There’s no hiding the fact that the first few holes are new and to be frank I wasn’t particularly impressed with the start at Sherborne when we teed it up here bright and early in the morning last month. I was expecting an old-fashioned layout but found some modern looking holes with artificial mounding and few redeeming features among the openers.
Thankfully things improved as the round progressed and I liked the par five 6th where you drive through a chute of trees along a tree-lined fairway towards a front-to-back sloping green that’s protected by a quartet of bunkers, two short left and two right short of the putting surface.
The first of the three one shotters appears at #7. It’s a decent hole but pales into insignificance compared to the 9th where the elevated tee provides a daunting birds-eye view of the task at hand. Known as “Badger” the tee shot must carry across a terraced chasm, which resembles an old mine working. The back-to-front sloping green is offset to the tee and is hanging on the edge of a steep right to left slope. Two bunkers, one left and one right guard the entrance. It’s a striking hole that would grace any Top 100 golf course.
#10 plays parallel to the 9th in the opposite direction and it’s a solid two shotter. An inviting downhill tee shot on #12, with its tee next to the pro shop, is a tough two-shot hole measuring around 450 yards. The fairways slopes markedly from right to left on this dogleg right and there’s no doubt that a par here will feel like a birdie for most golfers.
I simply loved the one-shot 15th across a little valley to a green benched into the hillside and enjoyed the short par four 17th, but I definitely didn’t enjoy the precipitous closing hole which has no redeeming features whatsoever.
All things told, Sherborne is a decent course and there’s not much to choose (apart from the much superior conditioning) between it and the nearby Old course at Yeovil. If you’re looking for a great value, no frills, double-dunt in Dorset, you could certainly do a lot worse.
Date: July 23, 2019