Review for Kington

Reviewer Score:


Kington Golf Club is located on the most spectacular little spot at the summit of Bradnor Hill adjacent to the Welsh border. Considering that it’s the highest eighteen-hole golf course in England and since this game was born on the linksland by the sea, its elevation alone wouldn’t make this the most natural location for a golf course. The mile long climbing stretch of single track driveway to get to the course is fairly treacherous, but there are some truly stunning views and Kington Golf Course - Photo by reviewer quite sublime golf to reward you of the journey once you reach your destination.

Firstly, ignore the sub-6,000 yards as an indicator of the examination you’ll receive at Kington, for it’s no push-over and local knowledge will be fundamental to scoring well. Wind aside, there are two primary forms of protection here, firstly the green surrounds where chunks of earth have been torn up to create bumps and craters that feel both natural and alien, if that description in itself isn’t a contradiction. Secondly, there’s the heavy bracken that lines every fairway, so accuracy from tee to green is key or you’ll need the mercurial touch of Seve Ballesteros if you’re hoping to make a score with creative recovery shots around these greens. Those amazing green complexes can also throw your ball way offline and there are times where you’ll feel downright hard done by with what you assumed to be a decent shot. There’s also hardly a level lie to be had.

There’s no hint that any attempt Kington Golf Course - Photo by reviewer has been made to flatten out the fairways as they’re made up of a collection of small but natural bumps. I suspect the sheep that roam these fairways have had a lot of influence in the lies you’ll receive and the general grooming of the land.

The holes themselves usually feature gradients of one type or the other. Blind drives are met with steep drop-offs with each hole expressing individuality whilst being isolated from the next. The driveable 18th in itself typifies Kington with the most amazing green that’s plonked onto a side-slope where the line of attack is high and left above the green whereby you’re left to watch and hope that your ball will tumble back into a sensible position.

I found the course to be in good condition also, something that often blights these common land courses; the greens rolled very nicely in mid-Summer and I’ve been reliably informed that the course maintains a similar high standard year-round. Kington’s a delight to play and should be on everyone’s radar as it’s a wonderfully unique experience and too much fun for me not to consider a revisit one day, so it’s well worth the excursion, even if it is in the back-end of nowhere.

Date: July 12, 2019

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