Weather & Course Condition
Another beautiful sunny day with light wind on the day of my visit to Rugby Golf Club and what a great day it turned out to be, the course was in immaculate condition with some great shaped holes and mainly large greens that were a regular medium pace but the ball rolled perfectly, couldn’t ask for a better day to play golf.
I was born and bred in Rugby and bought my first set of irons (Wilson 1200r’s) from the pro shop but have never played here. From Rugby centre follow the signs to Clifton upon Dunsmore, after going over a number of sleeping policemen the road goes steeply downhill to a set of traffic lights the course is on your right as you go down the hill but you will not notice it due to the high hedgerow growing, about 100yds on your right prior to the traffic lights is the car park. The path from the car park will take you round the clubhouse and to the pro shop which although small is really well stocked and a friendly reception awaits you. The course itself is inserted into a small area of land but it still boasts three par fives and will be a challenge for all. The course is well maintained and even though it is in a built up area when you are on the course you would never believe it. The layout of the course is two loops that both start and finish in front of the club house making it popular to play just 9 holes as well as 18, on the day of my visit the course was relevantly quiet and I had no hold ups at all however if it had been busy I suspect due to the fact that a number of shots play over or close to other holes means that play could take a bit longer than the 3hrs I took and also you will need to be aware of what is happening around you in case a wayward shot comes your way. A most enjoyable visit and I intend to play here again and I am already looking forward to it.
Hole by Hole Analysis
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 1 – 280yds – Par 4
The tee is directly in front of the pro shop and from here you will see some 40yds ahead of you a hedgerow and nothing else so it would be a good idea to walk to the hedge to see the green which is some 240yds ahead and below you and slightly left, the ideal line would be just to the left of the trees as the fairway falls from right to left. Yes this green is drivable for the good hitters but if like me your driving is a bit inconsistent it may be prudent to err on the side of caution. I opted for my 7 wood down the righthand side of the fairway and somehow it stuck in the rough leaving around 110yds downhill to the green, a hack out with a wedge left me just short of the green and a not so good putting display left me walking off with a bogey, it is one of those holes that once you’ve played it you’ll want to go back to the tee and do it again now that you know how the hole plays, a great starting hole.
Hole 2 – 123yds – Par 3
From the tee this hole goes back up the hill alongside the 1st green to a plateau green that is well protected by bunkers. Couldn’t make my mind up as to what club to play as it being uphill it is playing about 20yds longer, my head was saying a good 8 iron is the club but my hand opted for the trusty rescue wood as rather than giving it full whack with the 8 a easy rescue would be better. How wrong could I be, my easy swing sent the ball high and short right of the green leaving me some 40yds short of the green with a bunker to play over. Opting for my most lofted wedge I managed to get on the green close to the hole and was pleased to scramble a par.
Hole 3 – 306yds – Par 4
This tee is tucked back in a corner of the course and alongside the 8th green so if there are players on the green you will have to wait for them to finish before driving. It was at this tee I met some friendly club members who were out for a quick 9 holes and they kindly let me tee off with them and then play through. Fairway drops gently down from the tee to the large green that can’t be seen from the tee but is just behind the trees in the distance on the left. Hit my best drive of the day, went straight down the middle and as the fairway has a slight roll from right to left which helped getting me round the corner leaving me just 45yds from the green and a par for the record.
Hole 4 – 511yds – Par 5
A good straight par 5 with a brook meandering all the way on the right and a line of trees to the left. A reasonable drive which left me on the right of the fairway followed by a good 7 wood left me just 80yds short of the green. Having taken delivery of a new 60 degree wedge I thought this was the time to let rip with it, taking careful alignment I went for it and found out that this wedge really sends the ball high in fact it went a lot higher than it did forward and left me some 10yds short of the slightly elevated green.
Hole 5 – 169yds – Par 3
A nice par 3 this one, as you can see from the photo it can be a little challenging tee shot, trees to the right from in front of the tee box and hedgerow marking the course boundary to the left is the first thing to note also a brook crosses the fairway around 40yds short of the front of the green and anything wandering off to the left could end up out of bounds, after contemplating whether to take driver or 3 wood I opted for the latter and ended up some 35yds short of the green and to the right, much too my surprise my pitch ended very close to the hole so scoring another par here was a very pleasant shock.
Hole 6 – 481yds – Par 5
From the 5th the 6th tee is up some steps taking you to a raised tee looking down this par 5th fairway, the railway line goes all the way down on the left of the teeing area but there are well matured trees between the course and railway line, just to the right of the tee is a large mature tree with branches overhanging towards the line you may want to take and I’m sure many a good drive has been ruined by these branches, for me a reasonable good drive and second left me walking over the rise and seeing the green in the distance but not my ball as from the marker post in the middle of the fairway to the green are quite a number of furrows and my ball had come to rest in the bottom of one some 114yds from the green. The green is slightly raised and although it’s not the largest of greens it did encourage me to pitch up to it instead of a chip and run from the left hand side.
Hole 7 – 134yds – Par 3
From the tee this is a short par 3 and a good challenge as you need to clear the tree to the rightand a depression with plenty of bushes in and around it to the medium sized green. As I’ve said before I find this sort of length par 3 more of a challenge than the long ones, taking a 8 iron I duly made a mess of the tee shot and hitting the tree branches ended up some 45yds in front of me so walking off with only a bogey was a good result for me.
Hole 8 – 263yds – Par 4
From the tee the railway goes all the way down the left side off the hole so keep clear of that, to the right of the tee is the 7th green as can be seen in the photo there are furrows all the way down the fairway and there is a little room to the right which is where my drive went, hitting my rescue wood from here and watching the ball fly high and straight to the green was a joy but I soon came down with a bang as the ball slightly drifted right and landed on the bank at the edge of the green which kicked it right leaving me close to the path that players take from the 3rd tee. With a lot of luck and little skill I did manage to pitch onto the green and record a bogey.
Hole 9 – 223yds – Par 3
For the big hitters a challenging par 3, for me a short par 4. From the tee the fairway drops down and then upto the green that is tucked into the corner alongside the 1st tee, with the course boundary down the left and tall mature trees lining all the way down the right it is a lovely looking hole. I made a right mess of the drive which left me with still 100 yds to the green, from where I was it is not possible to see the green so relying on my shotscope for the yardage my weapon of choice was the pitching wedge and to my surprise ended up pin high just off the right edge of the green.
Hole 10 – 326yds – Par 4
A short walk down in front of the clubhouse brings you to the tenth tee which looks down towards the green in the distance, a lovely looking hole this one just asking you to let fly with the driver. There is the brook that crosses the fairway about 45yds in front of the green that could come into play for the big hitters, I decided to go with a 3 wood as I had been hitting it straight and should leave me about 150yds out which is a good 7 iron for me, the only thing I hadn’t factored in was the fact I ended up off to the right of the fairway and not having my normal straight drive. From here there was a tree on line to the green but I was far enough back to go over it with a 7 iron and ended up just a few yards short of the front of the green.
Hole 11 – 162yds – Par 3
Behind the 10th green tucked in the corner is the 11th tee, as you can see in the photo you’ll need to be aware of players overshooting the 10th, apart from that it is a straight forward hole but what you may not notice from the tee is the bunker on the right of the green, I know this as my tee shot ended up in it.
Hole 12 – 186yds – Par 3
A long par 3 this one with plenty to watch out for as crossing the fairway some 140 yds from the tee is the brook that meanders through the golf course, the large green has 2 bunkers either side of it so you need a good tee shot to get on and stay on the green. I opted for my 3 wood and did manage to hit reasonable straight but more than that cleared the brook leaving me around 30yds from the green and no bunkers coming into play for my second, a chip onto the large green but a frustrating 2 putt was my result.
Hole 13 – 357yds – Par 4
Walking under the viaduct that is now a disused railway line the 13th tee is just on your right. Your tee shot will cross over the 3rd fairway so be aware of players on the third, once that is crossed the fairway is once again all furrows all the way upto the green which can’t be seen from the tee. Even though I had hit a reasonable good drive up the fairway it still took me a few minutes to find my ball once in the area due to the furrows as it had stopped at the bottom of one of them on the downslope so I had to be on top of it before seeing it. Due to this lie it made club selection difficult as the clubs I knew I had the distance to get to the large green wouldn’t be able to get me out of the furrow cleanly so my 9 iron was selected and I managed to get some 46yds short of the green. The green has only one bunker to the right front of it and is big so the approach should not be to much of a problem.
Hole 14 – 176yds – Par 3
Loved this hole which may sound odd for those that know me as it is a long par 3 and I know my limitations both physically and skill wise. Taking my 3 wood and concentrating on a good contact it was great to see the ball heading straight to the pin, dropping just on the front of the green and taking one bounce it then rolled slowly towards the hole and just caught the lip of it leaving me 2yds past the hole and my second hole in one almost recorded. Would love to say I got a birdie but a par was recorded.
Hole 15 – 468yds – Par 5
A nice long par 5 with the brook running all the way down the left of it and then it crosses in front of the green. Even though it is a wide fairway I made a bit of a mess of the drive by sending my tee shot only 130yds off to the right of the fairway and to make matters worse it buried itself in some long grass leaving me to hack it out back onto the fairway. My third left me some 65yds short of the green but even if I had not visited the rough it would still take three good shots to get close to the green. The green is large and kidney shaped with a bunker on it’s far left side and the brook running close to the right of it but if you are close to the green after three a par is still a good possibility.
Hole 16 – 331yds – Par 4
A short walk to the back of the 4th green brings you to the 16th tee, with trees all down the right marking the course boundary and trees down the left with the 4th fairway on the other side of them and a wide fairway for you to go at, the only thing to watch our for are the two fairway bunkers on the left side of the fairway about 190 and 210yds out are the only danger to keep clear of. For myself they didn’t come into play as they were out of my range, so taking my driver and then a 7 iron it left me about 20yds short of the green which has a bunker to the front left of it. As I was on the right the bunker didn’t come into play and a pitch and 2 putts gave me another bogey.
Hole 17 – 385yds – Par 4
A very similar hole to the 16th but around 50yds longer awaits, lovely wide fairway and a flat level fairway should not cause too many issues here, my drive was average and managed to bounce off the fairway on the left leaving me in a dip with long grass in so all I could do was knock it out back onto the fairway some 40yds ahead. There are two bunkers to the left of the green and one more just in front on the left. I was left with around 180yds to the pin and for some unknown reason I opted for my 7 wood instead of my 3 wood which I would normally use, so letting rip I hit my best 7 wood ever and ended up just short of pin high on the right of the green leaving a putt of around 20 foot and at last I managed to avoid 2 putting by holing out and somehow recording a par.
Hole 18 – 418yds – Par 4
This was the tee shot I was not looking forward too and will certainly sort out the big hitters from the rest. As you can see about 60yds in front of the tee is water and to the left is the brook which meanders down and then crosses the fairway some 160yds ahead of you, The big hitters will be able to carry this but for us mortals the decision is can you clear it or should you play short of it, on this particular day I had been hitting the driver quite well so decided to have a go knowing a good drive will let me get just over it, as many of you will know trying that bit harder meant I really cocked up on this one and I pulled the ball left landing in the brook some 50yds short of where it crosses the fairway. From the brook the fairway goes uphill and turns gently to the right and is lined on both sides by trees, somehow I managed to hit a good third and my approach shot to the green which I couldn’t see and has bunkers to the left and right front of the green left just of the front right of the green and a up and down left me with my worst score of the round of 7. A really good finishing hole this one but if you were tired and struggling like me a real challenging hole.