St Enodoc (Church) - Cornwall - England

St Enodoc Golf Club,
Rock,
Wadebridge,
Cornwall,
PL27 6LD,
England


  • +44 (0) 1208 862200

  • Golf Club Website

  • 4 miles NW of Wadebridge

  • Contact in advance – handicap certificate required



Some Cornish people regard Cornwall not as a county of England, but a Celtic independent province. Not wishing to offend anybody we will simply say that Cornwall is a beautiful part of the British Isles, a place where the influence of the sea is everywhere.

The golf course at St Enodoc Golf Club is no exception. It’s located at the royal sailing town of Rock, the links overlooking the Camel Estuary and the picturesque harbour of Padstow beyond. The Church course at St Enodoc takes its name from the tiny 13th century place of worship that stands to the right of the 10th green. In the middle of the 19th century, a fierce storm completely covered the church in sand and it was eventually extricated in 1863.

Although St Enodoc Golf Club was founded in 1891, it didn’t really become notable until James Braid refashioned the course in 1907. In his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, Bernard Darwin wrote: “Cornwall has several pleasant courses… of these, St Enodoc is a course of wonderful natural possibilities and actual virtues as well.”

In the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses, authors John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming had this to say: “The course was altered in 1922 by another hand, the new 8th hole being added and construction of the 11th and 12th in place of the 11th, 12th and 13th. Later, Tom Simpson built a new 6th, which is the 5th on the modern course. Further work was necessary in 1935 because a new clubhouse had to be built to accommodate the increased number of golfers, due to motor cars. Braid was invited to construct a new 17th in place of the 18th and reversed the 1st to make a new 18th. The holes were then renumbered.”

St Enodoc is certainly a quixotic and rather hilly links course, set amidst towering sand dunes clad with tufts of wild sea grasses.

"Seaside Golf" by John Betjemen

How straight it flew, how long it flew,
It clear'd the rutty track
And soaring, disappeared from view
Beyond the bunker's back -
A glorious, sailing, bounding drive
That made me glad I was alive.

And down the fairway, far along
It glowed a lonely white;
I played an iron sure and strong
And clipp'd it out of sight,
And spite of grassy banks between
I knew I'd find it on the green.

And so I did. It lay content
Two paces from the pin;
A steady putt and then it went
Oh, most surely in.
The very turf rejoiced to see
That quite unprecedented three.

Ah! Seaweed smells from sandy caves
And thyme and mist in whiffs,
In-coming tide, Atlantic waves
Slapping the sunny cliffs,
Lark song and sea sounds in the air
And splendour, splendour everywhere.

The fairways undulate and ripple just as if the sea had ebbed only moments ago. We have to confess – this is one of our favourite links courses because the terrain is entirely natural. The dunes are so pronounced that you cannot help but feel humbled, the holes are varied and the experience stirs the soul.

There are many great holes here at St Enodoc, but the 6th is a bit of a collector’s item, a hole of absolute uniqueness, a blind drive followed by a blind mid iron second shot which must carry over a confrontational sand dune called “Himalayas”. This stands some 100 yards out, guarding the hidden green. Let’s be honest, this is an enormous dune, worthy of its name, rising up over 75 feet high. Make sure you get your club selection right and that you strike the ball cleanly! The 10th is also an unusual hole, apparently one of Peter Alliss’ favourites. The hole follows a natural ravine and requires a solid drive from an elevated tee across a valley to a pencil thin rippling fairway below.

If your ball happens to come to rest in the churchyard after a wayward shot, keep an eye out for John Betjeman’s headstone. The Poet Laureate lies buried amidst his favourite seaside course. After a rare birdie on the 13th, he penned his famous poem “Seaside Golf”.

There is a hint of moorland and an inland flavour to some of the holes, especially those surrounding the church, but this simply provides variation. We could go on, but alas we wouldn’t want to spoil all the other lovely surprises that are in store for you here at St Enodoc.

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Reviews for St Enodoc (Church)

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Description: St Enodoc Golf Club is certainly a quixotic and rather hilly links course, set amidst towering sand dunes clad with tufts of wild sea grasses. Rating: 8.6 out of 10 Reviews: 79
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Niall
St Enodoc could be one of the world’s best courses if the holes around the church could be softened in some way. These holes are severe and not up to the incredibly high standard of the rest of the course. That said, this is one of the most exciting, brutally tough and at times awkward courses I’ve ever played. There is nothing like it anywhere and that’s what makes this golfing experience so special. I understand the course record here is only a handful under par which I can well believe as I played 8 shots worse than my handicap and I had a particularly good ball striking day and there was not much wind. The greens were the best of the seven courses I played while visiting Cornwall last April and all have plenty of movement to keep the best putter guessing. In parts St Enodoc is a difficult walk due to its hilly and undulating nature, only the fit should schedule a round here alongside Perranporth in the same day. It really could be a world top 100 course it’s just a couple of holes that let it down. However I loved it and it’s one of the most entertaining courses I’ve ever played and should NOT be missed if visiting Cornwall.
May 19, 2015
10 / 10
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David Worley
There are no two holes alike at St Enodoc and some of the unusual features will keep you wondering what is coming next. The 2nd and 3rd holes are quite difficult par fours, well over 400 yards long, and rated index 5 and 2, respectively.

The 6th hole is a spectacular par four, primarily because of the hazard that is in play with the second shot. From the tee, the green is only just visible but playing the second shot, you are confronted by what is the largest bunker in the UK, ‘Himalaya,’ a huge sand dune with the face eroded away.

The 13th and 14th provide a good view of the old 11th century church and adjacent cemetery which are in the middle of the course. Looking back from the elevated 14th green, there is a magnificent view of the church, the previous four holes and the entrance of the heads looking out to the ocean.

The par five 16th is the closest to the water and one of the prettiest parts of the links. The 17th is a par three of 206 yards and requires an extremely accurate shot from the tee. The 18th is a suitable finishing hole. The fairway is particularly narrow and winds from right to left before the clubhouse.

St Enodoc is an absolute delight and is a must-play for any serious golfer. This is surely one of James Braid’s greatest creations outside of Scotland. Braid returned in 1922 and 1935 and, fortunately, very little has changed since.

This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every English course featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.
May 15, 2015
8 / 10
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moclarey
A great golf course certainly one of the best in England. We played it today in fairly benign conditions and still had trouble playing close to handicap. We'd hate to play on a windy day. The staff and members were welcoming, the course was in excellent condition with true and quick greens. An absolute pleasure all around. Only sore point was the tarmac path running not more than two metres in front of the par 3 15th green where my wife hit her shot; it hit the tarmac on the fly, bounced over the flagstick and over the green! She wasn't happy. Mike Sydney Australia
September 03, 2014
10 / 10
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Russell Binney
I played St Enodoc back in April and thoroughly enjoyed the course. The first two or three holes are great the 2nd especially so with the tight tee shot and uphill second. The 4th hole is a little weak although this is the only poor hole on the front 9, the 5th and 8th are cracking little par 3's. The 10th is meant to be the signature hole but I personally think its a poor hole with nowhere to hit the tee shot with driver and having to get a wood or long iron over the mound directly in front of you for your second. The 11th is good par three and the 12th again is a decent par 4. 13 and 14 and not great but 15 is a good par three. The finish is spectacular with the long 16th running along the beach to well guarded green. 17 is a long par three which we needed a good three wood to reach and 18 needed a long straight tee shot before the challenge of a long uphill second shot. Overall condition was excellent as were the staff onsite.
August 01, 2014
8 / 10
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iaincmccoll
Thoroughly enjoyed St Enodoc. Thought the first 9 and last 3 holes to be sporrty, good fun and very memorable. The 'Himalaya' holes excellent. Club house and facilities first class. Did think the 10th hole to be overated although can understand why it is a very difficullt par 4 as otherwise would be an uninspiring par 5. Only gripe were the number of players on the course, as too many golfers appeared pushed out too close together. Fine for members but for visitors a bit of a trial. Neverthe less a must for golfers visiting Cornwall.
June 09, 2014
8 / 10
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Jon Beese
Recently played this with a group of friends and we all bar one misery, said the same thing ..."This is the best course I've ever played". Every hole on the front 9 makes you smile with pleasure as you stand on its tee box. The imagination of the course designer to have come up with some of the holes beggars belief but I'm so glad he had the vision. The 11th and 12th are somewhat disappointing in comparison to whats gone before but then the big smile returns particularly on the home straight of 16,17 & 18. I cannot wait to go back next year and play it again.
May 27, 2014
10 / 10
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Jorn Greve
June 01, 2014
I totally agree with youtube Review. Royal Dornoch was my No. 1 so far, but After playing this course I would say St. Enodoc is in the top of Europe.
Chris Butler
I visited St Enodoc at the end of September and, like all of my group, enjoyed every minute. Growing up in Cornwall, I played the course on many occasions and while I always liked it back then, I clearly failed to appreciate just how good the course really is.First off, Enodoc is perhaps the best routed course I have played. Unlike many links sites where you get the impression that great holes would have been found all over the property, the terrain here required real genius for James Braid to plot a path over and around a series of dunes and hills. The result is a layout that changes direction and elevation from hole-to-hole. The range of landscapes guarantees a variety in the holes which you will need to match in your game.From the natural contouring on and around the first green to the picturesque view down the straightaway 9th, the front nine is particularly strong. I'm sure the Himalaya bunker on the 6th is the highlight for many but for me the first nine peaks at the 3rd and 4th. Both par fours requiring you to position your tee shot in the right half of the fairway to open up the second shot, they ask the same basic question but are different in every other way.The back nine doesn't quite match the front. The 10th is one of hardest holes you will find anywhere (personally I think it would be better as a par five as the lie of the land rules out most practical chances of reaching it in two). Though they have been tweaked and improved, 13 and 14 remain weak compared to the rest. After this slight drift, the course climaxes superbly with three outstanding closing holes. The 16th hole has been extended and is now a tough par 5 rather than a birdie opportunity. The view towards the green and across the Camel Estuary to Padstow Harbour as you climb over the peak of the rolling fairway is something special. The 18th is also memorable, with the fairway on this long par 4 running away from you through the dunes and up to an elevated green in front of the low lying clubhouse. St Enodoc definitely saves some of its best for last.Of course there are many other terrific vistas throughout the round - it is a stunning place to play golf. The overall experience is enhanced by the flawless condition of the course, excellent practice facilities and a welcoming clubhouse.As a kid I found St Enodoc an intimidating place and felt the members were on the snooty side. That was definitely not the case on our most recent visit. Both before and after our round a number of locals introduced themselves to our small group; all welcoming and genuinely keen to find out if we had enjoyed our day. They are rightly very proud of their club - a place to savour just being at as well as a course to enjoy playing.
January 02, 2014
8 / 10
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RT
We played St Enodoc on both Thurs. and Friday 15 & 16 Aug.This remains my favourite UK course.I cannot recommend it highly enough and this review could apply equally to my three previous visits.First off, St Enodoc is situated within one of Britain's most beautiful coastal locations. As a consequence the views are simply stunning. From every tee and every green you get an awesome view.Ahead of tackling the course there is a genuinely warm welcome, from both staff and club members, and efficient and great service.The food is great too, so I would hugely recommend arrival and hour or so ahead of your tee time to enjoy all aspects of the club.Unlike higher ranked links courses, such as Birkdale, there is not a "championship" feel - St Enodoc is wonderfully under-stated and the course itself says it all. There is so much on offer here it sits comfortably with any 'top' course and offers a great all round golf experience.Despite a hot, dry summer and (I am sure) plenty of visitors to the course, it was in great condition. The tees and the greens were all immaculate.It's a tough course. Wayward tee shots are ruthlessly punished and there are a number of blind tee and approach shots that, particularly for a first timer, add to the difficulty. Despite this the course can still be enjoyed by higher handicappers, not just low handicappers.No two holes are the same and all require some real thought - you can't get away with hit and how here.I understand why previous reviews say that the 10th, 11th, 12th are not striking, but they still offer those great reviews and a decent test.By comparison you couldn't 'enjoy' bunkers like the Himalaya anywhere else in England.I could go on, but you really need to experience it yourself to really get the beauty of this course. Ideally play two rounds as the first is fantastic, but it becomes even more enjoyable if you are familiar with the course.I can not believe that any golfing enthusiast could play here and not be really glad that they had.
August 18, 2013
10 / 10
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Alistair Wilson
I played this course in July 2012 on a twighlight tee time for the very reasonable sum of £40.Firstly the welcome when I arrived at the course was pleasant and maybe a little understated but the course is really what matters.The course was in beautiful condition and with a modest breeze any wayward tee shots are quickly gobbled up by the rough and made your ball difficult to find. The gentleman I played with must have lost a good 20 balls!The lumps and bumps of the fairway were majestic and proved difficult to keep the ball on the fairways at times. The greens were very fast but so smooth and true. If you want a true test of links bunkers, this course had stacks of them! They were a joy to play out of.Everything about the course screamed quality and is meticulously manicured. The variance of the holes was fantastic and required every type of shot possible. From highly elevated tee shots that catch the wind easily to the 10 hole requiring an accurate and delicate drive to fit it into the bowl of the fairway and allow yourself a shot to the green. The hole that really stuck in my mind was the par 4 6th hole with the infamous 'himalaya bunker', it was enormous and probably the biggest obstacle I have seen on a course!I have played a number of top courses around the world and by far this has been my favorite. While it is not the most difficult (Carnoustie takes that title) I can't call the course or views anything else other than perfect. You must play this course, I just wish I lived closer to play it every week!
August 07, 2013
10 / 10
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James
The Third Leg of our North Atlantic Links Trail brought us 2 hours south from Royal North Devon, across the border and a world away, into the Idyllic county of Cornwall. As the sun crept higher the roads narrowed and the pace slowed, allowing us to enjoy the coastal breeze with the windows wound down. Descending into Rock we passed by a multitude of affluent families who annually flock to this rolling landscape that sweeps down to thSt Enodoc (Church) Golf Course - Photo by reviewere Camel estuary with its Golden Beaches, and crooked cottages anchored side by side on the steep hill down to the shore. The Course itself was remarkably different again. Some of the best Links Holes we played in our 5 day trip can be found here. 1,2,16,17 and 18. What makes St Enodoc uniquely mercurial However is the four or five holes that feel Downland or even Parkland in execution, with the palpable allusion to Links Golf never far away. St Enodoc makes for great playing and the views here are simply breathtaking. The course is the most undulating we played in many places and has some very tricked up par fours like 6 and 10 which are really quite bonkers. We loved it all and would not hesitate to recommend a trip here. The course has a few of the most unique holes we played. You will not find them elsewhere and it is great fun. It is a fair course in every respect and has tremendous routing. We packed in Trevose in the afternoon but I would recommend stopping a while here to enjoy Rock and the surrounding hostelries. JCB LAY
August 06, 2013
8 / 10
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