Located a few miles north of Derby, Chevin Golf Club was instigated in 1894, with the initial course laid out as a 9-holer by William Lowe, the professional at Buxton & High Peak and brother of George Lowe who fashioned the original course at Royal Lytham & St Annes. The inauguration of the layout was marked by an exhibition match between James Braid and Tom Williamson on 13th October 1894.
It’s a pleasing mix of mature parkland holes and gorse-flanked fairways, providing an enjoyable, if rather strenuous, day’s golf. Extending to just over 6,000 yards and playing to a par of 70, the course features only two par fives, at holes 10 and 18 on the back nine. The signature hole is regarded as the 8th (“Tribulation”), a tight par four rated stroke index 3.
Former club member Melissa Reid won a number of important amateur titles (including the English Girls’ Championship in 2005 and 2005, along with the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2007) before turning professional. She’s since won a number of events on both the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour.
Chevin GC is a very pleasant, well maintained and conditioned short course. I say short as its only 6000 yards but, it is hilly so it does give you a real work out. Its a mixture of parkland with some holes further up the hillside more of a heathland feel, with oak and silver birch a plenty, gorze and bracken.
After a flat start through holes 1 and 2, you then play increasingly up the hillside, the holes playing along the sides of the slope for holes 3 thru 7. These holes play around holes 15 and 16.
The pick of the holes in this 1st section are holes 6 and 7. 6 is a short par 4, played blind, only 247 yards. I took driver and was pleasantly pleased to find my ball on the green, no mean feat given i didnt really know where i was going or the fact that the green is surrounded by a dry moat and bunkers to the front.
The 7th, par 3, 136 yards is played from a high tee behind the 6th green and iver a drystone wall to a green higher than the tee and protected by bunkers to the front and left.
Dry stone walls feature alot in the course, as the course wends it was through what would have been fields over a century ago. A nostalgic feeling indeed. Notably the drystone wall flanking the left side of the 8th and the right side of 9th do come into play.
The 8th is called tribulation and this hole and 9 are straight uphill. The 8th is a tough tee shot. Uphill, narrow landing strip, anything right is down a steep hill into woodland and anything left up against the wall. The 9th equally, whilst short continues the climb. I took driver to a 286 yard hole, saw the ball land and take a severe right bounce iver the wall and oob!
After this severe test of your lungs and stamina, you get to play across the top.of the hill for the bext 3 holes, and 3 really good holes they are. The 1st par 5 is at 10, playing to a raised green but reachable.in 2, its protection being cross fairway bunkers and a deceptively long green.
The 3rd par 3 at the 11th is short - all the 4 par 3s are. But it is pretty and set nicely amongst the trees. The 12th has a real heathland feel to it, a gentle sweeping right to left hole, one which looks good to the eye and allows you to really open your shoulders up. At 451 yards, its a good par 4 and finishes off the quality 3 holes along the hilltop.
After this you start your gentle descent with a short par 4 and then the last of the par 3s, the longest at 161 yards, the green cut into the hillside with trouble all right as the land falls away.
The 15th and 16th are back into the same land as the early part of the round as you play down and then back along the hillside.
Having wandered through a gate into what would have been another field in times gone by, you're faced with a downhill 17th. It doesn't fit in visually with the rest of the course. You can tell that a parcel of farmland has been purchased and the 17th changed from a very sharp dog leg left, to a more gentle right to left. Trees have been planted on the new extension and in time it will no doubt start to blend in. Off the tee you can go for the driver and look to drive the brook, or take a hybrid or iron and lay up short to stay dry but leave a longer 2nd to what is now an uphill green.
And then the last, a par 5 18th, played back on the flat valley floor, it played shorter than its yardage. The clubhouse and spectators sit directly behind the green, so no thinning your approach!
It ends like it starts, slightly under whelming, but the middle section of holes 6 - 12 make it all very worthwhile
A friendly welcome waited for us in the clubhouse and restaurant, which has now i understand been taken over by the local Italian owners and if the smell was anything to go by, the food should be excellent.
I'm glad i played this course. A throwback to days gone by. It was well conditioned and maintained, there was alot of attention to detail plainly visible and some of the quirky holes made the course a pleasure to play.