There are few experiences in golf that can arouse as many emotions as the Church Course at Saint Enodoc.
First of all, the place itself is gorgeous, overlooking Daymer Bay and its turquoise waters that, on clear days, offer a striking contrast to the green fairways.
And, apart from that, and even above the landscape, the course, especially its first holes, manage to transport the golfer to a real carousel of emotions. Thus, from the fantastic initial par 5 the way in which each hole exceeds the previous one I can only compare it with the way in which a top chef succeeds to surprise us with every dish, making all of this a unique experience.
According to my experience, reduced to two rounds on consecutive days, the 9 holes in, except for the last 3, are clearly inferior to the first 9, and, without being bad holes at all, they fail to reach the level of the previous ones.
The round starts in a stellar fashion: a par 5 on a rugged fairway, where the second shot is blind to a gully and only once you have reached this spot can you see the green. And, from there on, the succession of spectacular holes is amazing: the 3rd is a long par 4 all the way downhill towards a green protected well behind a stone fence; the 4th consists in a strategic par 4 whose short length should not deceive us, since the danger lurks in each shot (although it is also a clear opportunity to birdie if played correctly); the 6th stands out for its gigantic Himalaya bunker; and the 8th is a short but delicious par 3.
Regarding the 6th hole, I might have found the best way to play it: a hooked drive to the left of the path allowed me the simplest of the possible second shots to the green, with a perfect view of it and from a more favorable angle. From there, an iron 8 slightly leaning to the right, before the attentive look of some hikers, allowed me for an easy but celebrated 4.
As for the controversial hole 10, maybe my personal experience determines my opinion of it (an accumulated 13 strokes in 2 days), but I found it excessively penal. It´s a hole that imposes a severe penance on the slightest sin ... perhaps the proximity of the chapel of Saint Enodoc to its green has something to do with it.
From there, the tone drops somewhat in the holes 11, 12 and 13, although the views from the 14th tee come to compensate. On the other hand, I especially liked the 14th hole and its green and, from there, the end of the round returns to take us to the linksy terrain and offers some spectacular holes: the 16th, that, due to its abrupt descent, reminded me of the 8th at Dornoch; the 17th, a brutal but charming par 3 that asks for a long and accurate tee shot, or the 18th, which is definitely at the height of the course. In fact, the second shot in this hole, to a well-defended green, was one of the most memorable moments of the round.
Maybe the only aspect that did not live up to my expectations was the condition of some fairways, something below the standard for a course of this quality, but the greens were in an impeccable form.
When comparing this course with someone else I have played, Cruden Bay comes to mind, because of the feeling of adventure that both inspire me.
Definitely, I would recommend this course to any golfer eager for a different (and more than stimulating) experience.
Date: July 05, 2019