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)

Average Reviewers Score:
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: 70
TaylorMade
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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Malcolm Searle
I played St Enodoc in the spring as part of a tour that took in Saunton & Royal North Devon. All very different to each other, but all good in their own way. As a the previous reviewer says, St Enodoc probably gets better the more you play it. I certainly enjoyed my first round here, but I think I need to go back again to 'get it' properly. On my first outing I was just grateful to the golfing gods that I'd avoided the Himalaya bunker, and navigated most of the blind shots and most of the forced carries OK. Definitely one to play again.
November 28, 2009
6 / 10
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David Redwood
The more I play St Enodoc, the better it gets. Played in a strong wind and thoroughly enjoyed the test. A very tough start and finish with a clever variety of true links (holes 6-9) and interesting parkland style in between. Made my first par on the 10th which made my day! A fantastic course and club, recently improved with the excellent practice facilities, I will be back again and again.
October 30, 2009
10 / 10
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John G. Holbrook
Me and my partner played this course 10 days ago,had 1 to 2 club wind. The first hole is a very challenging with a blind second shot. The golfcourse was in excellent conditon especially thegreens. Many interesting holes some links alongwith some parkland. Many forced carries requiringlong straight driving. The most interesting holewas the himalaya bunker par 4, very tight fairwaygreen completely enclosed. We both made pars on that hole. Would highly recommend this course good value and excellent condition.
October 21, 2009
8 / 10
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Anthony Daniels
Played St Enodoc last Thursday in perfect conditions - warm and sunny and with a gentle breeze. We started off by playing the Holywell course (almost a par 3 course, but with one or two decent holes), which proved to be a nice gentle warm up for the real deal on the Church. The first three holes on the Church course are probably the most difficult starting holes I have ever played. I can only imagine how difficult they are in proper wind. Therefore, playing off 15, to walk off with a bogey and two pars I was delighted!! The 3rd is the first of many truly great holes. After the fairly gentle 4th and 5th, you then come to another memorable gem as you confront the massive Himalaya bunker. I didn't get the draw I was after off the tee and had to play my second shot directly over the top of it. Therefore, I speak from personal experience when I say it is intimidating!! The 7th provides another blind drive (I think I counted 7 in total!!) and the 8th is a pretty par 3. The 9th is another wonderful hole as you drive from an elevated tee to a rippling fairway and up to a slightly raised green which is more like a carpet, as are pretty much all of them, surrounded by a copse of trees. The signature hole is 10 and you can see why. The tee shot must be long and deadly accurate otherwise you'll find yourself in all kinds of trouble. You are then left with a very long second shot, and only if you've managed to find the fairway from the tee will you be able to consider trying to fire it on in two. I was forced to lay up with a seven iron from the rough and about 3 feet above my feet, but still managed par as the greens were so receptive and good shots get rewarded. 11 and 12 are pretty little holes and you could almost be forgiven for thinking you were on a parkland track at this point, until your ball trickles into one of the lethal little bunkers around the greens. The variety these holes offer is a joy. If there are any weak holes then they are probably 13 and 14. However, a sneak preview for you - as we were playing the 13th the captain was beside the green and told us they are looking at a possible reshaping of the green and maybe the hole. This green also provided the most memorable moment of the round as one of our fourball who had struggled all the way round handed his putter to the captain who promptly drained the 20 foot downhill putt!!! The 15th is a wonderful and beautiful par 3 and is a true rival, in my opinion, to the 10th as the signature hole. A deep ravineof some 150 yards is what lies between the tee and the green. Anything slightly underhit or under-clubbed is destined for the bottom of it. The 16th is a cracking undulating par 5 which is reachable in two for the big boys (I was in the front right bunker), but requires accuracy and thought as well as power. The views at this point are probably the finest on the course (and they are pretty damn fine all the way round) as you play back up towards the clubhouse parallel to the estuary and overlooking Padstow. The 17th provides no respite as it's a demanding 200+ yard uphill par 3, although if you hit a nice high draw to two feet here you'll be fine (allow me a little smug grin!!!). Finally, the 18th sort of sums up the whole course rather nicely - it is a long, great looking par 4, which punishes the poor shot but rewards accurate, well struck and well thought out shots. Walk off with a par here and be delighted as you head for the bar. To cap off what is simply a wonderful golfing experience, the food in the clubhouse is excellent, the members are very friendly and welcoming, and all the staff are eager to please and offer assistance when they can. St Enodoc is a wonderful place and is a must for any serious golfer.
October 01, 2009
10 / 10
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Hamish Wilson
This is generally described as a links course which it most definitely is not. There are a few links holes but more hilly parkland ones. It is very hilly and not typical of a seaside links. It was very disappointing despite the excellent condition and welcoming reception.
September 25, 2009
4 / 10
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Jake Scholes
The course was in fantastic condition when I played here this summer, the greens in particular were superb, fast and true. The course had a number of awesome holes (The 9th and 6th standing out) and overall was a delight to play and fully deserves its ranking.
August 21, 2009
8 / 10
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Dan Hare
I can only agree with some of the reviews here, quoting golfing heaven etc. One of the most memorable rounds of my life, in a howling gale, but the feeling of coming back down the excellent 18th after so much great golf is unforgettable and bound to raise a smile. It is a great challenge in a wind (flushed 5 iron perfect for a 120 yard shot over a valley, wedge too much for 160 yards downwind) so I can understand higher handicappers not enjoying it. However, best way to finish is to quote the closing stanza of John Betjeman's ode to links golf, "Seaside Golf" which he wrote about St Enodoc - he is buried in the church, and visiting his grave was part of our pilgrimage..... 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.
June 11, 2009
10 / 10
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Andy
There are few mixed reviews of the course below and I have come away not a lover or a hater of it. The average reviewer score is a 5-ball and that is how I determined my expectation before playing. After a bit of a rush to the 1st tee (our fault), proceeded to top the opening shot of the day 60 yards and ran up a score of 8 – this had no effect on me really enjoying this hole though. I have to say that the holes were definitely interesting to play and on the whole enjoyable – I did struggle with how the course flowed and came up with the word, awkward to describe my feelings of the holes as a collection. Earlier reviews that included ‘boring’ as a description are way off, on this course you cannot be bored. Yes there are a couple of weak ones near the church (11th and 12th) but interest levels are kept high with the uniqueness here. I made a couple of comparisons to Pennard (South Wales) during the round and if you have played both, I think you’ll understand. Best holes I think are the 6th and 7th and then the 15th (nice par-3 over the valley). Overall I have come away with a 4-ball feeling and also that whilst I agree this is a Top 100 GB&I course, not as high as 35 in my opinion.
April 07, 2009
6 / 10
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