Stonebridge G.C.
05.10.18

Weather & Course Condition

A great day to play a round, dry with light wind and the occasional visit of the sun. Course was in good condition but some of the fairway’s were a little longer than normal, but in their defence there had been heavy rain just before my visit and I’m sure that must have been a surge in the growth of the grass and the greenkeepers were out mowing as I was playing. Greens were large and well looked after and no complaints about the bunkers I visited.

Review

Having dropped the family off at Birmingham airport it was no more than a five minute drive to the course, turning off the main road it is a long drive passing the driving range on your left with the clubhouse on the right to a large car park. Entering the clubhouse the pro shop is found to your right and is well stocked, in fact it is that well stocked that when I booked in there were 3 other players in there leaving little room to move about. The club has 3 nine hole courses and you can play any two to make up your round, I played the Somers which has wide fairways and is good for beginners or high handicapper’s followed by the Hampton which is more of a challenge as your tee shots need to be more accurate and course planning is more important, a good challenge for the better players.

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Hole by Hole Analysis
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s

Hole 1 – 341yds – Par 4
From the tee a wide fairway is waiting for you, to the right is a large lake and the fairway does roll towards it so aim for the lefthand side of the fairway unless you are a long driver and you can go straight up the middle. Left with a 9 iron for my second to a large green that is slightly elevated left me on the front of the large green. A good first hole to settle you in to the round.

Hole 2 – 353yds – Par 4

From the tee you will see two large fairway bunkers waiting for your drive, the best line is towards the marker post to the left of them and not over them as once passed them the fairway dips down and everything rolls to the right into the rough where I found myself. Once again there is a large green waiting for you so a good drive should let you get par or even better.

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Hole 2 approach to the green

View from the two bunkers to the green

Hole 3 – 445yds – Par 5

From the tee a good drive should get you to the slight dogleg left corner followed by a good second should leave you in a position to go for the green, however be aware there are a number of bunkers right in front of the green so prudence is your best friend and play your third short of the green to give you an opportunity for par unless you feel you can clear the bunkers and keep the ball on a smaller green than the first two.

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Hole 3 view of green

View from the dog leg to the green

Hole 4 – 138yds – Par 3

With bunkers front left and right of this green being the only danger it is worth going for it as there is plenty of room all around the green for a slightly wayward shot.

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Hole 5 – 474yds – Par 4

From the 4th it’s a long walk to this tee, follow the path that goes down alongside the driveway with the first fairway to your left you will then need to cross the drive when your near the 1st tee to get to the 5th tee. Once again a fairly easy hole with a wide fairway that leads you straight to the green in the distance with no issues unless you drift too far left, and if you go to far right onto the 6th fairway you should still be able to recover without too much problem.

Hole 6 – 498yds – Par 5

Another straight hole with a wide fairway, only thing to be aware of is the fairway bunker on the lefthand side of the fairway waiting for your drive. Other than that as long as you stay on the wide fairway a easy par 5.

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Hole 7 – 523yds – Par 5

This is a more challenging par 5 to the previous one, a longer hole with trouble lining each side of the fairway and as can be seen in the picture a large tree in front of the green that is tucked just behind it and slightly to the right. Two good shots and no going in the fairway bunkers should ideally leave you on the lefthand side of the fairway with a shot to the green, but that’s enough of the dreaming where if like me if took three shots that left me just off to the right of the fairway and too close to the tree to rule out trying to go over it to the green. Left with two options of either knocking out to the left back onto the fairway or my favourite a little punch shot with my 3 wood under the branches to the green, taking the second option and with a little bit of luck I made it to the large green.

Hole 8 – 113yds – Par 3

A short par 3 that has no issues if you hit a straight tee shot and most should be able to get a par on this one.

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Hole 9 – 290yds – Par 4

The final hole of the Somer course and probably the most challenging due to the water and ditch that is where most of us will put our drives, If your unsure if you can clear it then make sure you end up short of it and not like me deciding I could clear it if I give it some, which I did, gave it some and ended up inches short of the ditch to the right of the water. Once over this hazard the rest is relatively easy with the green just in front of the clubhouse.

Hole 10 – 347yds – Par 4

From the 9th green finding the 10th (the first of the Hampton course) is where I got a little confused as the signage is a little lacking, fortunately for me there was two locals who pointed out where my next tee was and told me I wasn’t the first to have had this problem.
Another straightforward hole with a nice large green waiting, nice easy hole but from here on in it gets more challenging.

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Hole 11 – 146yds – Par 3

Depending on how far back the tee has been set, good club selection is required here with bunkers around the green this is a good par 3.

Hole 12 – 305yds – Par 4

Trees to the left, water to the right, means a straight drive is required and if achieved a what looks like a simple shot to the green is left, but beware just short of the green a ditch runs across the fairway and you may not see it which is what happened to me leaving me taking four to get on the large green.

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Hole 13 – 214yds – Par 3

A long par 3 that is pretty easy for the big hitters, there are probably many that can’t hit a driver this far, deciding to keep the drive straight I elected for my 3 wood which duly sailed pretty straight ending up just short of the green, the less said of my next four! Shots least said.

Hole 14 – 337yds – Par 4

After crossing the lane from the 13th you come to the 14th tee, as you can see from the photo if your not driving straight this could be a fun hole but not for the good. Taking aim at the bunker on the right hand side in the distance it’s a hit and hope for me, luckily the ball went reasonably straight and landed on the lefthand side of the fairway. If like me you can’t see the green I advise you walk up the fairway to note where the green is as right at the back of the green is water waiting for any overhit shot, for me as I had duffed my second I was left with a simple chip and run onto the green and took two putt’s. Happy with this result but still kicked myself for not getting par.

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Hole 15 – 153yds – Par 3

A simple uphill par 3, needing to carry ditch and bunkers in front of green and with a bank behind the green you know hitting the green is on the cards but in reality the sensible shot for us high handicappers is to play just short of the bunkers leaving a short pitch onto the green and hopefully a par or at the worst a bogey. Deciding on my rescue wood and not giving it full welly would be the shot for me, bad choice as completely duffed and just cleared the ditch some 50yds in front of me, however my 2nd did get me on the good sized green and a bogey was recorded. Just a note when you are going upto this green be aware of players who are playing one of the other 9 hole course as their wayward tee shot can be coming your way as happened on my visit.

Hole 16 – 329yds – Par 4

Interesting hole this one, your line is straight at the pole ahead of you, you do not want to overhit on this one as beyond the pole is a small landing area leaving you on a dog leg left to the green. My advise is to use a 3 wood which put me on the small landing area leaving me a short pitch to the large green, had I used my driver I suspect I would have landed either on the right of the fairway and in trouble or would have gone past the dog leg, both could have given me a lost ball.

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Hole 17 – 338yds – Par 4

Lovely looking hole this one, from the tee it drops down over a ditch then bears slightly left and uphill to a large green. Standing on the tee and knowing that my drives don’t go where I plan them to go left me slightly worried as to the left is lost ball territory and to the right could mean a hack out if ball can be found, this time however my drive sailed away in a straight line but rolled off to the right of the fairway. Deciding that as I still had around 160yds to go and being uphill the 3 wood was taken, hoping to miss all the bunkers and to reach the green which has banks to the sides of it I let rip, for once a good strike and the ball flew long and straight, well straight to the top of the bank to the right of the green which has a number of small bushes etc on it and just my luck it decided to stop just behind one of them and then pulled the grass over it. One club I carry and it only cost me £10 many years ago is a 65 degree wedge which I love and it’s got me out of some sticky situations many times (as long as I don’t thin it) Slightly opening the club face and a full swing dug the ball out of the grass and it sent it immediately vertical clearing the bush easily and landing just the other side of it, but as it landed on the bank caused the ball to bounce forward and roll to the far side of the green.

Hole 18 – 377yds – Par 4

From the 17th it’s a good walk that crosses a lane past the 13th green and about 100yds further on is the 18th green. From this tee the fairway gentle goes uphill to the large green, with a wide fairway you should not have much trouble with this finishing hole, unlike yours truly who duly put over the first group of trees on the right to stop just behind another group some 50yds further on. A large green awaits your second without too much trouble around leaving a short walk to the car park and clubhouse.

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Devon. England

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