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: 75
TaylorMade
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 Newmarch
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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jeff robinson
I look back on St. Enodoc fondly having played on numerous occasions as a teenager when on holiday in Rock and I think carding a 75 as my best score. I am looking forward to playing it again this summer which will be the first time for a few years though it will cost me a lot more than 30 years ago! I love the course and find it challenging for various reasons being the undulating fairways, the many blind shots, the sand dunes, the wind, the punishing rough and the fast greens. In terms of the holes themselves I find the 10th that runs up to St. Enodoc Church (where Betjeman lies) one of the toughest holes I have ever played and I do not remember ever carding a par 4 here! The course is not long but has many waiting dangers particularly when the wind is up. The par 3s are a good test with some being across many hazards. I think to play well here you have to master a range of shots with accuracy and with the ability to play high shots confidently across large carries. I agree with a previous reviewer that I would not recommend the course to anyone with more than an 18 handicap. The greens are very true. It does take a couple of rounds to get used to the blind shots. I would recommend a round or two here. There are some good views over the estuary at various points. Jeff Robinson
February 22, 2009
8 / 10
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Gary Abberton
After an absence of 20 years I returned with a group of friends to play a weeks golf at St Enodoc during the so called summer of 2008. I was not even a teenager when I last visited with my dad, I remember that he had to hit my tee shots on the 4's & 5's, it was a good job he played of 5 because I can remember then how difficult it was, even when I was playing from the fairway.This time around we ventured out not really knowing what to expect, what we found was golfing heaven. The rolling fairways, proper bunkers, undulating greens that were very quick as well as being as true as a snooker table, they were an absolute pleasure, the wind that blows across the course made life very hard, none more so than on our last day which could only be described as brutal.The memorable holes are the 3rd, 6th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th. the last four holes are extremely difficult, if you don't keep your wits about you a good round can soon disappear. I would recommend that if you have a handicap above 18 this could prove to be too much of a challenge & you could walk away disappointed. It is a course that does not offer you width but it demands everything & more from your golf game, its hard but very fair.I had a round of 36pts playing off 3 & felt a great sense of achievement, I hit some shots that I don't ever hit playing my home course, it was my best round all week.On the clubhouse front we found the members & staff very accommodating, the food was excellent & the beer a welcome relief from a hard day.I cant speak highly enough of St Enodoc. I've already starting planning for a trip for 2009.
November 25, 2008
10 / 10
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Christo
Cresting the brow of the first fairway at St Enodoc presents one of the most pleasing panoramas in links golf. Being sat up on the hillside above the estuary, rather than down amongst the dunes, gives a view out over the water, with its colourful kite surfers and racing boats, that most seaside courses don’t enjoy. Natural is the key word for the course. Very little has been moved by human hands, and the sheer diversity of wildflowers shows how long it has been that way. It is also one of the most undulating of the links courses, and with some reasonable distances between greens and tees it can feel like a long walk, so think twice before planning 36 holes in a day. Fairway watering and Cornish weather keeps the course consistent and not too firm in the summer. The holes rotate nicely meaning the prevailing wind is always from a different angle, although is mostly from the side on the back nine. It is a tough par at 69, with only two par 5s, and a demanding finish. There are plenty of well spread tees to vary the angle and nature of the holes, so the course is very accessible for men, ladies and juniors of most standards. New bunkers have been added on 5, 7, 12 and 14 in recent years to keep up with modern technology, and the 16th green was moved 70 yards further back at the end of 2007, really strengthening the closing stretch. If there is a weaker part of the course that stops this being one of the greats it is the run from 12-14, with 3 shorter par 4s. However, the quirky touches such as the wall holding up the 14th green give you something to think about. The clubhouse is open and friendly and the bar menu is better than average. Overall a very enjoyable day out and a ‘must visit’ on any trip through the west country.
September 04, 2008
8 / 10
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Ivan
An excellent links well worth both it's ranking and a visit. You have to be straight of the Tee and then play well from there. The rough was particularly penial, but then if you hit it straight the fairwayys were great. Unfortunately when I played it, there was alow mist which meant I did not have full enjoyment of the views, a track I will definitely return to.
July 22, 2008
8 / 10
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Nick
I was really looking forward to playing here after reading the reviews and hearing what a great track it is. Played on a sunny and chilly day with not too much wind. The lunch before the round was excellent and the bar prices not expensive. Clubhouse facilities are good. Staff were very friendly. Practice facilities are very good but warm up balls are pricey for what they are and mine were quite dirty. Played on a sunny but chilly March day with a light breeze. Other reviewers use the words “quirky”, “charming” and “sporty” to describe holes in particular or the course in general so I was expecting something really interesting. The greens although recently aerated were super and by far and away the best part of the course. IMHO there are way too many blind tee shots and approaches. People seem overwhelmed by the views, I am sure they must seem special to some but I am fortunate enough to play on a course (Thurlestone) where you can see the sea from every hole with far better views . I was expecting a true links and sorry but I do not see that this is. Yes it is undulating with dunes(hills!) and sandy soil and yes it is by the sea but some of the holes are, as mentioned by another reviewer, quite agricultural and a couple had almost a moorland feel. The undulations and slopes are in places just too much of it and a good shot can be harshly punished, a lot of your score is I think going to be down to luck of the bounce. I do not believe that this is particularly tight or difficult as far as shotmaking goes. The much vaunted “Himalaya” bunker will only come in to play if you play the hole like a complete goon. I could not get fired up or interested at all here and after twelve holes was bored and just looking forward to finishing. It is definitely not intimidatingly tight as even then I could not come close to losing a ball and by that stage I could have cared less where I was hitting it. Playing wise this is not a patch on, for example, Saunton or Pyle and Kenfig. I would totally agree that you need to play this more than once to know where you are going but I won’t be bothering again. This is perhaps the most disappointed and underwhelmed that I have ever been by a golf course, just glad that the company was great and it did not rain. The quality of the greens and clubhouse facilities/catering are all that prevents this getting a double bogey rating.
March 20, 2008
2 / 10
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DT
September 15, 2008
When a man is tired of St Enodoc he is tired of life: a course which is much more than the sum of its parts and where sheer fun makes up for the relative weakness of a couple of holes (13th in particular). If you have a boredom threshold high enough to enjoy Thurlestone then St Enodoc should be pure Viagra!
R Barry
October 07, 2008
I genuinely do not understand how the author could describe St Enodoc as "boring". Either he has mistakenly critiqued the wrong course or he has a vested interest in giving false information. I realise anyone is entitled to an opinion, and perhaps he is a novice golfer with little experience, but not being able to recognise one of the best links courses in the country lends little credence or validity to his opinion.
M Gunn
February 16, 2009
This is up there with one of the worst reviews ive ever heard. I think you must have been having one of your turns. Whilst this isnt St Andrews - it is a special place with some fantastic golf holes and i wouldnt want your strange ideas to stop people experiencing it.
jt
August 20, 2011
Hahahahahaha! Utter nonsense!
KP
September 01, 2012
Funny comments in this review. Thurlestone......did you keep a straight face whilst writing this?
TB
May 30, 2014
I have just played St Enedoc and find these comments to be bizarre! He talks about true links and then mentions P&K which has a lot of holes on the front 9 that are not links in character. I would rather play my home course (Burnham & Berrow) but this course has some very nice holes, and being a 'complete goon' hit a good drive on the 'Himalaya' hole right centre of fairway and hit over the bunker as I couldn't see the green. As they say in Yorkshire: "Now't as queer as folk" Thurlestone like Neffyn has nice views but St Enedoc has the holes and the quality