Cornwall’s Legendary St Enodoc in south west England
Cornwall, UK, April 12, 2018: Founded in 1890 St Enodoc Golf Club in Rock, Cornwall tucked away in the far reaches of south-west England boasts one of the finest and oldest links courses in the country.
The journey down to this unspoiled and picturesque region is, however, worth the trek as the championship course at St Enodoc is “Once trodden, Never forgotten”.
Its location on the high sand dunes of the north Cornwall coast overlooking the Camel Estuary, with Padstow to the west and the Atlantic coast to the north, makes for ideal links golf and stunning sea panoramas from almost every hole.
The James Braid-designed gem, in keeping with all true links layouts, offers undulating fairways, firm greens and a number of blind shots. At 6,547 yards it is not long by today’s standards yet the course record stands at 65, 4 under par, giving golfers a good indication of how challenging the course is. It is often said that many links courses are easy if there is no wind – even St. Andrews – but this does not apply to St Enodoc.
Testament to its quality, the Church Course has hosted numerous amateur golf events, including the English Ladies Amateur Championship in 1993 and 2002 and the English Counties Championship in 1989 and 2005.
Over the years, the outstanding course at St Enodoc has lured a host of legendary Open Champions to its fairways including James Braid of course, Henry Cotton, Jim Barnes and, more recently, Tom Watson which has added to the prestige of this exceptional course.
The course benefits from being situated in one of the driest parishes in Cornwall and sitting on sand ensures excellent golf over 12 months of the year. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream climate, frost is rare even in the depths of winter.
Today golfers still play the course as essentially laid out by James Braid – a tremendous tribute to this great golfer’s vision and skill as it has stood the test of time despite the enormous changes in clubs and balls in the last 70 years.
The 10th hole is often described as the course’s signature hole as it winds its way towards 11th Century St. Enodoc Church where Sir John Betjeman lies buried beside his favourite course. A challenging hole, it requires good drive followed by an even better second aimed at the church porch to avoid the lateral hazard which runs the length of the hole which creeps ever closer to the left side of the green.
However many view the 378-yard 6th hole as a rival signature hole. From the tee, it bends left whilst the infamous Himalaya bunker obstructs the view to the uphill green: a hidden fairway bunker may catch out longer players seeking a view of the green but laying up short and right leaves a blind shot over the cavernous Himalaya bunker.
St Enodoc’s second course, the Holywell, is shorter than the Church course and is ideal for those looking for a slightly less of a challenge.
Off the course, Cornwall is renowned as a glorious holiday destination with plenty of things to do alongside playing golf.
The Camel Estuary provides many activities; walking round the National Trust coastal footpath to the North and the South provides spectacular scenery. From here you can visit the Norman St Enodoc Church by the 10th green of the Church course. It was only uncovered from being buried in the sand dunes in Victorian times and it is the final resting place of the poet Sir John Betjeman who had a house in Trebetherick for many years and was a member at St Enodoc. The Church course was very much his favourite course and it inspired him to write the famous poem, ‘Seaside Golf.’
Waterskiing and sailing are also popular in the nearby town of Rock, where Prince William was often been seen holidaying in his teens and twenties. Padstow, on the opposite side of the estuary to St Enodoc, can easily be reached by ferry from Rock. From here, bicycles can be hired to ride along the old railway line up river to Wadebridge on the Camel Trail. Both towns have a good selection of boutique shops with Padstow’s success in recent years attributed largely to the success of tv chef and personality, Rick Stein and his famous seafood restaurants and cafes.
Further afield the biggest single attraction is the Eden Project (about a 40-minute car trip to the south coast) which showcases 100,000 plants from around the world in two giant transparent domes, each recreating different climate conditions. Other well-known gardens include the Lost Gardens of Heligan and Trebah whilst on the South coast the new Maritime Museum in Falmouth is worth a visit.
For more visit www.st-enodoc.co.uk