A course in great shape all year round with many subtleties


Weston-super-Mare Golf Club

Date Reviewed
April 10, 2014
Reviewed by Ed Battye
Dating back to 1892 Weston-super-Mare is a historic club with a true links course considered by many as one of the best in the South West.

The easy walking course has many subtleties and was designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, the man who helped shape Augusta National.

Visitors flock to Weston-super-Mare, especially during a rainy off-season when it is often one of only a handful of courses open in the Somerset area with full tees and greens in operation. Even during the winter months players are greeted with tight, quick running and sandy fairways along with excellent putting surfaces.

Our visit was in April after one of the wettest winters on record and the course was as a dry as any we had played to date in 2014. I suspect that the course will play very firm and fast during the summer months – just how links golf should be.

As with all seaside layouts the elements will largely dictate how the course plays. It is perhaps more relevant at Weston-super-Mare because the nature of the course is more exposed. There are no large dunes to protect you from the wind here and the terrain is much flatter, more open and exposed.

As a result the fairways are generous and although the greens are relatively flat many are raised ever-so-quietly and rely on subtle breaks to test the golfer. However, a few do have more movement in them; most notably the short 3rd which has a steep backdrop, the long 8th with multiple tricky pin locations and the two-tiered 12th. Many of the greens are also angled slightly to reward a golfer playing to the correct side of the fairway.

The set of short holes are worthy of particular mention. The 3rd has an unusual green with the afore mentioned slope at the back whilst the 7th is fronted by some impressive looking bunkering. However, the pick of the bunch comes at the 11th where a draw shot is favoured, especially if the hole is located on the left behind the deep greenside bunkers. The 14th is a short and pretty affair played into the corner of the property whilst the 16th requires a fine shot from an elevated tee. Score well on these holes and you will be on your way to a good total.

Weston-super-Mare also has a number of solid two-shot holes ranging from 355 to over 450 yards. Two of these, the fifth and the sixth, offer the only opportunity of a sea view as they are played an a part of the course segmented from the rest. Ironically, these are the least links-like holes on the estate with a more lush and parkland feel to them.

Interestingly the longest and most difficult of the par fours comes at the 15th which is reputedly modelled on the Road Hole at St Andrews and there are unquestionably similar traits. A blind drive over and close to the out of bounds down the right hand side is favourable for an approach to the angled green housing a prominent bunker at the front corner to obstruct a shot from the left. This hole is the start of a demanding finish to a round at Weston-super-Mare.

Not only is Weston-super-Mare a course with strong history but the club also has ambitious plans for the future with new land recently acquired that will change the configuration of the holes slightly and enable the creation of a ‘stadium’ style par three 17th. It will be interesting to return and see these changes in the future.

In summary, Weston-super-Mare is certainly a fair course. What you see is largely what you get and good, accurate golf will be rewarded.

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