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: 78
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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 23, 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 25, 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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David Redwood
Played on a stunning morning in October this is about as good as it gets. The front nine is exceptional with an excellent variety of holes making every shot a challenge. The sixth is the stand out hole with the huge Himalaya bunker dominating the approach to the green. The back nine starts with the quirky "Church" hole, falters slightly with the boring (in comparison with the rest of the course) 13th and 14th up the hill before finishing strongly with the par 3 15th and the a very long and demanding finishing 3. The welcome is always fantastic here with the staff always willing to go out of there way to help. The combination of a truly great links course with the location and views puts this firmly in my top 5 courses that I have played.
October 26, 2011
10 / 10
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chris
November 27, 2011
i cudnt agree with you more ,1st to 6th i thinks are great with a personal favourite been 3rd,we do 36holes every september,this year i have done carnoustie,turnberry,ganton, royal cinque ports,saunton,royal st davids,western gailes,and a fair few others,but st enodoc is up there with the best of em and prob doesnt get the accolades it deserves,greens always in excellent condition
Armin Zaeh
Played the fantastic Church Course end of September 2011 within a journey to a couples of links and seaside courses in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. I love links golf and some blind shots or a hilly layout is not a really problem for me. It was definetely the highlight of our trip and St. Enodoc is one of the best courses i've ever had the chance to play.
October 09, 2011
10 / 10
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jt
Played this course with my son on a nice day with a light breeze. Standing on the 1st tee I thought to myself that this is not a tough drive, which it was not, its just every shot after that which needs a lot of thought. This is an absolutely stunning course, very well thought out, good greens, breath taking views.nearly every hole is a stunner but the 10th is one that really sticks in the mind, brilliant golf hole!!Will definately play here again
August 19, 2011
10 / 10
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Cédric
I can understand some of the criticism about this course. Yes, it is very hilly, unfair for the first timer who doesn't know the right lines (dare I say disneyland in places?). That being said, there is a great number of top class holes on the property, and the conditioning is wonderful. And a more beautiful setting is probably impossible to find. I played it in very strong winds, the par 69 was too tough to match. Even the 13th referred to as weak by most reviewers here was far from a given par. I'm not sure I'd like to play this course on an everyday basis (would in a hurry choose Saunton East in that area), but for sheer fun, this is a golfcourse that shouldn't be missed. A must for all dune junkies. Cédric
April 13, 2011
8 / 10
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Brock Lynch
Played 36 at the end of June on a trip to England and Wales. St. Enodoc has all the aspects of an excellent golf course. There are strong par 4's; holes 2,3,& 18 have length, require two well played shots, and are very different from each other. There are unique par 4's; hole 6 with its "himalaya" bunker, and hole 10 with a downhill tee shot to a what appears to be a sliver of a fairway and a very stout second over a hazard to modest green. The par 3's are good and come in every shape and size. The two par 5's are good as well; hole 1 with a blind second and a third to a green on a small plateau, and hole 16 that has good length and a great view. St. Enodoc has the most incredible views of Padstow and the ocean below. We also crossed paths with more than 100 people along the way coming and going to the beaches below. You would think this would be a distraction, but it only added to the experience of St. Enodoc. The condition of the course was excellent and the greens were true. I would recommend this course if you are going to the British Isles.
July 04, 2010
10 / 10
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JAS
November 07, 2010
Agree with all you say but intrigued why you leave out 10 from the list of strong Par 4's, yes I can tell from your specific comments on 10 that you appreciated it's difficulty. Personally I'd put it in my top 10 challenging par 4s anywhere.
Carl Tushingham
We eventually got to play this course after our first attempt had to be cancelled as the course was closed due to a severe overnight frost. It looked very inviting from the warm clubhouse!! We were well looked after by both staff and members, a thank you to them. After reading some mixed reviews on this course I had an open mind before teeing off in a howling cold wind. I wasn't disappointed, for me holes 1-10 are superb, a great mix of holes and some great challenges, the 10th SI1 played into a strong wind is as tough as it gets. Holes 11-14 aren't as strong as the rest and let the course down slightly, but 15-18 are great finishing holes. The course was in fantastic condition for January and I would like to return and play here in the summer. Overall great course, play here if you can.
February 09, 2010
8 / 10
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