Almost 100 years ago the 5th was known as Spion Kop and Bernard Darwin said it ”gives us another cheerful drive from a most spectacular tee”. The iconic picture of Henry Cotton driving off in a challenge match in 1937 is a classic portrait of one of the golfing legends playing on our course and it has hardly changed today.
He continued “Anyone who has ever played Royal Ashdown at once exclaims at the likeness to the famous hole there called Apollyon. There is the same tee shot across a ravine beneath, with its streamlet running between high banks, the same green rising on the far side, the same iron shot a little blind and deceitful, to a green set on the brow of a hill.”
The 5th hole certainly offers a spectacular view from the white championship tee and the 158 yard carry from the white tee over the Ghyll provides a stiff challenge. The carry from the yellow (128 yards) and red (77 yards) tees is less severe although the penalty for a topped shot into the Ghyll can play on the mind.