Royal New Kent & Brickshire
Golf can be boring. Let’s face it. Another plain looking hole with a flat fairway, a small bunker in that perfect spot off the tee you hit your ball into every time and then the same four foot putt that has to break right but doesn’t. There is none of that at these two golf courses. It is a testament to the gorgeous architecture that both Mike Strantz and Curtis Strange created at these two properties.
Classic golf architecture likes to give the golfer a warm-up hole to start and get in a nice groove to play a nice round of golf. That is definitely not the case at Royal New Kent. From the first tee shot you are all senses firing. For the entire course, Strantz gives you plenty of room off the tee but he puts a premium on you short game and putting. There are several large and deep bunkers throughout the course. The course is lined by thick native grasses that give great character and definition to each hole. The green complexes require you to be smart and careful with your speed and location but they always roll true so expect to make some putts! There is an imagination required to play this course so be open to any and all ideas from the great mind of Mike Strantz.
Brickshire is a beautiful design that is spread out across some surprisingly rugged terrain. There are plenty of ravines, gullies, tall oaks and loblolly pines. The course has the unique feature of solitude for each hole. You will rarely find a spot on the course where you can see another hole. It really lets the golfer get lost in the round and appreciate each design a little more. The greens are very tricky because they vary in size from hole to hole and they can have some slope to them. Within the course there are the four rendition holes from famous courses around the world. I’m not going to spoil the surprise but they did a fabulous job of emulating another architect’s work while still maintaining the true nature of the course as a whole.
The best part about going on a golf trip, other than seeing your buddies who you probably haven’t since the last one, is being able to experience a new course that you won’t find anywhere else. That is what you find at both of these locations. There is something a little special that sticks in your mind and brings you back to play again. That is what defines a truly great design. Being memorable.