Torquay Golf Club
Played on 22.02.2022
Weather & Course Condition
Played this course the same day that they had reopened after two terrible storms had passed through over a period of five days causing both Torquay and most other clubs to close for a number of days, even though the day prior to my visit was a more quiet day weatherwise they had remained closed to clear the course up from all the debris and fallen trees which the greenstaff should have a big pat on the back for all their hard work. Even though there was no rain when I started the round there was very strong winds and during the day a number of heavy squalls passed through.
From Torquay you need to drive through to Babbacombe and follow the road to Shaldon as you drive out of Babbacombe you’ll pass the model village, at the next roundabout turn right and the clubhouse is about 150yds after the turn on the left, there is a small car park in front of the clubhouse but there is also a overspill car park if instead of turning right at the roundabout you turn left and immediately right into the car park, there is a underpass to the clubhouse which is only a couple of minutes walk from here. The pro shop is separate from the clubhouse which oozes character and is welcoming, a friendly atmosphere was felt and the members were very welcoming to me and pointed out that I needed to go round the corner to order food and not at the well equipped bar, the food was faultless and quickly brought to my table and very reasonably costed. The pro shop was not as well stocked as I would have expected but that is to be expected as the new pro there had only just started after Dan Hendrickson had left to follow his youtube career. My only negative was I did not feel as though I had value for money as even though I had a county card it was quite expensive and as the first three holes were closed due to the recent weather conditions and having taken directions to the fourth tee which actually took us to the fifth tee did not reflect good value for the fee charged, I’m sure this would had been different had the course been opened fully but I can only comment on the day of my visit.
Hole by Hole Analysis
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 5 – 356yds – Par 4
My starting hole for today a straightforward hole with like most of the other holes here is lined down both sides with trees, my drive was not my best and went high and over the trees on the right onto the fourth fairway, from this position I had to decide whether to knock it back onto the correct fairway or play up the fourth fairway, opting for the latter I hit what I thought was a good 5 iron but it caught the trees just short right of the green leaving a difficult knock upto the green which my skill level was not good enough and duly ended up on the bank short of the green however a surprising pitch left me near to the pin.
Hole 6 – 340yds – Par 4
From the tee the hole gentle rises up to the green which can’t be seen, A straight shot is required and not let it drift to the right where you may not get a second shot or a very difficult one. With everything crossed my drive went pretty well and stopped around 230yds short of the green so not a long drive but at least I was on the fairway. A blind second shot with my rescue left me about 80yds short of the green and a poor pitch which left me just off the front of it was forgotten after my putt to the pin which was right at the back ended up close to the hole.
Hole 7 – 389yds – Par 4
Looking up the fairway from the tee you could see a fallen tree on the lefthand side and remnants of others on the right which was the result of the storms that had passed through causing the course to be closed for a number of days. Once again the green is not visible from the tee box, your drive needs to go straight up the middle or even to the left of the fairway and my drive duly went off to the right and landed amongst the trees, fortunately it was quite open and my trusted rescue wood flew the ball over the trees in front and on line with the pin leaving me around 70yds short of the green. With the pin near the back of the green I selected my 8 iron with the plan to chip it onto the front of the green and let it roll to the pin, in reality I thinned it and it flew across the green just missing the pin and ended up some 20yds past it in the rough, somehow I managed to get up and down in two much to my surprise.
Hole 8 – 266yds – Par 4
A short par 4 with the green hidden behind the trees on the right in the picture, the low handicappers could go for the green in one but for the likes of myself and even with a strong wind behind me the wide open fairway was my only choice and getting a good contact with the ball I marvelled at how high it went and ended up in the rough on the right about 110yds short of the green. Opting for the 9 iron for my second I decided to go straight at the green and although it was a very good shot it just caught the top of the last tree and dropped just short of the green under said tree. That said I was more than happy to record a bogey here.
Hole 9 – 160yds – Par 3
A lovely par 3 this one, the green is below you from the tee with 4 bunkers waiting around the green for your ball, having just acquired a Ping 5 wood I thought this might be a good time to try it out and surprisingly I hit it quite well and ended up pin high just off the green to the right with a bunker to play over for my second. I did manage to pitch over the bunker onto the green but could get no check on the ball and it left me a long way from the hole but after two putts that’s where the ball ended up.
Hole 10 – 295yds – Par 4
This is probably the easiest par 4 here and I’m sure many players get on the green or even over it with their tee shot even a high handicapper like me could possibly reach it in the summer as it is all downhill from the tee meaning a reasonably good shot with a long roll may get you there. Would love to say that is what I did but in fact I hit a poor tee shot which ended up only half way to the hole in the rough on the right, mind my second was reasonable leaving a chip onto the green which ended up at the back of it which left me with a putt of 40ft for par, against all odds I did make par.
Hole 11 – 422yds – Par 4
From just behind the 10th green is the 11th tee, the fairway stretches gently uphill with trees on both sides then it turns slightly left to the green tucked in the corner and unseen from the tee. Hitting one of my best tee shots of the day my ball landed off the fairway on the righthand side, although it was in a very grassy hollow it was better than losing it too far left where it could have been lost. Happy to see my second shot from this lie progress some 130yds up the left side of the fairway and my pitch ended up just off the left of the green. Good hole this one but one word of warning is that the 12th is to the left of the green and there can be players teeing off over your fairway or walking just behind the green so be aware.
Hole 12 – 152yds – Par 3
Great par 3 this one but as the wind was from behind me and quite strong the correct club selection did make my head hurt, normally I would have chosen a 7 iron but today due to the wind I opted for a 9 iron with the hope it wouldn’t land in any of the bunkers that lay in waiting around the front of the green. Against all odds I struck the ball better than expected just a shame my alignment wasn’t as good as my strike because I ended up pin high just past the temporary green to the right of the green, with confidence I opted for my 60 degree wedge to pitch on as I had been executing this shot well all day. This time however I thinned it and watched my ball whistle across the green and ended up some 15yds the other side of it, my only saving grace is I did get up and down in 2 from this spot.
Hole 13 – 526yds – Par 5
From the tee the fairway goes gently downhill to the green way in the distance and is lined both sides by trees, no problem for the more skilled and big drivers but for me all I could see from the tee is a great big tree on the exact line I wanted to take and not being a long driver the thought of clearing this tree concerned me, so trying to put it out of my mind I let rip and the ball flew high and on a perfect line over the tree much to my relief, well for a few seconds anyway as it just caught a small branch right at the top of tree and dropped like a stone leaving me in a terrible lie so just getting back on the fairway would be hard. Eventually after a number of strokes I arrived at the green which has water to the left of it so better to be right of the green if you don’t land on it than to the left, as expected after a poor tee shot I ended up with a double bogey but I’ll take condolence in the fact there has probably been worse scores than this recorded here.
Hole 14 – 153yds – Par 3
Another good par 3, as a side note I must say the par 3’s here are a really good challenge for all level’s of players, they are not too long which lets the higher handicappers have a chance on reaching the greens in one and tricky enough for the lower handicappers to give them a good test. As you can see there is plenty of water in front of you from the tee, this may put you off or not, in my case it used to make me try to hit the ball harder and most likely the ball would get wet, nowadays my approach is that I can easily clear the water with a wedge so hitting a 6 iron will be good and with that thought in my mind I completely forget there is water in front of me. The green is slightly raised and protected by four bunkers to the front of it, my 7 iron tee shot was not to well hit and although it went high I did pull it left which left me slightly blocked off from the green behind the tall trees so just knocking it back out and pitching up to the green I then followed up with a 15ft one putt, I’m putting that down to the lovely greens rather than any skill I may have.
Hole 15 – 371yds – Par 4
A straight slightly uphill hole lined once again on both sides by trees so a reasonably straight drive needed. Not hitting the greatest of tee shots this time at least I was on the left side of the fairway and a reasonable second left me just short of the green which like a number of other holes is protected by 4 bunkers, two on either side. I was pleased to get on this large green in 3 but a little disappointed in 2 putting.
Hole 16 – 359yds – Par 4
This hole runs back down alongside the previous hole, from the tee you will see a few fairway bunkers that are about 65 – 70yds in front of the green and big hitters may well find them, as for me they are way out of my distance but could be an issue for my second which as it happens they were as I managed to find one of them. Normally I would have opted for my 50 degree wedge but decided to go with the sand wedge as I hadn’t brought it just to walk it around the course. Managing to clear the lip of the bunker I was more than pleased to end up nearly pin high just right of the green however it was in quite long grass and it took me more shots from here to get it in the hole than it did to get here, that’s one hole I will forget.
Hole 17 – 256yds – Par 4
Heading back up towards the clubhouse and with a path to the left of the fairway and further up the range this short par 4 was a welcome sight after the last hole. My tee shot went straight up the middle and I ended up on the green in two so a par was on the cards but the excitement caused me to make a right mess of putting and 3 putts was recorded on the card.
Hole 18 – 150yds – Par 3
A straightforward hole that is played in front of the clubhouse which is to the lefthand side so try not to put your tee shot that way as I don’t think they would appreciate a golf ball joining them in the bar. Another thing to be aware of you will be playing across the first fairway as their tee is also just to left before the clubhouse so be aware of players who may be walking from the tee box. Out of character I opted for the driver instead of my rescue or 6 iron which I probably would have normally used, as it was my tee shot ended up just short and right of the green and with relief I was more than pleased with the result.