The first is our shortest par 4. It’s a slight dogleg, guarded by bunkers on the right and trees on the left. The biggest hitters may attempt to drive the green, but they’ll need to ensure that they get the correct line. Many will take an iron from the tee to keep the ball in play.
The second is dead straight and is one of only two holes on the course not to have any bunkers. It doesn’t need them, because its narrow fairway is lined by trees on both sides, tee to green. A straight drive needs to be followed by an accurately placed second, and with a sharply sloping green from back to front you’ll want to leave yourself below the hole.
The third is also straight, but a lot longer. Strategically placed bunkers reward an accurate tee shot, leaving most golfers with a long iron or fairway wood to have a chance of reaching the green.
The fourth is the first of six par 3s, all of which will challenge the golfer. The elevated green is heavily protected by bunkers, with a steep slope at the back. You will need great accuracy from the tee if you are to avoid a very difficult chip shot and little chance of a par.
The fifth is reasonably straightforward for higher handicappers. For longer hitters, though, it offers a risk/reward tee shot, with its large bunker complex on the right. The green slopes sharply right to left.
The sixth is the second of the par 3s. It has deep bunkers on either side of the green, and out of bounds for those who go long. At almost 190 yards a long iron or rescue club will be needed from the back tee.
The seventh is the first of four par 5s. It is a slight dogleg right to left, with a particularly challenging drive for the longer hitters to avoid the bunker complex at 250 yards. Out of bounds runs from tee to green down the right, so beware the cut shot. Only the longest hitters might reach the green in two, but in doing so will need to navigate greenside bunkers on the left.
The eighth may provide a little respite. It offers a great view of the clubhouse, and its stroke index tells you that it’s the easiest hole on the course. But you’ll still need a straight tee shot to hit the green, and for those who lift their head too early the pond awaits.
The ninth is a dogleg right to left. Drive towards, but not into, the fairway bunkers, leaving yourself with a short or medium iron. The ninth green has one of the biggest slopes on the course, and the front right is the usual target.
The tenth is the longest of the par 4s, and the toughest hole on the course rightly deserving its stroke 1 status. Richmond Park is out of bounds and protects the hole from tee to green on the left. Those steering away from this will find another bunker complex on the right hand side some 250 yards from the tee. There follows a lengthy approach shot into a long, narrow green which, like many others on this part of the course, slopes away from the park.
A dog leg from right to left, and the most heavily bunkered hole on the course, with sand threatening each shot. From an elevated tee, your drive is a classic risk/reward affair, with the landing area narrowing rapidly the longer you drive. The two tier green also narrows dramatically from front to back.
The twelfth is the longest and most difficult of the six par 3s. At well over 200 yards many golfers will need a fairway wood or driver to reach the green when playing into the prevailing wind. Deep bunkers on either side protect a green that slopes from back to front.
The thirteenth is a dogleg from left to right. Two perfectly placed bunkers on the left threaten the drives of the long hitters. For the few who may be able to reach the green in two, a hidden pot bunker protects the front right of the green.
The fourteenth is perhaps the most picturesque of the par 3s. An elevated green is guarded by bunkers to the front, left and right, and there's a slope behind. As always at Richmond, accuracy is at a premium.
The fifteenth is a dogleg right to left from an elevated tee. There are fairway bunkers on both sides, but none greenside, as a steep ridge across the full width provides the challenge on this green.
The sixteenth is that very rare thing, a par 3 with no bunkers at all. Instead, the tee shot is down a narrow avenue of trees to a long, slightly raised green with humps and hollows on either side. Only the best tee shots will find this green.
The seventeenth, for many, is Richmond’s signature hole. It's a right angled dogleg from left to right. The landing zone for tee shots is heavily bunkered, and only the very brave will attempt to cut the corner over trees to get up in two. For most, the plan is safety first off the tee, followed by a lay up to the ditch that crosses the fairway around 130 yards out, and then a precise third into the elevated and undulating green.
The final tee affords a view of the clubhouse, but not much sight of the fairway. You have a blind drive over the gorse bush, and then an enticing second into a sloping green, with bunkers on the left and Richmond’s answer to the Valley of Sin on the right.