RITUAL JAPANESE SUICIDE RATING: FIVE CUTS with the short sword out of FIVE!
I played here this past Saturday. We played from the Black Tees. Stupid us. Next time I'll play from the White Tees! Still I got off the tee box well most of the round (very tough carries); the approach shots were a different story--there are no friendly lies here on the fairways (ball above or below feet; downhill and uphill lies). My chips and pitches were mostly good, but I putted horribly most of the round.
This course in Providence Forge, VA (located between Williamsburg and Richmond) was as hard or harder than the round I played last year at the TPC in San Antonio. Definitely a course for advanced players, unless you're willing to swallow your ego and play from the front most "ladies" tees (Green). Any lady playing well from the front tees is no slouch at RNK.
I found myself in a few of those crazy 15-foot tall bunkers and got out of one of them in a single shot. We didn't keep score…thank the Lord. That would have just been more humiliation. Still, it's a beautiful course, even in the winter. No walking this course, unless you want your body found by other golfers in a few weeks.
Back to the humiliation: Make sure you bring your ceremonial Japanese swords to commit ritual seppuku on the 18th.
But players should not get distracted by the views – each hole is also another opportunity for the course to wreck a player’s scorecard and shatter a golfer’s ego. Royal New Kent is designed for experienced golfers – it is a double black diamond ski run, two blitzing all-pro linebackers, and a Randy Johnson fastball all rolled into one.
At the start of the round, pick the correct set of tees. The regulation tees (whites – Rating 70.8, Slope 135) appear short on the card (6,126 yards), but the forced carries, wind, enormous mounds (to play in, around and sometimes over), and constant uphill approach shots make the course play much longer. The advanced tees (black – Rating 73.1, Slope 141) play a seemingly manageable 6,560 yards, but the forced carries and angles are much more pronounced.