My Glossary of golf will feature a diverse A-Z of all things golf from courses to players to equipment to book reviews including all things featured in the blogs. Occasionally tongue in cheek. New items will be added each week.
Added this week: Cromer Golf Club.
A – Z Book authors: Adam Young, Bob Rotella, Dave Pelz, Nick Faldo, Pat Ward-Thomas, Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott, Raymond Floyd.
Any golfer serious about improving their games should invest in a copy of Young’s book The Practice Manual and treat it like their bible.
There are not many books or videos that are guaranteed to shave strokes from your score but this is one. The content requires time and dedication to read and digest but the investment will be worth it in the long-run.
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.
American sports psychologist who has worked with many of the worlds top players, notably Padraig Harrington during his Open triumphs. Author of a number of best selling books, most notably Golf is Not a Game of Perfect.
Rotella’s work is an excellent place to start for a golfer that has not previously worked on the mental side of the game. He keeps things simple (a secret in all aspects of life surely?) and writes in a storytelling fashion, using fascinating and insightful examples from the players that he has worked with.
In all honesty, much of his work that followed Golf is Not a Game of Perfect tended to rehash ideas already explained, but his seminal and first book remains a critical part of any serious golfers library.
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.
Cavendish Golf Club
Set on the outskirts of Buxton in the heart of the Peak District, Cavendish Golf Club was designed by Dr Alastair Mackenzie, who later had the dominant hand in creating Augusta National.
Although much shorter and without the huge wealth of the Masters venue, there are nevertheless some similarities between the two layouts. Cavendish is generally wide from the tee, uses the natural contours well and has wickedly sloping green complexes.
Overall a fantastically fun course with a number of excellent holes including the magnificent final hole, which combines a vast panorama of a tee shot followed by a claustrophobic approach to the green perched beside the clubhouse.
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.
Cotswold Edge Golf Club
Pretty course with lovely views over the Cotswold in Gloucestershire.
Contains a number of very quirky undulating holes on the back 9 which must be approached with a sense of humour. I once had the dubious achievement of losing 4 matches in a single day here as part of a triangular match for Somerset back in the day.
Cromer Golf Club
Picturesque venue in Sydney, Australia that shares its name with its Royal counterpart in England. The two Clubs share a reciprocal relationship, allowing members courtesy at each others venues.
In contrast to its English namesake, Cromer (Australia) is a narrow, heavily tree-lined course with a number of water hazards.
Dartmouth Hotel, Golf & Spa
Devon based resort that has gone through some difficult financial times and several changes of ownership (including former racing driver Nigel Mansell). Set in a spectacular location, the facility includes 27 holes. The Championship course includes several spectacular holes with severe changes in elevation. Photo shows the incredible long par 3 finishing hole. Buggies recommended!
Short-game guru Pelz is an interesting character. At one point in his career he worked for NASA and this shows in his teaching style.
Pelz has written a few books now but the best are the large and grandly titled Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible and Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible. Using highly scientific methodology, intricatly technical and in great depth Pelz describes his keys to short-game success.
Whilst I feel that Pelz undervalues the ‘art’ side of the short-game, the books make for fascinating reading and the detail and scientific experimental based recommendations make a powerful argument for the Pelz methods.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Kings Lynn Golf Club
Picturesque course in West Norfolk routed through pine and heathland at th edge of the town.
Kings Lynn offers a wonderful contrast to the links and cliff-top courses along the North Norfolk coast and as such, fits perfectly into any Norfolk golfing tour.
For me, the routing is overly penal from the tee and a programme of tree removal could be of benefit. Having said this, it is rare that you lose your ball among the pines and so recoveries are possible.
My best tip for playing this course is to keep your ball flight below the tree line as it is notoriously difficult to judge the breeze above the vegetation.
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.
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.
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.
English former World Number 1 and winner of the Open and Masters titles.
Faldo was my first golfing hero and the inspiration behind the way I approached the game and its techniques.
Faldo has authored a number of titles. Golf: The Winning Formula is a weighty and fantastically in-depth explanation of his game and provides a fascinating insight into his work with David Leadbetter. Probably one for enthusiasts only due to the length and detail involved. A Swing For Life is a more mainstream publication and contains a particularly useful section on his approach to course management.
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.
Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott
Pia and Lynn would probably describe themselves as ‘performance coaches’ given their holistic approach to improving golfers scores. Their fresh approach in the often complex, over-analysed world of golf instruction is changing the ideology of modern golf instruction, moving on from a generation inspired by Leadbetter’s complete overhaul of Nick Faldo’s swing.
Their books include Every Shot Must have a Purpose and Be a Player. They stay away from technical coaching, instead focusing on ‘Human Skills’ to improve performance. The books are the perfect reading for any golfer looking to become more confident and maximise their potential.
American golfer who enjoyed a remarkably long career at the top level of the PGA Tour with 22 Tour victories and 4 Major Championship titles between 1963 and 1992.
My interest in Floyd stems from his book, first published in 1998, The Elements of Scoring.
Only small in size and containing no diagrams at all, this book is one of the most surprisingly beneficial instruction guides that I have come across. Focusing largely on course management and the psychology of the game, it offers shot saving tips from one of the masters of maximising his talent. In many ways Jordan Spieth is the modern day Raymond Floyd. Highly recommended.
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:
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.
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
Sheringham Golf Club
Near neighbour and friendly rival of Royal Cromer, Sheringham offers a stunning cliff-top challenge. With the best holes coming mid-way through the front 9 and again for the final few holes with the added hazard of a steam train?! a trip to play Cromer and Sheringham offers one of the most scenic and enjoyable golfing trips available in England.
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, situated 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 separate fields bordered by stone walls.
World Atlas of Golf
First published in 1976, with contributions from Pat Ward-Thomas, Herbert Warren Wind, Charles Price, Peter Thompson and Mark Rowlinson, the grandly titled ‘World Atlas of Golf’ provided me with my first introduction to golf course architecture.
The volume details the history and architecture of 80 of the Worlds Greatest Courses and offers enough depth to capture the imagination and trigger a passion for the subject. Highly Recommended.