Donald Steel writes: Gene Littler, a celebrated US Open champion, whose beautiful method made the game look wonderfully simple, defined golf in terms of the swing as “a game of constant adjustment”. The same is undoubtedly true of our course which, for 100 years, has had to adjust to the changes brought about by improving equipment technology.
We are inclined to believe that this is a relatively modern fashion. Certainly the last ten or fifteen years have brought about more dramatic change than over any comparable period in the game’s history. However, in relation to Tidworth, they are not as relevant as elsewhere. Tidworth’s natural defences – the wind and the slope of the land – have not altered a scrap in a hundred years. This explains why there are so few fairway bunkers – the slope dictates much of the strategy and positional play.
Bunkers are the one artificially introduced element on any golf course and, in an area of oustanding beauty such as Tidworth, the original golf course architect (H.S. Colt) felt they should be underplayed rather than overplayed.
A natural back-up to Tidworth’s defences is the growth of rough and I feel Tidworth are sensibly aiming at a balance whereby there is a punishment for missing a fairway, but not to the extent that a player cannot find or play his or her ball.
Tidworth is privileged in having some thoroughly good golf holes. Of note are: the 2nd, 4th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th & 17th.