Beguiling Golf at St Enodoc
It is an idyllic setting for golf and the perfect place to enjoy a fine summer’s day with family or friends. The Camel Estuary separates Rock from Padstow; together they form what is becoming the Cornish Riviera vying with each other for top spot in this delicious area for British tourism. Personally, I am so fond of both it makes no sense to do anything other than call it an admirable draw. Property prices on either side of the estuary are eye-poppingly high, making it difficult for local people to secure the best spots to enjoy the coastline from their living rooms. For much of the year the area is fairly quiet, but it explodes into activity at Easter and again during the school holidays of July and August. The beauty of the area, with its pristine bays, sparkling sea and defiant rocky outcrops is sensational. Nowhere do you get a better view of this than from the golf club at St Enodoc.
The golf club itself is a member-owned, 36-hole complex with excellent practice facilities and a friendly, warm and welcoming clubhouse.
Membership is split into two basic categories: local residents who are able to play throughout the year pay a slightly larger amount, but have access to this fantastic facility for 52 weeks of the year; however, for those who only visit when on holiday, there is a country membership which is determined by the number of miles you live from the club. This membership is currently full and only a few spaces are left for those wishing to apply for full membership.
Simon Greatorex was appointed General Manager in June this year, having previously worked as the GM at Yeovil Golf Club. A lifelong golfer, Simon got down to a handicap of two in his younger days, but now plays off nine. He was delighted to be appointed and spoke to Golf Features:
“Obviously it is a huge honour to have been selected as the new General Manager of St Enodoc. The club has a fabulous past and is in superb condition, and I’m greatly enjoying my role and working with the excellent St Enodoc team. Best of all, this is a very friendly club with a family atmosphere and a welcoming nature. The course is in wonderful condition and the only problem I have with the job is that there is not quite enough time to play as much golf as I would like.”
Nick Williams has slightly more experience of St Enodoc, having been the club professional since 1981. Over the last 36 years, Nick has seen the club improving in quality year by year. Many of the juniors that he taught in his early years are now bringing their own children back to play at St Enodoc. He runs a very successful golf retail operation and stocks most of the latest equipment. Many of the clubs he sells today are custom-made and these clubs are tailored for each individual using the latest technology in Nick’s fitting suite.
There are two courses at St Enodoc with the main championship course - the Church Course - taking pride of place. It was originally designed by James Braid and has a great reputation as one of the country’s finest links courses. It has an interesting and slightly quirky layout which demands a lot of intelligence to get the most from your game. If the wind blows it can be very difficult indeed.
The 13th and 14th holes climb steadily up a side slope and while fairly tough, are the least rewarding of the holes available on the course. The other 16 holes are a complete delight to play and have evolved into a real challenge for golfers of all abilities. Bumps and swales, hollows and fiendish bunkers combine with tightly-mown surfaces to speed your ball away from the target if your shot is in any way mis-hit.
The greens are in fabulous condition throughout the year and provide fast and undulating putting services that require a careful touch to prevent humiliation for the puttee.
From the back tees the course is just over 6,500 yards and has a par of just 69, though the standard scratch score is 72, which shows how much harder the course is in reality.
The Church Course is a really fine links golf course and has hosted many championships and important events across the years, but it is accessible and delightful and these are what marks it out from many other championship layouts. Shorter hitting golfers can still enjoy the course and get round with a canny bag of course knowledge.
The Holywell Course is a much shorter and easier layout at just over 4,000 yards. The par of 63 comprises of nine par fours and nine par threes and the standard scratch score is 60 which reflects the easier design. There is a ‘Holy Well’ close to the 12th green which gives the course its name. The layout was extended in the early 80s when extra land was acquired to bring it up to 18 holes. It is a charming golf course with the same spectacular views, but far less demanding as a test of golf. This makes it ideal for families and golfers more interested in participation than competition.
If you are lucky enough to visit this dreamy stretch of Cornwall coastline, make sure you take your clubs as St Enodoc is not to be missed. Further details are available on the website: