With 36 planned for my second day of the trip and not completely being sound of mind and body I let myself be talked into yet another 54-hole day just so I could take the opportunity to show up very early and play West Cornwall Golf Club.
What an unexpected thrill that even after one of the craziest days of golf, 54 holes walking with 3.5 hours of driving thrown in I was ever so grateful to experience.
West Cornwall is old school quirk. I do want to preface this with the fact the club gracious invited me to race around starting at 7 am well before they opened. This basically allowed me to avoid any issues in terms of how the routing is set up that I would have had to contend with had it been a busy day. I will touch on this later.
Uniquely the course starts with a solid 1 shotter requiring a mid to low iron playing into a slight early morning cool breeze. The green is semi blind and well-guarded. Very interesting start. Quickly you find yourself on a tee box next to a cemetery and old church, the hazy fog laying out the early morning dew formed the perfect eerie setting. The next hole played out between two massive dunes and steeply up to a green severely sloping back to front nestled between them. The next hole, offered up a crazy blind shot to be aimed just left of the church. Naturally only blind the first go-round but exhilarating nonetheless. Just over the hill a drop off down to a fairway sloping severely right to left down the hills it works its way across. However, here is the tricky and rather dangerous part. This is a shared fairway with the 8th hole which plays parallel and given the blindness and tendency to want to play to the left away from the church on a busy day playing the 8thfor the first time, could be a real scare. I’d be interested to know how many people have been injured here. This is an example of something that might have been done in the old days that insurance would never allow today. In any case it must work somehow. Both holes are great but I wouldn’t want to be walking up the 8th fairway when I was teeing off on 3.
After the 4th green you walk down a little road to a lower section of the course that affords wonderful views of the bay and the sea as well as the town of West Cornwall which is lovely. The holes are really interesting and quirky as well. 5 is another blind shot. 6 works its way down to the water playing form a tee box right next to the train tracks. A solid drive risking OB on the left which is also semi blind affords a short iron or even a little flop into a beautiful but small green with the bay as a back drop. The next tee box being right on the water and plays to the uphill par 3 7th.
Having walked back up the hill to the 8th you face a crazy undulated rolling fairway that plays steeply uphill. My approach from here was blind though quite short. The 9th plays back up to a high point with a raised green.
10 takes you out via a blind drive over a massive dune to the other side of the course. Literally the two 9’s are separated by this massive dune ridge.
The back 9 works its way through with a very different character than the front up and down a big hill affording more wonderful views and some nice muscle burn from climbing the hill on one side and the separating dune on the other.
The closing hole requires you to walk back across a road into a really tight little area to access the back tee. This hole alone is extremely unique and worthy of a visit. Playing down the hill the closing hole is one of the best and most appropriate you could wish for on this lovely, unexpected gem.
West Cornwall is quirky, quaint, unexpected and a pure joy if you like those kinds of classic Golden Age Courses. My advice would be to play either early or late on a day that’s not crowded, take your time and enjoy the walk.
Date: July 09, 2019