Every time I come back to the UK I try to play at least one open course.
RSG's was one I hadn't played before and was looking forward to immensely
I have to be honest and say that perhaps my experience was tainted by the top golfing experiences in my homeland of New Zealand.
Matt I firstly say that all of the staff were fantastic, without exception.
The course was in good condition, although I was disappointed with the speed of the greens, I really expected better pace in early June, but they barely ran at 9 ish on the stimp in my opinion.
I was also disappointed by the fact that RSG's seem to openly neglect the fact that most of the rest of the world is metric.
It may not sound like much but after you have had to pay for a course planner after green fees of £170, then they haven't bothered to put meter options on it or the sprinkler heads, it does get annoying.
No one likes to rush around a great course like this or feel they are holding others up, however at RSG's the course planner makes you have to stand on the tee and complete various subtraction calculations in order to figure out where the various hazards or run out areas are, before even hitting a ball.
Then on several blind holes one must literally run up the path to have any idea of where to aim.
This resulted in our two ball taking nearly 5 hours!
For this money I expected more, surely the days of sacrificing one round to get a feel for a course are gone for the second round are gone?
I also found it strange that for this price one had to pay for range balls to warn up?
In my country for anything remotely this price this sort of thing is included.
Lastly and almost as strange, when we finished our game at 3 ish there was no way at all to get anything to eat except a small bowl of peanuts.
Maybe I'm picky but is it too much too ask to get a sandwich for this level of green fee?
To summarize, the course was good, very good, but not great compared to all the others on offer for less.
The staff were great.
Value for money, very average.
I'm afraid this course lives on it's laurels, great reputation, great history but a refusal to supply what really should be a part of a great experience for anyone from anywhere.
I'm not really sure the people running the course honestly want you there, more perhaps feel they ought to allow you to be there rather than include you?
I played many various courses for less than one third of this, all of whom were actually more rewarding in almost all respects.
Perhaps I built it up in my mind to be better than anything else because I am also British, I just get the feeling that a few open championship courses are now charging more for nostalgia than a quality experience.
I really enjoyed you RSG's, but you should have been great, and you weren't, sorry!