Churston G C
Played on 28.03.2022
Weather & Course Condition
For the day of my visit there was forecasted light rain but as luck has it none actually appeared although there was a strong wind that made the round a little more interesting. The course itself was in excellent condition which is only to be expected from this club, all the greens ran smooth and a medium speed and were a pleasure to putt on.
Finding your way to the course is relevantly easy as it can be found between Paignton and Brixham, so if you are coming from Torquay and Paignton follow the A379 to Brixham and it is on your left at Galmpton. (if you pass Galmpton Football ground on your right then you have just passed the entrance to the car park on the left) For myself I came through Totnes and followed the signage to Paignton and turned right onto the A3022 signposted for Brixham at the traffic lights just before Paignton zoo. The car park is quite large so parking shouldn’t be a problem, as you walk to the clubhouse the pro shop is to the left of the building alongside the putting green and as expected a warm friendly welcome awaits you. The shop is well stocked and well priced, from the shop if you turn left then enter the clubhouse through the double doors, in front of you is a long corridor that is lined with a lot of names of various winners over the years some you may well have heard of. At the far end is the toilets and to the left will lead you into the bar area where I enjoyed a lovely brew and bacon bap at a very reasonable cost.
On the day I teed off behind the clubs vets section of which it looked like they have quite a few of, but even so the flow of the game was quite good as with the exception of a few holes the course is quite open but still a challenge. I had a really great time playing here and it didn’t matter wether I had a good hole or not it was a great day playing golf here, the view when you come back on the back nine over the bay towards Torquay is great but probably would not be as visible during the summer due to the tree’s foliage would make it harder to see than when I visited.
Hole by Hole Analysis
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 1 – 231yds – Par 3
Well what a hole to start with, as you can see from the photo it appears straightforward with just a bunker to the left of the green and another to the front right. Watching a number of seniors teeing off before me I noted the hedgerow and trees to the left of the hole have a strong magnetic effect on the balls as many got pulled to them. Deciding to play safe and take a 7 wood planning on being around 85yds short of the green was the plan, unfortunately the plan failed when the ball only went 120yds down the leftside of the fairway and my second which was near perfect for distance ended up in the bunker on the left of the green so starting with a double bogey was not ideal.
Hole 2 – 368yds – Par 4
After the first you need to enter the road behind the green and turn right over the railway bridge so beware of traffic as it can be quite a busy road, to the second tee which is on the left. From the tee the hole drops down in front of you and then goes uphill with trees to the right of the fairway to watch out for. My drives are my weak area that is to say a good one will only carry around 160yds and if they go the way I intend it is a rarity. One thing with them I normally get a slight left to right flight and with that in mind I aimed at the trees to the left of the fairway. As I mentioned before what was planned didn’t happen as the ball went straight to the trees and ended up in the fairway bunker just in front of them. There is a bunker just before the green on the right, there are no other issues on this hole except if you end up in my fairway bunker and only progress your second 80yds forward leaving me just off the fairway with the green partly blocked by trees in front of me.
Hole 3 – 421yds – Par 4
From the tee this is a nice looking hole which slightly turns to the left and drops down to the large green. Be aware of the 2nd green just to the left in front of the tee and the road that runs down the right with some very expensive homes that run down the far side of it. With this in mind I deliberately aimed further left than normal, I’ll never know what could have been as my drive only went just over the second green and landed just over a small bank on the down side after going that high I’m sure it would have appeared on radar. Should unlike me you hit a drive that stays on the fairway it may still be a blind shot to the green and there is a bunker on the left side of the fairway some 45yds short of the green.
Hole 4 – 158yds – Par 3
A medium length par 3 this one with two bunkers to the right front of the green and one to the left. Opting for my 5 iron as I haven’t used it for sometime and it was so open on this hole, as should have been expected my tee shot went off well left leaving me tucked up right by a tree and just short of a public footpath which crosses the course, my second duly went into the bunker in the left front of the green so achieving just a bogey was a result for me.
Hole 5 – 531yds – Par 5
This was a nightmare hole for me, from the tee it’s a blind uphill shot then its reasonably flat to the green with 4 bunkers that line across the fairway some 60yds short of the green and another large one to the left of the very large green. I didn’t get far with my tee shot and it ended up in the rough on the left and try as I could all my shots stayed in the left rough and like many others I just kept on thinking I could progress the ball a long way with my 7 wood or rescue club only to leave it still in the rough a very short walk away instead of taking a pitching wedge and just get it back on the fairway, the only good shot I did was to hole out with a chip from just off the right front of the green into the hole some 24yds away.
Hole 6 – 468yds – Par 4
I am pleased to say that from this point the real golfer showed up.
It is uphill from the tee and this time I opted for a 6 iron which left me just to the right hand side of the fairway but the green was not visible from here. If you find yourself in a similar position and you’ve not played here before make sure you are aware of where the fairway goes as in front of you is a small bank and you’ll see behind it a marker post, I was going to go with my 7 wood towards the marker post when a little voice told me to walk upto the bank and take a look and I’m glad I did as the marker post is for the next hole as the fairway for me goes left and drops down to the green. So taking aim again but in a different direction I ended up 50yds short of the green just off the left of the fairway then a pitch and a putt resulted in my first par of the round and a unexpected one.
Hole 7 – 326yds – Par 4
Another slightly uphill fairway from the tee that turns left and drops down to the green that cannot be seen from the tee. This time my driver left me on the right of the fairway close to the top but the green was still not visible from here but the top of the flag was. I had around 190yds from this point and a friend had mentioned to me about this hole, he said to aim right of the flag and more than you think as the ball will roll to the left and not to overclub as there is very little room behind the green. So taking my rescue wood I watched the ball sail well right of the green and into the distance, with trepidation I walked over the brow of the hill and looked down to the green to see my ball was pin high and just off the green on the right and again another par was made.
Hole 8 – 146yds – Par 3
A nice par 3 with 3 bunkers arranged around the front of the green and one to the left of it, anything landing on the green will roll to the right, I went with a pitching wedge as my only intention was to be greenside of the 3 bunkers and luckily even though the shot went left of the green it did clear them and with a bounce and then a roll to the right ended up just on the green and happily another par recorded.
Hole 9 – 375yds – Par 4
From the tee what a great looking hole this one is with the fairway dropping down then rising upto the green which is hidden behind the trees that line the right of the hole. Hitting my best drive of the day it left me about 175yds to the green which has a large bunker to the right of it, fortunately this time I stayed out of the bunker and ended up just short right of the green. A great result to finish the first nine on.
Hole 10 – 279yds – Par 4
From a tree lined teeing area the ground gently rises upto the green in the distance which has two bunkers about 20yds in front of the green and one either side of it. Chancing the driver again I somehow managed to end up just of the rightside of the fairway some 80 yards short of the green, my second ended up just off the left of the green and about pin high, be aware if you go to far left you could end up on or close to the 11th tee.
Hole 11 – 328yds – Par 4
Once again from the tee it is tree lined both sides and for the likes of me felt like threading the needle with a driver that does not go where I aim, the only good news is that is does open out a little some 110yds ahead. As per norm my drive went a little right but ended up around a foot off the fairway, for me from here the green couldn’t be seen but for you better drivers you will see the large green slightly below you with a bunker waiting on both front left and right side of the green. Taking a 7 iron and hoping I’d picked the correct line I went for it and was pleasantly surprised to find I had ended up about 10yds short left of the green so more than pleased with the bogey.
Hole 12 – 395yds – Par 4
When looking down the fairway from the tee it looks a relatively easy drive with the fairway having a gentle slope from left to right, I’m sure many a player has enjoyed sending their drive straight up this fairway, but that’s not me as mine heading in it’s normal direction to the right, and ended up barely at the start of the fairway and on a steep bank in pretty horrible rough. Spending nearly all of my 3 minutes looking for my ball I did eventually find it and also found seven (yes 7) other balls so I’m not the only one to end up here. The best I could do was to hoik (yes it is a word) out of the rough some 80yds into the middle of the fairway, from here I could see the kidney shaped green which had a couple of bunkers to the front right of it. Having a hit and hope with my 5 iron I watched the ball fly towards the left side of the fairway land and then roll nicely to the right into the middle of the green.
Hole 13 – 300yds – Par 4
This is a great hole to play which is definitely driveable by a lot of players and even the higher handicappers may be able to get quite close if the ball rolls favourably. From the tee you can see the green slightly to the right and below you, the hole turns slightly to the right and the fairway does fall to the right so if going for the green you’ll need to aim well left of the green and let the slope run it down to the green and hope to miss the bunkers that wait for you on the left of it. There is two fairway bunkers around midway and one on each side of the green and should your drive go to the right there is room there but your second may be a little difficult depending on your lie. For some reason my drive went exactly where I aimed and gently rolled around and towards the green leaving me just a little over 100yds to the green. Challenge number two for me was do I pitch it up and land on the green and hope it doesn’t roll off the back which is not advisable or just chip it with a 8 iron and let it run to the green, I decided on the latter and was pleased to see the ball end up on the green, admittedly only just on and I ended up three putting it was still a pleasing result and a lovely hole.
Hole 14 – 508yds – Par 5
A long par 5 with no issues as the fairway is wide and from the tee there is a marker on the rise in the distance to aim for as the fairway then gentle goes down to the green. I opted to aim just to the left of the marker post and the ball actually went almost on that line and ended up just on the right edge of the fairway. From here you can see the green waiting for your second shot but not in mine. Having carried a 3 iron for a while in the bag and never using it I decided as the ball was sitting nicely I’d give it a go, knowing it’s not easy to hit this club off the fairway for the likes of me I really concentrated on the set up and only did half of my normal backswing and blow me it flew high up and straight towards the green, the only downside was it went that high I lost a lot of distance and it landed in one of the three fairway bunkers waiting some 100yds from the green. Happy with that shot I went full pitch with my wedge and managed to cleanly get it out of the bunker and land on the front of the green but it then rolled to the back. Great hole this one all players will both dread and enjoy it.
Hole 15 – 336yds – Par 4
Not a difficult hole this one, from the tee it drops down to a public footpath and hedgerow some 140yds in front of you then rises up towards the green which is tucked behind the trees on the right. Here I made my normal mistake of trying to hit the ball hard instead of just concentrate on the swing and the result was instead of disappearing into the distance and end up in the middle of the fairway well up the slope it went high and just managed to clear the hedgerow in front. From here the green is out of sight so you can either go over the left side of the trees that are on the right or straight up the middle which was my option and for once the ball went exactly where planned. From here the green has a large bunker to the right front which you may not be able to see, the pin today was set right at the back of the large green, also should you overshoot the green then it’s goodnight Vienna as there is only around 4-5yds behind the green to play with and even then your ball may be difficult to find and I can say this from experience as my 3rd shot went high and straight to the flagstick and landed just over halfway on the green but still finished up in the long rough but I was lucky to locate it and took two hacks to get in back on the green.
Hole 16 – 317yds – Par 4
Now feeling tired it was a pleasant surprise to see that this hole was straight with a wide fairway that just slightly dips down to the green which is not visible from the tee. Deciding to just take a gentle swing here after waiting for a number of dog walkers and ramblers who where walking across the fairway just in front of the tee which is a right of way, it was nice to see the ball fly down the fairway leaving me in around 165yds from the green which is protected by two bunkers on the right some 40yds in front of the green then there is another just to the right front of the green and a larger one to the left front. Wanting to make sure I would reach the green and not chance the fairway bunkers I went with a 6 iron which did land on the front of the green then disappeared of the back. Behind the green it drops down and should you go to far off the back it may well be lost in the wilderness beyond, mine fortunately didn’t go that far
Hole 17 – 156yds – Par 3
As you can see from the photo your tee shot needs to go over this wilderness and although you can’t see it the path from the tee to the green drops steeply down before climbing back up to a large green which has six bunkers surrounding it at the front. When I last played here many years ago I used a 3 wood off the tee but not this time as I now don’t carry a 3 wood, so opting for my 6 iron I managed to finish on the front left edge of the green but did 3 putt, this is a great par 3 to play and a good challenge especially for me as it’s at the end of the round and feeling tired.
Hole 18 – 332yds – Par 4
Sadly the last hole and with the green to the lefthand side of the clubhouse from the tee, I say sadly because even though I was tired it was a really enjoyable course to play and I really wanted to play more but the body was saying sit down and have a pint. Trees line down the left of the fairway and there is a group of magnetic trees to the right about 170yds from the tee and a large bunker just past them. My drive was going straight down the fairway until the magnetic effect of the trees drew it to them leaving it just under the branches. Still with about 155yds to the front of the green and with it being slightly downhill I opted for a shot I don’t normally attempt. So taking my 8 iron and deciding just to punch it down to the green as there was no way of getting a swing and hoping not to go in the fairway bunkers that are on the right and about halfway between me and the green and also dodging a large greenside bunker to the front right of the green I executed the shot and amazed myself as the ball cleared the fairway bunkers then bounced and rolled onto the green ending up on the right edge of the green and pin high.