So what exercise or sport did you take up during lockdown? I started doing weights and stretches around the house and a bit of jogging within my five mile radius but it all felt like hard work for a forty-something year old who’s long past caring about six pack potential. I needed a competitive target that was not losing pounds and ounces or based around going vegan.
I’ve played football, cricket, tennis, but you need friends, team-mates, opponents for all that and in the early days Boris wasn’t so keen on letting us mix with those outside our bubble (he isn’t that keen now)… So I took up golf… Being a Nottingham boy, like many, I started aged eight and a bit with a chopped down five iron playing pitch and putt with my old man at Woodthorpe (as well having a blast at the old driving range at Carlton Forum) and ever-since Nick Faldo won his first Masters in 1989 I’ve been hooked, which incidentally is what I also do with most my shots.
I haven’t been able to play as much as I would like in recent times, one thing after another, work, wife, work, other stuff, I’ve always struggled to find four plus hours in my day for a ‘quick’ round so in the last ten years or so I can probably count on one hand how much I have played… So what better way to make use of this new found time during lockdown, brush off the old clubs and get hacking around again on some of the counties finest fairways.
I moved to Edwalton in the summer which tied in with me perfectly finding use to frequent Glendale Golf Centre which has a nine hole par three and nine hole main course on the outskirts of the city. The fairways are wide and forgiving, the greens relatively flat and slow, perfect for a beginner (or a long time absentee) like me.
I had a couple of rounds on the par 3 to break myself in gently, a nice simple course, pretty bland for countryside lovers like me but for beginners it has a couple of challenging holes. The first and last are over a brook but other than that it is most un-alarming for those worried about where one’s shots may go. You can practice your long irons and putting and if like me, will have plenty of opportunities around the green to chip in too. It’s a simple layout and pleasant enough, I would highly recommend for any new player keen to get involved to start here, or for those who want to brush up on their mid/short game it offers a decent enough challenge to do so.
I had last played the main course more than 15 years ago, what I remember was it then looking fairly bland at the time and open, vast it was and I sure remember the wide green fairways. So on approach at day one of my return I wasn’t optimistic that the course would be anything too fancy, quite surprised I was to see the trees now grown offering much more privacy between each hole.
The first and second are nothing much to look at, you wouldn’t even know the white tees are there on the first hole, hidden away from what looks like the perfect place to start, I’ve seen most play from the yellows to save them an extra walk into the wilderness.
Up the hill is the par five ‘Devil’s Dyke’ where you can see a huge pole that gives guidance on where to aim. A good tee shot will have you well short of the pole so aim slightly right with your next effort for a short chip to a flat green that is backed by trees.
Penninck’s Glory is next, a huge fairway left to right allows you to thump your tee shot as far as humanly possible without fear of losing your ball. At 426 yards I find it a long par 4 but you can get close in two with a downhill slope that leaves you a nice middle/low iron to the greens boundary. Again the green is forgiving and it’s a nice opening couple of holes to give you a bit of confidence for going forward.
At the third hole this is where I feel the course starts to take its shape. A shorter hole with a narrower fairway but arguably my favourite on the course. You’ll need a good tee shot not to end up out of bounds on the left or in the trees and rough (or even on the fifth hole fairway) on the right as the slope can be unforgiving but the green is most reachable in two, elevated on the hill it offers a panoramic view of the course although flag position can be tricky with a huge slope cutting across the green in two.
Onto the fourth, a short narrow par 3 that can be reached with an iron. Aim in between the bunkers and you’ll be on the green in no trouble before walking through the woods and onto the fifth.
The Water Jump, as the fifth is called, really is not that scary as only a little water comes into play. Again a pole in the centre of the fairway offers a perfect marker to tee off on this awkward par five. I often fall short of the pole leaving me a tricky second into a narrowing dogleg fairway, water on the right and a dyke on the left, I’ve lost many balls laying up down the hill (usually because I lose sight between the slopes) but if you can manage to miss the hazards you’ll have a nice shot down the home run onto a simple enough green.
Another huge fairway is the uphill par four sixth hole where the pole again comes into play. This time it is more than reachable with a good drive leaving a mid/low iron finish onto the green that has avoidable bunkers either side. The fairway rolls up and down like many on the course so you may get a varied lay depending on ball position.
Onto the seventh, Rushcliffe View is a short par four where you again go big without too much fear of hitting the rough. I always seem to end up near the trees to the right which is ok as long as you don’t go too far over as you won’t be able to get a shot at the hole if so, a decent iron shot will have you on the green in two and with it’s elevated position a nice panoramic view of the course again comes into play.
The eighth is another par three, more forgiving than the fourth but no way near as idyllic. The last hole, Coppice Corner is a really enjoyable finish and one that I would recommend to my landscapers when I create my own Greg Norman style designed course… A wide fairway allows you to have one last smash before a downhill iron to the green which is slightly elevated with a couple of tame bunkers either side.
For beginners, for me, I feel it is the perfect course to ply your trade. Not too heavy in distance the par fives are short, the par fours are long, the greens are slow and the fairways are wide, the rough is easily maneuvered and even the worst players shouldn’t lose too many of their balls.
For anyone advanced however it does have limitations, it is very forgiving so won’t put up much of a fight to anyone who can hit it a good straight distance.
- Course Looks: 6 out of 10
- Course Quality: 7 out of 10
- Course Difficulty: 4 out of 10
*Article provided by Daniel Peacock (Editor).
*Main image @EdwaltonGolf the par three ‘Conservatory’ is the fourth hole on the main course.