Pennard Golf Club; golfing whiplash
I have heard much of Pennard 'The links in the sky'. The club very generously donated the balance of my green fees to Alzheimer's Society. Thank you. Total raised over this weekend from green fees alone was £280
Another lovely day but again the wind was in the ‘wrong’ direction which kept us on our tired toes. I am always alarmed by understated comments in the yardage book. 'A strong opening hole’ (written when the wind is supposed to be helping you) does not inspire confidence. Bogey is a satisfactory start; a poor drive, and second, a lucky, linksy, punchy shot saved the day. Two gets more links like but was played to a temporary green. Three is a fine dogleg leading to a fast green.
On five the book says 'Miss the green and you will struggle to make par'. Not wrong there. The sixth tee commands excellent views and demands a shot over the valley and up the hill with a tight approach to the green between hillocks. A very satisfying hole to get right. Seven runs towards the much photographed castle. Inevitably our shots, after teetering on the top of the green rolled down to the back. Both of us got down in two from there. Testament to true greens and natural born talent, or luck, as it is more commonly expressed.
Nine is a good dogleg left that also provided a source of relief when a group for seniors called it a day. There must have been four groups jack-knifing behind them. Such a pity. And although a few groups, kindly, called us through thereafter we were Goldilocks golfers’ too slow … and then too fast’. Like motorway traffic that is slowed then speeded up as rubberneckers gawp at misfortune on the opposite carriageway. Golfing whiplash. Two balls only? Certainly never more than 3.
I enjoyed 10, especially my second ball, par. It is an inviting drive and a tough uphill approach. 11 was played into the wind, two balls were found on the green and two putts were made. Two happy golfers. 180 yards over a chasm into the wind and onto a narrow green. 12 is not long with the hillside protecting the green, 13 is another long par three and we rushed again. 14 is a good dogleg and the green is not easily reached. Breathless again for the short 15.
16 is the signature hole; glorious views and a slightly fortunate par as the wind was in our favour. The wind gave me no favours on the contrapuntal 17th. Too much gorse for me.
18: ‘probably the hardest fairway to hit'. I will tell you when I do. Happy to walk off with a bogey.
Despite a significant number of blind shots the views of the course and castle open wide your eyes. It is undoubtedly a tough test of golf and worth the trip. It would be interesting to play from Braids original tees some of which are marked in the yardage book to see the challenge he set.
The greens, protected by electric fencing from bored cattle were fast and true, many green settings were links like but it wasn't really links land. The overall feel was not of links. A very special clifftop course but not in the final summation a links course.