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Ely City

Ely City

Ely, England
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Ely, England
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  • Address107A Cambridge Rd, Ely CB7 4HX, UK

The origins of Ely City Golf Club go back to the late 1950s when a group of local businessmen bought a 36-acre parcel of land (formerly the site of an old prisoner of war camp at Barton Field) located just off the Cambridge Road on the southern outskirts of the historic cathedral city.

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“With much volunteer help and machinery, the ‘home-made’ nine was opened for play on 14 April 1962.” Wrote David Hamilton in The Golfers Guide to East Anglia . “By the late 1960s, a wooden clubhouse had been erected and in 1971 it was agreed to approach the Church Commissioners for extra land to provide a practice area. The ensuing negotiations ended in the purchase of a further 62 acres to extend the course to 18 holes. This was when [Henry] Cotton arrived on the scene and the completion of his work by Golf Landscapes of Brentwood led to the opening in the summer of ’73 and the exhibition match.”

This normally quiet and genteel corner of East Anglia was buzzing when Lee Trevino (the 1972 Open champion) turned up with the Claret Jug for an exhibition match against Hugh Baiocchi, which Trevino won by one shot with a score of 66.

“Since those days Ely has improved every year as the trees have matured until today when it is a joy to play,” continues David Hamilton. “At 6,627 yards off the back tees (6,348 from the yellows), par 72, is as Cotton described it more than 30 years ago. ‘Golfers go miles to play a good course and at Ely there are many good holes.’ The maestro’s favourites were arguably the key holes you’d pick today. The short 2nd at 160 yards from the back over a pond is perhaps the prettiest hole on the course, while the 387-yard 14th is uphill to a tricky green. This is stroke index two, indicating that it needs some thought and where the second shot must be from the right of the fairway.”

Undoubtedly Ely City’s mature parkland course is a real pleasure to play, but both accuracy and solid ball striking are the keys to carding a low score on this compact and easy-walking layout.

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