When a golf course is blessed with superior terrain, the likelihood for top tier architecture happening is clearly enhanced. Notts Golf Club is clearly one of England’s premier layouts. Known to locals as Hollinwell, the club hosted the final stage of qualifying for the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale and will do so again in 2018 when the championship is conducted at Carnoustie. Make no mistake about it, one needs to have one’s game in top working order when arriving.
Gently rolling hills are the main attribute of the grounds and the design has seen fit to provide a wide array of interesting holes providing a clear test for all levels of players.
The qualities of the course start rather gently with a mild opener, but things ramp up considerably with the stout uphill dog-leg left 2nd hole. Playing 462 yards from the championship tees, the hole requires a high quality tee shot, marrying sufficient length and wherewithal to shape the shot accordingly. The hole features a fairway that reverses camber. A series of bunkers on the left side must be avoided. Those who possess superior length can play a more daring shot off the tee, but that line of attack mandates an even higher level of execution.
Head professional Mike Bradley states the 2nd hole’s case succinctly: “The tee shot is played slightly uphill and you must favour the right side if you want to get a view of the green for your second shot; the longer hitters may try and take it down the left side to shorten the hole, but go to far left and you will catch some very thick heather beds.
“The view for your second shot is dominated by views of ’Robin Hood’s Chair’ which guards the left side of the hole and the green sits below large banks and towering pine trees. The second shot needs to favour the left side as it falls from left to right and a large bunker catches anything straying to the right. You will never be disappointed with a par-4 on this hole, especially coming so early on in the round.”
The 2nd at Notts is like an honest judge - no bribes permitted. Be ready to present your case with top tier execution - otherwise the verdict you receive will be swift and utterly certain justice.