You know you’re playing a special course when midway through the round your Fourball are discussing the best inland courses in the UK. For me, Woodhall Spa must be considered when it comes to that conversation. This is a fantastic golf course and well worthy of its inclusion in the World’s Top 100.
Firstly, l am a sucker for Heathland courses. I love how heather shapes holes; how pristine green fairways contrast the purple hue of the heather and how you invariably need to plot your way around. Woodhall Spa has all these and one extra defining attribute that sets it apart from most other courses on these shores, their bunkering. There are 111 bunkers at Woodhall, and some are gargantuan in size. All are rugged and natural looking and blend perfectly into their surroundings.
Woodhall plays as a traditional out and back, with the front 10 being much more open than the final 8, which plays through pine and birch. It’s hard to select standout holes as there are so many good ones, but the stretch of holes from the 3rd to the 9th is one of the best stretch of holes you can play in England. The 3rd is a beautiful Par 4 playing up to old ruins that sit behind the green. The 5th is a cracking short Par 3 with a wickedly contouring green. The 6th has a stunning cross bunker sitting just shy of the green, the 7th is a pretty dogleg right par 4 with heather all down the right hand side. The 8th another wonderful Par 3 with a green that falls away sharply at the front and the 9th an incredibly well designed Par 5 which plays over a wall of fairway bunkers.
Standout holes on the back 9 would be the fabulous Par 3 12th, a true Heathland one shot stunner and the short Par 4 15th with the green guarded by an army of bunkers. In fact across the course, I only found there to be 2 weak holes, which were the 13th and 14th. The course also finishes with a strong and (again) well bunkered 18th, which for anyone who reads my reviews knows, weak finishing holes on top courses are a continuing bugbear of mine.
This is one of the great heathland courses, in immaculate condition and played in ultimate seclusion. What’s not to like?!
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Date: November 17, 2020