Staddon Heights Golf Club is set magnificently atop high cliffs where there are majestic views to the northwest over the Sound to Drake’s Island and the city of Plymouth beyond. To the south lies the English Channel and to the north and east lies Dartmoor, which completes the stunning 360-degree panorama.
Founded in 1904 and named the United Services Golf Club, the club’s lineage is obvious. Plymouth’s proud naval history spans hundreds of years and Plymouth’s Naval Officers formed the club. For many years, the Commander-in Chief was Club President and the Naval Chief-of-Staff the Club Captain, but in 1969 a group, predominantly made up of civilians, purchased the club from the Ministry of Defence.
The golf club then changed its name to Staddon Heights and subsequently implemented various routing changes, orchestrated by architect J Hamilton Stutt, to avoid crossing a road. These changes not only improved the layout but also enhanced the panoramic views.
Today’s par 70 course measures a relatively modest 6,164 yards from the back tees where a gentle opening short par four lulls you into a false sense of security. The 2nd is a tough one-shotter that measures 209 yards from the tips and the 459-yard Stroke Index 1 follows at the 3rd. If you have not dropped a shot to handicap by the time you reach the 4th tee, you deserve a pat on the back.
At the western edge of the golf course is “The Wall”, one of the most unusual features we’ve ever encountered on a golf course. In reality, the wall simply defines the western boundary of the course but this is no ordinary wall and Plymouth historian, Steve Johnson, beautifully describes it:
“Pink Floyd have The Wall, we in Plymouth have a Wall. High on the hilltop at Staddon Heights, on the western arm of Plymouth’s great harbour – The Sound (the only place in the world where you can hear the sea and see the sound!) – our Wall, my Wall, your Wall sits. As if it has been left behind by the same extraterrestrial beings that made the monolith in Arthur C. Clarke’s '2001', it sits on its side, black against the morning sunrise and golden in the sun’s evening rays. Is it art? It must be a sculpture... surely? It certainly is big.” Click here to find out more.