Fingle Glen G. C.
Weather & Course Condition
What a gorgeous day to play golf, a bright sunny day with a light breeze, the sort of day when you don’t care how you played because you’re enjoying just playing in great weather. The course was in good condition though I did find on the day I played that if you were just off the fairway the grass was left a little longer than expected, although that wasn’t too much of a problem the fact that the grass cuttings had been left made it difficult to find the ball sometimes, still I should have kept it on the short stuff.
From the A30 the club is signposted, when turning off the A30 there is a roundabout 150yds where you’ll turn right and in around 500yds turn left into a large car park with the club house and driving range at the far end. There is a small pro shop with everything you’ll need but on my arrival it was shut (although it was open when I finished my round) so a young lady efficiently booked me in. There is a large area where you can chill out with a pint and meal after your round which I duly did and must say had one of the best bacon baguette’s in a long time. When you exit the clubhouse there is a small putting area to the right off the car park and the 1st tee is at the top end of the car park just to the right off the entrance as you came in.
Hole by Hole Analysis
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 1 – 256yds – Par 4
A short par 4 to start with, simple enough hole but there is a large bunker just short and to the right hand side of the fairway waiting for you and on the left is water, I later noticed many a player driving into the trees which line the left hand side of this hole. As I had not played for a couple of weeks and knowing my driver does not go straight my weapon of choice on this one was a easy 3 wood which left me just a couple of yards short of the large bunker so a simple pitch over it should have left me on the green but instead I watched land on the back of the green and duly bounce off it and down the slope at the back. For those who elect to use their driver the green is reachable as is the 2nd tee just behind the green.
Hole 2 – 322yds – Par 4
I have played this course once before some years ago when there was a lot of rough between the tee box and the end of the buggy path that you can see in the photo so it was nice to see the improvements done by the ground staff. The fairway goes uphill to the green so landing on the fairway and staying on it is good, for myself I was just off on the right hand side leaving me a shot to the green which couldn’t be seen from where I was, there is a good chance most of us will be left with a blind second. Nothing to worry about once at this large green a par is possible for the high handicappers but it is a hole that can cost you dearly as well.
Hole 3 – 266yds – Par 4
From the tee the green is behind the group of trees on the right of the photo, for the big hitters a drive that goes between the two tall trees could leave you on the green but if you don’t clear them your in trouble. For us normal players a simple drive straight of around 180yds should leave you on the dog leg and a pitch upto the raised green which has bunkers to the left hand side of it. This was the way I had planned to play it but my drive drifted to the right into the trees, all that I could do with my second was punch it out with a 6 iron and watch it get to the green (yippee) but then roll across the green ending up about 15yds past it (GRRR).
Hole 4 – 201yds – Par 3
As some of you may know I am not very good on par 3’s especially long ones like this one, however the tee is well above the green and I suspect there is a huge difference in club selection depending on your abilities from pitching wedge to 3 woods but beware of the hedgerow running all the way down on the right and you will not want to overhit the green. For me my trusty rescue wood came into play which put me nicely pin high just off to the left of the green. Even though I stood a good chance of a birdie or at least par I ended up with a bogey, I could get to like par 3’s if they were all like this one.
Hole 5 – 412yds – Par 4
The first long par 4 of the round, from the tee the fairway narrows to where the path crosses over a small brook leaving a good 150yds to the green. Landing anywhere on the fairway just short of the brook is the best choice which will leave you with the chance to go for the green in two. The least said about my play on this hole the better, two very nice gentlemen let me play through here and I duly put my drive into the base of the netting that you can't see just to the left of the photo, four shots later I eventually found the green and finished the hole as I started (badly) with three putts. Still it was a good hole and fun to play.
Hole 6 – 145yds – Par 3
A short par 3 with bunkers around the front and rough/lost ball if you overhit the green. I chickened out on this one and played to the left of the green as besides a couple of dips on the left there is no trouble to worry about, even I managed a par here but if I could hit consistently I would have gone for the green, this hole can reward you but also be very costly.
Hole 7 – 334yds – Par 4
I really liked this hole, from the previous green the 7th tee is some 100+ yds ahead of you and your drive will be playing back down alongside the 6th green so you can leave your trolley as I did (see photo), a wide fairway awaits your drive, as long as your not too far right a simple second to a large green awaits, even if you are right it may still be possible to get to the green but not if your in the hedgerow that runs down the right.
Hole 8 – 471yds – Par 5
A simple par 5, or so it seems, coming back in the opposite direction to the 7th with a hedgerow running all the way down the righthand side there should be no problem with a good drive but the reality is most of us will either visit the bunker on the righthand side of the fairway or the hedgerow, the other options will be hitting it too far left leaving you looking for a ball that you would have thought easy to find, or you will be on the fairway ready to take your second. The green sits in a little amphitheatre and may not be visible for your third shot. I miss hit my third and the ball went to the left of the green, cursing myself for the poor shot when I approached the green my ball was in the middle of the green reasonably close to the pin, so what should have been a birdie ended up a par due to a poor 1st putt. A good par 5, one that you will enjoy playing.
Hole 9 – 120yds – Par 3
A reasonably short par 3 this one, no real problems as long as you get over the ditch that is just short of the green, if you do go right the ground drops steeply down but it leaves you a better second than if you go left which will leave you on a steep bank going down to the green. A good par 3, even I enjoyed playing this one.
Hole 10 – 289yds – Par 4
A blind uphill shot on this hole, a big hitter could aim over the righthand side of the hedgerow that is on the left in the photo which could leave them on the green, for the rest aiming right of centre is probably the best line, this should leave you looking down to the green which has bunkers waiting on both sides so if you have taken that line it should leave a simple pitch to the green. In my case as I didn’t feel confident with my pitching so used a 6 iron and gave a easy punch shot to the green, as it drops down to it the pleasure of watching my ball roll down the fairway and onto the green was a joy.
Hole 11 – 366yds – Par 4
From the tee the fairway rises up, then down then upto the green, sounds easy but it also runs along the side of a steep slope from right to left. The photo does not show how steep the slope is, for me the best line was aiming at the group of trees on the right of the fairway and as luck had it the ball stayed on the fairway on the right hand side. Your second is to a green that you cannot see but there is a post in the fairway to give you the line to the green. Aim for getting on the green for three as that is a very good result for most of us, there will be the occasional animal that will get on in two.
Hole 12 – 382yds – Par 4
Running back alongside the 11th this is a pretty straightforward hole, keeping out of the trees to the right is good and will leave you with a shot to the green below you, depending on how far you have driven will dictate if you can see the green or not. Your second may seem easy but be careful as it is all downhill with hardly any room behind the green playing for the green may put you in trouble, I played as though the green was 20yds nearer so using two clubs less than what I normally do for the distance I watched the ball land then roll out of site until a few seconds later it reappeared rolling across the green.
Hole 13 – 295yds – Par 4
What a tricky hole this one is, well for me anyway. As you can see in the photo the fairway stretch’s out in front of you with a bunker on the right hand side in the distance, the green is just off to the right off the photo and way down below you, I wonder if the big hitters ever try to go for it because if they did they have all that rough between them and the green that goes down the right of the fairway. Either aim to be just short of the bunker that can be seen on the right of the photo or just to the left of it, this will leave you a downhill shot to the green.
Hole 14 – 128yds – Par 3
What a par 3 this one is, from the photo it looks easy but what you can’t see is surrounding the green is a brook and with the green down below the tee, many a ball has got wet, if you play short is can leave a difficult pitch as more likely than not your lie will be a steep downhill one.
Hole 15 – 260yds – Par 4
From the tee the fairway stretches out in front going up the hill and turning to the right with the green in the distance, most of us will probably end up in the rough on the right as if does slope that way, I ended up well right but fortunately it was still playable, one good thing from where I landed it was a short pitch upto the green as I had unintentionally cut the dog leg off. Stay left and get away with a par is a good result.
Hole 16 – 400yds – Par 4
I found this hole a little unusual, from the tee the green is out of sight far in the distance and it felt as though I was playing in a field not on a golf course. From the tee there is a marker post to aim for and it is all downhill to the corner on this one and I used a 3 wood that safely got me there. The second is or feels unusual as you have a narrow gap to play through, a wide brook to cross, the 17th hole to cross (so beware of players in front) to a green that is in the far corner of the the next field, like I said an unusual hole that could cost you a lot of shots.
Hole 17 – 470yds – Par 5
A wide open fairway that goes uphill and slopes right to left, from the tee the green is well out of sight, my line from the tee was aiming just left of the house on the top as I knew the ball would roll down the slope, a good second should leave you at or near the top of the hill and the green may be visible but more likely than not you will like me be short of the top leaving a blind third to the large green. As it is quite a slope down to the green I played a 8 iron instead of a six which as it turned out was a good choice as the ball rolled all the way down the slope to end up just short of the green.
Hole 18 – 260yds – Par 4
During the winter the tee for this hole is the otherside of the hedgerow that you can see in front of the photo, from there you can see the green and the water to the right of the fairway and may be reachable with a good drive but from the tee I played today a good straight drive is required, unfortunately mine wasn’t and drifted off to the right and ended up waking the sleeping ducks and geese, once the tee was reloaded I did hit the fairway leaving a pitch to the green, the only trouble is the water again but luck was with me. Once on the green which is on a slight slope so be careful with your line. A long walk around the driving range will take you back to the car park and a welcoming pint in the club house.