The Takeaway: A storybook setting in a small English town on the coast, St. Enodoc's Church course is charming, unique, and scenic. Well worth the pilgrimage to its remote location near the southwest tip of Britain. Grade A
Designer: James Braid 1907 (Original 27 holes in 1890, James Braid 1922, Tom Simpson 1930)
Cost: £75 - £110 Click for current rates
Phone Number: +44 1208 863216
Course Website: Official Website - Visit St Enodoc Golf Club (Church)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Rock, Wadebridge, PL27 6LD – UNITED KINGDOM
What to Expect: The Church course at St. Enodoc gets its name from the nearly 1,000 year old chapel located at the end of the 10th hole and was buried under sand for 100 years between the 18th and 19th centuries. The choppy fairways through the course result in uneven lies or balls that trickle to the low spots while the sloping greens will require you to be on your game with the flatstick. The rugged links and large dunes characterize the course, but it might best be known for its storybook seaside setting that is a pure delight to play. One of the world's most famous hazards in golf is found here; the 75 foot tall "Himalaya" bunker that looms in front of the 6th green. While some may say there are some quirky holes on the front, it stands as the superior loop of the two with engaging shots to execute on each hole. The closing trio of holes at St. Enodoc parallel the sea but don't bring the water into play and offer limited visual stimulation. As is common with most courses in the UK, players will be required to walk but can rent a trolley to help tote their clubs around. Ultimately, the Church course at St. Enodoc is an exceptional golf course that would be a "world elite" if a few of the average holes were re-designed.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 6th Hole – 428 Yard Par 4 – Featuring one of the largest and most famous bunkers in the world, the 6th hole at St. Enodoc is all about the 75 foot tall Himalayan bunker that dominates your view from the tee. The fairway terminates at the base of the bunker 100 yards short of the green effectively forcing players to hit blind over the crest of the hazard or skirt around it to the left and use your third shot to reach the green. The sides and back of the putting surface sit in a punchbowl to help filter balls back onto the green as a gift for the blind approach and can help yield unlikely birdie putts. It stands as one of the most memorable holes in the British Isles.
Best Par 3: 15th Hole – 168 Yards – Playing a full club or two downhill, the 15th offers a beautiful view of the bay and English countryside in the distance. The green features a pair of bunkers on the left with a chipping bowl behind, while the right side has two additional bunkers beyond the walking path that fronts the putting surface. The path sits so close to the green that it is common to see balls jump high off the path before settling onto the putting surface. The undulated green adds additional character to the hole and yields some intriguing birdie putts.
Best Par 4: 3rd Hole – 440 Yards – With an aiming pole as your guidance, a partially blind tee shot awaits on the dramatic 3rd that traverses 75 feet downhill from tee to green. With firm and highly undulated turf greeting you, tee shots can tumble and tumble to your longest drive of the day before nestling into a safe spot. A road and old stone wall carve through the fairway and must be cleared enroute to attacking the bunkerless green. For a hole that measures out at 440 yards, don't be surprised if you end up with just a wedge in your hand for the approach. Some golfers criticize this hole, but it is wonderfully linksy and a ton of fun to play.
Best Par 5: 16th Hole – 560 Yards – Running parallel to the River Camel, St. Enodoc's final par five has yet another undulated fairway to contend with and an aiming pole to guide you. Tee shots that hang out to the right towards the walking path are quick to disappear forever while the left side offers more safety. A trio of bunkers surround the green with the best angle to the putting surface being afforded at the front left corner. With two challenging holes awaiting, taking a birdie or par on this hole just might be the insurance you need.
Birdie Time: 4th Hole – 323 Yard Par 4 – In a country full of great short par fours, St. Enodoc's 4th stands among the most compelling of all of them. Reminiscent in strategy and application to the 6th hole at Pacific Dunes on Oregon's coast, this driveable par four plays uphill to a greensite that sits perched on a dune with the fairway sloping hard from right to left. Players that sling their tee shot high enough on the right side and with plenty of juice can find their ball dancing when it comes to rest as long as the two bunkers on the left side of the putting surface don't get in the way. I absolutely loved this hole and it is as compelling as you could ever hope for in 323 yards.
Bogey Beware: 10th Hole – 457 Yard Par 4 – The hole that features the course's namesake, the nearly 1,000 year old iconic church is perched on the right side of the green. A huge dune sets the right boundary of this narrow and lumpy fairway while a creek and tree line frames the left. A level lie is virtually non-existent before the fairway doglegs left and terminates at the green that has no room for bunkers as the church hugs the right side and the hazard rests on the left. With the most difficult fairway to hit followed by an approach with the least amount of forgiveness around it, walking away with a bogey is a gift most days.