. Greens were in excellent condition pretty fast and very true. The views were oustanding across the Epsom downs not sure how much is it to play as i was lucky enough to be invited but i can imagine its not cheap. Clubhouse is very grand and had dinner in the bar afterwards and this was also excellent quality.
This is the country seat of the RAC Club and you don't half know it when you lay eyes on the main clubhouse, which is akin to a stately home. Standing outside and surveying the two courses, you're greeted with a fairly open expanse of parkland, perched on the side of a hill and dotted with clumps of trees.
I have to admit that it doesn't exactly get my golfing pulse racing - in fact I would go as far as to say that both courses are of limited strategic interest. However, being the RAC Club, there is an undeniable sense of establishment grandeur which heightens the pre-round sense of anticipation perhaps a touch more than would otherwise be the case.
Of the two courses, the Old is the bigger brother but the Coronation still packs a fair punch. Members will tell you that the Coronation is the tighter of the two, although I wouldn't say markedly so. It's certainly a respectable course in its own right this isn't like some second courses which are almost put there for the sake of it. Pick of the holes are the gentle dogleg par 4 fifth (423 yards) which carries a valley and is bordered by firs on the right, another long par 4 at the ninth (443 yards), the most attractive of the par 3s at 12 (205 yards) and the par 4 sixteenth, a.k.a. 'Cardiac Hill' (387 yards), where your drive has to pick its way through a chute of firs. The length of these holes alone (albeit white yardages) gives you an idea of the challenge. However, the two par 5s are bland and the layout does get rather repetitive in places.
The Old Course isn't hugely different to the Coronation but it is longer and tougher, especially when played from the whites. Strong driving is essential. The eighth is reputedly the longest par 4 in England (or maybe even the UK?) at 474 yards, even eclipsing Rye's infamous 468 yard sixth hole. It's then immediately followed by a 463 yard par four, although thankfully both are downhill (unlike Rye's #6!)
The fairways on the Old are generous (and in some cases plain wide) but what I like about both courses is that the rough is punishing. Hit it off line on some of the longer par fours and you'll have your work seriously cut out to get on in regulation. Given the relatively high location and open setting, the odds are you'll also have a bit of a breeze to contend with.
There's no doubt that both courses are a good test. Having said that, there may be a big mansion and no shortage of old money swilling around the place but this isn't anywhere in the same league as the classic heathland clubs of Surrey and Berkshire.
Old Course: 7.5/10
Coronation Course: 6.5/10
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