Hidden links gem alert: Church Course at St. Enodoc Golf Club in Southwest England
PADSTOW, CORNWALL - Unless you are well versed in the countless links gems of the British Isles, or are an avid reader of GolfEurope.com, where architect Tom Doak listed St. Enodoc among his top five “undiscovered” links, you’ve probably never heard much about St. Enodoc. In fact, it’s hard to believe many golfers outside of the U.K. have heard a great deal about any of the courses in England’s rural Southwest.
But St. Enodoc, part of England’s Atlantic Links cooperative, has all the makings of a fine, 19th century gem. It has the coastal scenery playing over the “Doom Bar", the blind shots over dunes, and plenty of unique quirks. Like many of the old links, the course went through a series of changes before James Braid’ final touches through the 1920s, where holes were more discovered than built. Walk 18 holes out here and you’ll discover plenty of memorable moments. St. Enodoc is one of those courses where you never really know what you’re going to see as you walk to the next tee box.
The Church Course has one of the biggest bunkers you’ll ever see in your life, the “Himalaya", on the par-4 6th hole, which could give Royal Portrush’s “Big Bertha” a run for its money. The long 10th hole, a maddeningly tight and rolling par 4, plays down to the base of the tiny St. Enodoc Church. One of the par-3s, the 15th, has a small, paved road that runs in front of the green, so a shot hit five yards short might actually catapult over the green.
It is only a par 69, so no pro events will probably ever make it around here, but it is home to numerous prestigious amateur events. The course doesn’t defend itself with distance, but with brilliant green complexes, some that resemble an upside down saucer, and bunkers and collection areas surround them. It’s certainly one of those courses where you would never want to play a member for cash, no matter what their handicap is.
Stay tuned for more of Southwest England and Wales here at WorldGolf.com.
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I haven't heard of Perranporth, don't think I'll make it there this trip, though there is always a great course right around the corner around these parts...