Set at the end of a quarter of a mile wooded driveway, NGC is a very pleasant golf course. Laid out over very flat land, this tree lined course was maintained in immaculate condition and presented very well. A mix of parkland cum woodland cum heathland touches, the fairways were generous in width and the rough, both 1st and 2nd cuts, not penal at all. Infact this would be a criticism. The wispy grass rough was thin and so even if your ball did find it, there was not much of a penalty. You also had to be pretty inaccurate off the tee for the myriad of birch, oak and pine trees to have an impact.
And thats why the course is simply pleasant. Flat, easy walking but not enough of a challenge for the lower handicapper in my opinion.
Whilst you could crouch down and look under the tree branches across multiple fairways, especially on the front 9, you didn't feel that you were playing a typical open parkland course, and each hole did have a sense of isolation.
There are few stand out holes, much is the similarity of the hole design. Like Thetford and Market Rasen that i have played recently, i am a fan of woodland and heavy tree lined/framed courses, but like those 2 courses it is like by having woodland the designers struggled to bring in much originality and challenge into each hole.
The pick of the holes for me was the 1st ( a good long but straight par 4 opener, with trees on the right encroaching slightly to catch any errant drive), 3rd ( a gentle dog leg right, where taking the corner on is rewarded by a very short iron to a receptive green, sloping back to front), 11th (best of the par 5s with the fairway slightly obscured by trees from the tee) and 16th, an excellent long par 4 sweeping to the right, a hole with heather and a more heathland feel to it.
There are also 2 sharp dog legs on the back 9. The 14th which is a short hole but the dog leg is 90 degrees sharp left, leaving a few dilemmas off the tee. The 18th is also a dog leg left. You can take driver but a wood or long iron is a wise choice so not to be blocked out by the trees on the right hand side.
The greens were true alhough not quick, the bunkers consistent in terms of sand, the fairways ran hard and fast given the lack of rain recently.
The club has a good practice facilities which you pass on the way in, the number of juniors playing and practicing was very encouraging and nice to see, the clubhouse was lively. This is a club that appears to be doing well.
I'd recommend playing if you're in the area and now having played all the courses on the Top 100 listing for Nottinghamshire, would say its ranking is right. Like i said at the beginning a pleasant course to play on a sunny day. Whats not to like?
Date: August 30, 2021