A visit to Blackwell is a step back in time. The clubhouse has old-school class and this is complimented with friendly service and welcoming members who were keen to chat over a post round drink about our thoughts on the course and were it sits in comparison to its contemporaries. They are proud of their club and rightly so for the course itself is fully of character and charm.
Blackwell is a short and testing rolling Parkland course that seems a push over at 6260 yards but is anything but. In fact our tee time fell just before a Masters Pro Tour event and only 3 of the field broke Par. The course opens up with a lovely uphill Par 4, where the tee box sits right outside the clubhouse bar window. You can feel the eyes on you as you send one on it’s way. Luckily the fairway is generous and most tee shots should sail over the brow and on it’s way.
The two standout features of course are the greens and the superb bunkering. I struggle to think of a Parkland course that’s standard is so elevated by the quality of its bunkering than Blackwell. They haven’t just been thrown in for visual effect, but add to the strategic element of the course. The greens are one of Blackwell’s main defences and finding the right part with your approach is the key to scoring well, as there are not many where you will find a flat lie.
There are a number of quality holes across the course, the 3rd being a cracking uphill Par 4 with a tight driving line, but it’s the run of holes from 8-13 which offers one good hole after another, with my personal favourite being the downhill Par 3 13th played over a creek and a bastion of bunkers into another tricky green. In fact, all the Par 3s are excellent with the signature 9th being on view from arrival, playing over a pretty pond and whetting the appetite for the round ahead.
I left with a real fondness for Blackwell. It’s got charm in abundance, keeps your attention through 18 holes and spreads out its quality holes. Whilst at its essence it’s a good Parkland track, it’s features have elevated Blackwell to one of the country’s finest Parkland courses.
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Date: September 07, 2021