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by Keith Rawlings

The Selsdon Park Hotel and Golf Course boasts two enviable advantages over many similar, well established resort hotels. The first is that its history dates back about one thousand years to the days of Alfred the Great. The second is that, despite being only 13 miles from the centre of London, its 205 acres of rolling downs and woodlands provide the setting for a most beautiful 18 hole Golf Course.

The hotel itself provides good quality, rather than luxurious, accommodation and the full range of conference and leisure facilities (indoor and outdoor pools, grass and hard tennis courts and even two croquet lawns).

The breakfast and luncheon standards are satisfactory but, at dinner time, Stephen Cane, the head chef and his staff, really show their talents. We enjoyed the marinated Scottish salmon, cut generously thick and served with Chablis, herbs and a sweet mustard sauce followed by succulent roast bend end of lamb with vegetables cooked to perfection. Finishing off with Creme Brulee of seasonal fruits, coffee and mints, rounded off a memorable evening.


But the golf. As I have said, the scenery is superb. Standing on the first tee. The golfer is greeted by a wide right angled fairway sloping gracefully into the distance (506 yards). It looks as if, to do anything but hoist the ball miles down the middle of the fairway and let it run and run out of sight is a mere formality - and so it proved! Bolstered by the confidence of a good start, the next 17 holes should be a doddle. Not so!

I will not bore the reader with a hole by hole account of this wonderful course, but let the player beware of the steepness of the slope to the second green, the perils of the right hand side of the fourth fairway (invisible from the tee), the veritable sea of sand on the eight and so on.

Whether as a golfing holiday-maker, a weekend bargain breaker or a conference delegate, this is a golf course well worth visiting.

Had he stayed here, Alfred may well have burnt the cakes - he would have been spending all his time out on the golf course!