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: 74
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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 28, 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 19, 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 08, 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 07, 2013
8 / 10
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James
Simply fabulous. Quirky, yes. Easier a second time, I expect. Agree three downland holes round the church (though they are good holes all), but the rest is enchanting, and in a breeze, very tough. Massive dunes, huge imagination and thought required to score well. One of the hardest finishes anywhere (I had a good score coming and finished in an aeroplane: 747!) It is enough to say that I rate this as high as Porthcawl, and higher than St Georges, Deal or Princes. Perhaps less "Championship", but infinitely more enchanting.
April 12, 2013
10 / 10
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John Jenkins
A group of us recently played St Enodoc Golf Course on a wet and windy Sunday morning. Upon standing on the first tee box and looking down the undulating fairway of the 1st hole and the adjacent 18thhole it becomes pretty obvious that you’re a going to be in for hugely enjoyable and unpredictable round of golf. All tee boxes are nicely elevated and well positioned. The fairways are perfectly maintained and the rough is typically penal. Unfortunately the greens had been recently tined and as a result the roll wasn’t as true as you would hope. On a couple of occasions the spike mark forced the ball off of its intended lineSt Enodoc (Church) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer which was a shame but not to be unexpected during the off season. However this isn’t a criticism, it’s just a necessary evil when maintaining a top quality course. I’m sure in the summer the greens are quick and run true as this was evident on a couple of holes that must have been tined less recently. The course has a number of famous holes, these being 3, 6, 10 and 16 all of which were excellent (Although I think if I played 10 on a regular basis I would probably grow to hate it due to the difficulty of the tee shot!). To be honest only holes 11 & 12 would be considered less than stellar, with all the other holes all having their certain charms and qualities to make this course one of the most memorable in England. My only slight quibble would be that some of the holes lacked quality bunkering and a few of the greens were a bit flatter than I had hoped for or that can be found on some of the classic links courses in the UK. I think this is the only issue that is stopping this from being a true six ball rating and a course that could be revered throughout the world. Ideally I would rate this course 5½ but unfortunately you can’t give half marks, so will have to settle on 5. However this course, based upon the cost to play versus pure enjoyment, could well be one of the best in the country. JJ
November 08, 2012
8 / 10
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JSG
Having played most of the golf courses in the top 20 on this list, I simply can't understand why this fabulous golf course is not rated higher. Just because a golf course is an Open venue doesn't mean it's the best course in the land, and if St Enodoc has 'ordinary' holes then it's because you've been blown away by some of the best holes in British golf. Equally, having played St Georges and Birkdale this year, ranked 1 and 2, I can happily say they have ordinary holes, especially compared to the sheer delight of holes 1, 3, 6, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 & 18 at St Enodoc.....in my opinion you can't compare these holes to anything St Georges or Birkdale have to offer. 1, with it's fabulous backdrop, 3, a simply divine rollercoaster of a par 4, 6 with the bunker and the blind 2nd, 9 ambling along the coast, and then 10. Hole number 10 at St Enodoc has to be the hardest but yet most enjoyable par 4 you can play - 260 yd drive and the fairway is only 10 yards wide, and still leaves with close to 190 to a semi blind green, with trees and OB on the left. As tough as it gets. I won't natter on beyond that but I would simply say, that if you want to play a golf course that will simply blow you away, don't waste your money on trying to get on a Open Championship course in England (I can't comment on Open venues in Scotland as I haven't played one), just get yourself down to St Enodoc and enjoy the best backdrop to the most fabulous course you can play. And in the summer, for around £40 twighlight round....and they brew Doombar in the same place - the members do have something special on that little rock.
October 24, 2012
10 / 10
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Sam
October 25, 2012
Have to agree that this is a great course, although i still believe Saunton (East) is better. The 10th whilst a good hole is borderline 'mickey mouse' and 11,12 and are extremly bland. The final 3 holes are phenomenal though!!!
Jim McCann

What an absolutely beautiful part of Cornwall to lay out eighteen holes across such a unique property – well, twelve truly exceptional holes and half a dozen others between 10 and 15 around Bray Hill that I'm not entirely convinced are worthy of such a top GB&I course.

In particular, the 13th is a bit of an uphill slog and the ultra-skinny par four fairways at 10 and 14 are close to the silly side of quirky, St Enodoc (Church) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerlike those on the cliff tops at Nefyn.

Not at all my cup of tea but the outward nine that precedes these holes around St Enodoc Church and the closing three holes are nothing short of brilliant, routed like a high speed golfing roller coaster track in the sand hills high above the golden sands of Daymer Bay.

Fairways plunge up and down, twisting right and left in a wonderful routing with particular favourites at the doglegged 3rd (where a diagonal wall runs across the fairway); the fantastic short par four 6th (complete with famous "Himalaya" bunker); and the intimidating 7th (where a forward "viewing platform" allows others to get a line on your blind tee shot).

he closing trio of long par five, long par three and long par four will wreck many a scorecard (they did for me too) but what a fantastic, tough end to a round – it's almost a pleasure to admit defeat at the hands of such a great set of finishing holes.

St Enodoc really is a one-off course and one to be savoured, even if there might not be quite enough land in my eyes to give it 18 (instead of 12) outstanding holes.

Jim McCann

April 26, 2012
8 / 10
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David Baxter
A surprisingly hilly course, not really true links as indicated in the other reviews, with some seemingly out of character holes around the church. The front nine is a bit quirky with some interesting holes and you certainly need to be accurate off the tee; I actually thought the best golf hole was the 2nd, although the 6th certainly grabs your attention. After the 10th I just thought the course lacked something, although 16-18 was a good finish. Par 3's also fairly undemanding. I understand a comparison with Pennard on this website although I think Pennard shades it for golf holes. Condition of the course was excellant for January (especially the greens), and this almost gets it a 5 ball rating from me (but not quite). Look forward to playing it again though. DB
January 15, 2012
6 / 10
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