Encyclopedia

My encyclopedia of golf will feature a diverse A-Z of all things golf from courses to players to equipment to book reviews. Occasionally tongue in cheek. New things will be added each week.

Added this week: FedEx Cup, Sutton Bridge Golf Club.

Bath Golf Club

Situated high on Bathampton Downs with panoramic views over the wonderful City, Bath Golf Club is a photographers dream.

All photos from GolfWorking, providers of stunning photography and bespoke websites.

 

 

(The) Berkshire Golf Club

With 36 holes of quality heathland golf across the Red and Blue courses, there are plenty of great photo opportunities at The Berkshire. The clubhouse is also magnificent and extremely photogenic.

 

Broadstone Golf Club

Wonderful heathland course in Dorset, with an extraordinary routing across a remarkably large expanse of undulating land so that each hole sits apart from the others.

Contains a number of outstanding holes, with many requiring an heroic carry to reach the green in regulation.

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18th green with 1st fairway to right

Chulmleigh Golf Club

Chulmleigh Golf Club in picturesque Mid-Devon holds a special place in my heart as where the golf bug bit me as a youngster on holiday. The 18-Hole Par 3 course has tiny greens and dramatic slopes on holes averaging about 80 yards.

There should be more courses like this! It would still be difficult me today as a low-handicapper. Unfortunately golf prices itself too low and this type of course struggles to charge enough to make ends meet. Such a shame. Interestingly, the course utilises just 9 holes in the winter, although the yardages are longer.

 

FedEx Cup

Annual Trophy played as a type of Order of Merit on the PGA Tour before a series of Play-Off tournaments culminating in the Tour Championships.

The points system is so complicated that not even Stephen Hawking could figure out the basis for it. Nobody much cares who wins given that they cannot work out the system used to determine said victor. Apart from the champion themselves of course, who walk away with a rather vulgar several million pounds in prize money.

Golfholics

A pair of keen amateur golfers from the US who make very high quality Course Vlogs on their YouTube channel around many fine courses in their home country. Really gives a flavour of the courses from a golfers point of view more than watching a PGA tournament on Sky.

See their channel here.

Illfracombe Golf Club

18 Hole layout situated high on the cliffs on the North Devon coast, this course is often overlooked as golfers flock to nearby famous cousins Saunton and Royal North Devon. This is a shame as there are a bunch of fun holes and spectacular views over the sea. If you do make the trip, take your sense of humour as it is extremely undulating, there are a bunch of blind shots, and uniquely you are required to tee off the Par 4 17th hole before playing the parallel Par 3 16th and then walking across to play into the 17th green!

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Illfracombe Golf Club

Isle of Purbeck Golf Club

If there is a course with better views in England than Isle of Purbeck then I am yet to find it. Perched high overlooking Poole Harbour and best reached by ferry, this is truly an outpost worth the time to get there.

 

 

Karl Vilips

World No. 1 Australian Junior, currently at college in the US. Has documented his progress for many years on YouTube.

Inspiring watch for junior golfers and his older videos are a demonstration of how course management and short game can conquer a lack of distance from the tee.

See his channel here.

Michelle Wie

Former teen phenom who shot the lowest recorded round in a men,s professional tournament by a woman when still a teenager. Now an established name at the top of the women’s game and a fashion icon through her social media channels and association with sportswear brand Nike.

Read my assessment of her game here.

MyPinPoint

A free app that allows golfers to download daily pin positions from a selection of courses. The app costs Golf Clubs £300 a year. It is easy to upload pin positions and also allows simple production of pin sheets to print.

MyRoundPro

Smartphone app sponsored by TaylorMade that, as well as traditional stats like fairways hit and greens in regulation, allows you to measure your strokes gained in the 4 key categories of driving, approach, short game and putting. Various baselines are offered, including Professional, Scratch and 5 handicap.

The slightly fiddly nature of adding your shots is worth persevering with in order to gain the invaluable and unique insights from the Strokes Gained statistics that are generated. These really are a perfect source of information to measure your strengths and weaknesses and to base your practice regime around.

Available free from your app store.

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Screenshot from MyRoundPro

Painswick Golf Club

Remarkable golf course set high on a ridge in Gloucestershire with stunning views across the Cotswolds. This course is summed up by its 5th hole, which is only 100 yards long but plays blindly over a huge former hill fort rampart with the green only 12 yards beyond. Totally bonkers but wonderfully natural.

Officially ranked as the most quirky course in England (by me). Read about the top 3 here.

Parkstone Golf Club

Immaculate heathland layout in a wealthy area near to Sandbanks in Bournemouth. Not a long course but with five Par 5’s and five Par 3’s it makes for a fun and challenging round in a wonderful, enchanting environment.

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View from clubhouse to 1st green.

Royal Cromer Golf Club

Royal Cromer Golf Club was founded in 1888, attaining its Royal title at this point by the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII.

RCGC is most famous for hosting the very first International golf match in 1905, between the Ladies of Great Britain and Ireland and the United States of America. The Curtis sisters were part of this match and later started the Curtis Cup.

For a full history of RCGC, click here.

Royal Cromer sits on the cliff-top high above the North Norfolk coast, offering stunning views in every season:

Autumn 

This photo-shoot was conducted with a combination of drone and ground shots from Rob Howarth and Ashley Pickering from Fairway Flyovers. I cannot recommend these guys strongly enough – they have created some great photography and video for us at affordable prices. See below for a selection of the shots:

 

 

Royal Cromer – Summer

Rob & Ashley again – this time with some stunning summer shots.

 

Another summer shoot, this time from 2015 by Chris Taylor, a multi-award winning photographer based in North Norfolk:

 

Royal Cromer – Spring

It amazes me how the course changes according to the season – my favourite is probably the autumn with the burnt orange ferns and moody skies. Spring has its own character with vivid bright colours. Photos by Fairway Flyovers (Rob & Ashley).

 

Royal Cromer – Best of Winter

These shots are a combination of stunning drone shots from Rob (Fairway Flyovers) and staff ground shots.

St Andrews

Probably the best place in the world and definitely my favourite. The ‘Auld Grey Toun’ is full of golf history, quaint pubs and fantastic architecture. Whats not to like?

The 1st and 18th holes of the Old Course are unique in that they basically start and finish in the town itself – surely this is the most exciting single place for a golfer? If you have never been to the Home of Golf, then sell what you need to and make the pilgrimage.

Saunton Golf Club

Most definitely one of my favourite places in the world – one of my happiest places – is Saunton Sands in Devon. With a magnificent sandy beach and two exquisite links courses (East and West) this is heaven on earth. Would undoubtedly be good enough to host the Open if  access was easier.

All photos by John Mundy @golfphotostore

 

Seminole Golf Club

I was lucky enough to get an invite to one of Florida’s most exclusive Club’s when I was in the States a few years ago. It was a unique experience at the Club that Ben Hogan used for his winter practice and I can understand why it was a great tune up for the Masters at Augusta as the greens are pure and super quick.

 

 

Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club

Sited on top of a hill on the Southern edge of the Cotswolds and overlooking the Severn Valley, Stinchcombe Hill is a hidden gem and one of the most scenic courses in England.

These photos were taken by GolfWorking who produce some wonderful websites for courses around the UK.

 

 

Sutton Bridge Golf Club

Utterly bonkers 9-Hole course set in an abandoned dock?! in rural Lincolnshire. Every hole is slightly crazy in design, with many playing alongside or over the 20-foot high dock walls.

Sutton Bridge was featured as one of the 3 most quirky courses in England in my April 2018 blog. Read the full details here.

Trump International Golf Club – West Palm Peach

Once had the pleasure of being invited for lunch and golf at the Trump course in Florida. It was a very strange experience – all gold taps and man-made waterfalls. The course was pristine but built on a cheap piece of land next door to the prison, from where you could hear the inmates working out in the tower block.

Not really my cup of tea, but the service was exceptional.

 

 

Worlebury Golf Club

This course, sited high on a hill outside Weston-Super-Mare finds a special place in my memory given it was where I played my golf as a Junior. It also remains the only course that I have managed a hole-in-one.

The course enjoys superb views out to the Bristol Channel and across to Wales. The photos show how narrow the layout is, routed through a number of seperate fields bordered by stone walls.

 

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