Windermere Golf Club is spectacularly situated on high ground in the heart of the Lake District – England’s largest National Park and World Heritage site.
“Whoever first coined that atrocious phrase, ‘Golf is a good walk spoiled’ was more than likely an idiot.” Wrote Nick Edmond in Following the Fairways . “One thing’s for sure, he (or she) had never visited Windermere Golf Club in the Lake District. Golf not only takes us to such beautiful places, as Henry Longhurst used to say, but it regularly guides us to some beautiful vantage points. Had our idiot stood on the 8th tee at Windermere he would assuredly be forced to revise the ill-informed comment. Golf, if nothing else, is a good walk with a good incentive. (Better not tell that idiot then that the 8th at Windermere is called ‘Desolation’!)
Windermere Golf Club celebrated its centenary in 1991, Cleabarrow Fells, the land on which the course is laid out was originally leased from the Rector of Windermere before being purchase outright by the club in 1912. The 200 acres comprised, in addition to classically undulating Lakeland terrain, a serious amount of heather, bracken and rocks. However, it was soon converted into a sporting 9-hole course [by George Lowe the Professional at Lytham St Annes Golf Club] and so well was this received that a further 9 holes were added before the end of 1892.
The Club’s centenary booklet reveals a colourful history. In the 1920s, the course measured 4,320 yards but had a par of 72 (today it is 5,122 yards, par 67.) Holes had interesting pars in those days and our friend ‘Desolation’ though a similar length as now at 143 yards, was a par three and a half!”
I played this course on 9th September 2016 on an overcast day with intermittent rain showers. The area had suffered from prolonged heavy rain for a few days before we played and that was evident on certain parts of the course (holes 14, 16, 17). Despite the conditions the course was in great condition. A look at the scorecard shows a very short course, but due to the undulating terrain it feels a lot longer. There are some driveable par 4s but the par 3s all play very long, which is a welcome contrast to the shorter par 4s. I probably would become a little bored playing this course every week but I would certainly make a return as an away day trip. The clubhouse is excellent and the food and drink offering was very good. All in all I'd recommend a trip to Windermere for this course which I'd summarise as being a tougher challenge than a look at the scorecard suggests.
I like windemere but its a way off siloth