St Enodoc (Church) - Cornwall - England

St Enodoc Golf Club,
PL27 6LD,

  • +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
Wherever you live, it’s worth the trip to Cornwall just to play the Church course at St Enodoc. It’s a dream come true for anyone who enjoys golf and holds a current handicap certificate (they are really strict about this and they’ve checked mine each time I’ve played here). Only one criticism… on some holes it’s not that clear which is the next tee and we found ourselves occasionally wandering to the wrong tee and we played the wrong hole on our first visit here! I agree with the comments in the main article, some holes are not really links but don’t let that put you off… most are classic links holes and those that aren’t are pretty good holes in their own right. St Enodoc is one of my personal favourite courses and I’d have it up at the top of my list with Kingsbarns, Waterville and Birkdale. The whole experience is magical almost trance-like and the views are quite stunning. Like I said at the start, visit Cornwall just for St Enodoc, you won’t be disappointed and if you have time and fancy an up and down ramble through some more dunes, try Perranporth too.
November 13, 2005
10 / 10
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Played this course in August. Some fantastic sea views all around with the opening and closing holes absoultely superb. My favourite as usual was a short par 4, the 4th hole, with out of bounds very close on the right and behind the green - a cracker! The finishing holes are tremendous from the excellent par 3 15th. The views of the sea on the par 5 16th are beautiful, the 17th as hard a long par 3 as you can find and the fantastic 18th with an elevated tee hitting down to an undulating fairway that finishes in front of the clubhouse. Beware, you will not get on without a handicap certificate and the holes around the church are a little disappointing compared to the rest of the course. The green fee is excellent value for money but watch the bar prices if you are a careful northerner like me !!!
September 21, 2004
8 / 10
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Lee Abbey
Don't forget your handicap certificate here! They get so many visitors to this popular part of the world that you won't be allowed to play without it. There are some cracking holes, a gorgeous par 3, that bunker, the church hole. To be honest there are also a few holes - 11th, 12th, 13th for instance that are ordinary by comparison. Well worth the £40+ to play here, even in March the course was in great condition.Enjoy it!
April 23, 2004
8 / 10
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Probably the most varied and interesting course I've ever played. That bunker is simply the biggest I've ever seen. Great condition and fantastic coastal views. Oh to be a member here!
March 31, 2004
8 / 10
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