Hole by Hole
Hole 1 Kenton Hill
|White||327 yds||(S.I. 14)||Par 4|
|Yellow||323 yds||(S.I. 18)||Par 4|
|Red||319 yds||(S.I. 10)||Par 4|
Opening holes can determine your round, so here you have a wide, inviting fairway for an encouraging start. A sensible shot for big hitters is a lay-up to the top of the hill (180 yds). If going for the green, a fade over the marker post will get you close. From the fairway, don’t over-club your second down the hill to the flat green. Take a well-earned opening par and move along with confidence.
Hole 2 Damson Way
|White||179 yds||(S.I. 4)||Par 3|
|Yellow||131 yds||(S.I. 14)||Par 3|
|Red||139 yds||(S.I. 18)||Par 3|
This first of the four par three holes has a deceptive elevation to the green but the choice is better short and left than long or right where hedges await mistakes. The sloping green makes this hole very worthy of its low stroke index.
Hole 3 Whitton View
|White||423 yds||(S.I. 6)||Par 4|
|Yellow||356 yds||(S.I. 6)||Par 4|
|Red||415 yds||(S.I. 6)||Par 5|
Stay to the right side of the fairway to avoid getting blocked by the ancient oak, and enjoy a great view of the green, reachable in two with a mid to long iron if driving from the competition tees. The green slopes archly from right to left and be careful not to go long on your approach, as the burn awaits an over-enthusiastic shot.
Hole 4 Carterside
|White||486 yds||(S.I. 12)||Par 5|
|Yellow||478 yds||(S.I. 8)||Par 5|
|Red||381 yds||(S.I. 8)||Par 5|
One of the most satisfying driving holes on the course as you send the ball through the narrow gap between the tall trees onto a wide fairway to set up your second shot. The choice is either to lay up before the burn for a short iron for your third or to blast your way towards the green with a strong fairway wood. Par is a good score on this hole so don’t be discouraged if the birdie doesn’t come.
Hole 5 Crab Apple Creek
|White||528 yds||(S.I. 2)||Par 5|
|Yellow||449 yds||(S.I. 2)||Par 5|
|Red||348 yds||(S.I. 2)||Par 5|
Par is a really good score on this challenging par five. Making the centre of the fairway with your drive, you’re faced with a narrow gap between tall trees to the second section of the fairway with a further one hundred yard carry to next gap in the trees below which lurks the burn. Percentage players will lay up to right of the second gap to provide a good view of the green, reachable with a mid to short iron. On in three and two putts? Quite often it’s on in four, so don’t be downhearted with a bogey…not a disastrous result here on S/I 2.
Hole 6 Hawthorns
|White||181 yds||(S.I. 8)||Par 3|
|Yellow||177 yds||(S.I. 10)||Par 3|
|Red||140 yds||(S.I. 14)||Par 3|
A deceptive par three where players more often than not come up short from the tee. Beware the bunker short and left of the green and note that your ball will gather from the right of the green, which holds some treacherous borrows. Good hole to birdie (well…aren’t they all?).
Hole 7 Pondicherry
|White||268 yds||(S.I. 16)||Par 4|
|Yellow||263 yds||(S.I. 12)||Par 4|
|Red||258 yds||(S.I. 12)||Par 4|
Decision time on the tee of this short, downhill, dog-leg par four. The sensible is approach is usually a long iron to the bottom of the hill after which a lofted club will give you the opportunity to hold the sloping green. Alternatively, a higher risk drive over the hedge can get you there in one from the tee but the danger is running through the green into the bunkers beyond. Either way, this can be a real birdie opportunity.
Hole 8 Tosson View
|White||158 yds||(S.I. 18)||Par 3|
|Yellow||133 yds||(S.I. 16)||Par 3|
|Red||130 yds||(S.I. 16)||Par 3|
Aim to the left of the flag on this short par three as your ball will follow the natural contours down to the right onto the green. Don’t come up short right as a bunker shot from well below the flag can be tricky. Another real birdie chance here – if you can read the green well!
Hole 9 Cragside View
|White||392 yds||(S.I. 10)||Par 4|
|Yellow||358 yds||(S.I. 4)||Par 4|
|Red||353 yds||(S.I. 4)||Par 4|
Drive over the valley onto the heart of the fairway avoiding the bunkers left and right at the top of the hill, then it’s a shortish iron or a pitch back down to the green by the clubhouse. Relatively easy par opportunity for a good finish to the front nine.
Hole 10 Valley View
|White||303 yds||(S.I. 15)||Par 4|
|Yellow||267 yds||(S.I. 17)||Par 4|
|Red||259 yds||(S.I. 17)||Par 4|
Accuracy is the key to this drive to start the back nine. Send you ball to the top and then over the hill and get a great view of the Coquet valley before your second down to the green, taking care not to go long or left as the ponds await. The green is makeable in one if you’re long and straight. Plenty of birdies to be made on this hole.
Hole 11 The Ponds
|White||372 yds||(S.I. 5)||Par 4|
|Yellow||340 yds||(S.I. 1)||Par 4|
|Red||334 yds||(S.I. 1)||Par 4|
Certainly one of the most challenging holes on the course if you make the wrong decision on whether to carry the burn that runs across the fairway from the tee. Ponds to the left and thick woodland to the right require accuracy as well as distance. Once these hazards are negotiated, though, it’s a delightful stride over Foggon Bridge and a sweet iron to the ‘Mackenzie’ style green and a well-earned par…or better.
Hole 12 Storey’s Hole
|White||353 yds||(S.I. 7)||Par 4|
|Yellow||329 yds||(S.I. 5)||Par 4|
|Red||348 yds||(S.I. 3)||Par 4|
Thick rough over to the right and out-of-bounds left leave the golfer in no doubt about what’s required from the twelfth tee – accuracy! The green is protected left and right by pot bunkers but the green is true and relatively flat, so can make up for any errors on the way there.
Hole 13 Grandstand
|White||351 yds||(S.I. 13)||Par 4|
|Yellow||333 yds||(S.I. 7)||Par 4|
|Red||289 yds||(S.I. 11)||Par 4|
A well-struck faded drive over the out-of-bounds fence to the left will find your ball in the widest part of the undulating fairway with the best view of the green, with only the one bunker in front to concern you on your approach. Be careful, though, as there’s a sand trap behind the wide but shallow putting surface, with tricky borrows to test the putter. Have a glance at the old racecourse grandstand as you leave the green…
Hole 14 Burnside
|White||398 yds||(S.I. 1)||Par 4|
|Yellow||351 yds||(S.I. 9)||Par 4|
|Red||342 yds||(S.I. 7)||Par 4|
From the competition tees, there’s a narrow gap through the trees to reach the fairway, or go high over the top and leave a longer iron for your second on this S/I number one. There’s out-of-bounds to the right along the burn, too, but once safely on the short stuff from the tee, pars and birdies are very makeable. Don’t go long with your approach as there’s a pond directly behind the green.
Hole 15 Simonside
|White||525 yds||(S.I. 11)||Par 5|
|Yellow||448 yds||(S.I. 11)||Par 5|
|Red||437 yds||(S.I. 5)||Par 5|
The last par five hole isoften played right into the prevailing westerly wind, so it can be three good blows to get there while avoiding plenty of fairway bunkers and three more protecting the green. Sliced and hooked approaches are likely to find some thickly wooded copses, too. Just keep it straight and true and you’ll get your birdie, perhaps.
Hole 16 Coquetside
|White||441 yds||(S.I. 3)||Par 4|
|Yellow||407 yds||(S.I. 3)||Par 4|
|Red||415 yds||(S.I. 13)||Par 5|
This, the longest of the par four holes is often wind-assisted and the River Coquet runs its entire length down the left hand side of the wide, forgiving, bunker-free fairway. The trees thicken up down the right hand side as you approach the green. A par is always a very good result here.
Hole 17 Waterleap
|White||175 yds||(S.I. 17)||Par 3|
|Yellow||158 yds||(S.I. 15)||Par 3|
|Red||151 yds||(S.I. 9)||Par 3|
Over the burn and the old ‘water-jump’ of the racecourse from years gone by, is an elevated green with a gathering bunker in front and another to the left. A more lofted iron can hold the green as running it on requires a very accurate approach to the narrow bank up to the pin. A difficult S/I 17 par three but a satisfying par of birdie to set you up for the final hole, nonetheless.
Hole 18 Craa Trees
|White||308 yds||(S.I. 9)||Par 4|
|Yellow||268 yds||(S.I. 13)||Par 4|
|Red||268 yds||(S.I. 15)||Par 4|
A good test to finish your round. Cutting the dog-leg corner to leave a pitch shot to the green requires a big drive to avoid the out-of-bounds haugh field. A straight drive down the fairway will do, too, provided it’s not too long and to the right, otherwise some difficult rough can gather the ball. The elevated green which banks up to the back and right is just the place to make that long putt under the scrutiny of the galleries on the clubhouse deck and walk away with a birdie to a smattering of applause and the prospect of well-earned refreshment at the bar.