Ely City Golf Club
- Par 72
- 6627 Yds
BUILT on the site of an old prisoner of war camp, Ely City was never destined to be a bland course.
Throw in the design craft of triple Open winnerHenry Cotton and you have a par-72 parkland layout that must be considered a hidden gem of southern inland golf.
Situated north east of Cambridge on the outskirts of Ely, the club can boast a challenging course with splendid views of the cathedral.
A traditional members’ club, Ely was founded in the early 1960s by five local businessmen who were keen to see a golf club in the city.
Having acquired the site of an old prisoner of war camp and bought some available fields, a nine hole course was soon opened in April 1961.
This facility was enlarged to 18 holes in 1973 and the opening of the course on July 4, 1973 saw a famous challenge match between the then Open champion Lee Trevino and top South African professional Hugh Baiocchi. Lee Trevino won the match with a score of 66 against Baiocchi’s 67.
Forty years on and the growth of the many trees, the compact nature of the layout and the frequent appearance of water means you must cleverly plot your way around the 6,627 yards if you are to score well.
The compact nature of the layout and the frequent appearance of water means you must cleverly plot your way around Ely.
Howard Swan, whose father was responsible with Henry Cotton for the original design, has put in 16 new bunkers which have helped modernise the course.
The work has been done on 11 holes and attentions are now being turned to the other seven. The work includes a number of fairway bunkers so, where you might have been able to run one in, you will now need to play a ‘proper shot’.
The course remains very lush in the summer and is rarely firm and bouncy so, if you do manage to play to your handicap, you should be very satisfied.
There is also a new short-game area with a practice bunker. A visit here could well pay dividends ahead of your round.
The par-4 5th is the hardest hole on the card at over 467 yards off the back tees. This is a straight hole but a lateral water hazard lurks down the right-hand side and only stops 80 yards short of the green.
A new bunker, 30 yards short of the putting surface, will catch plenty of approaches.
A chance to make back some ground could come at four par 5s and the 16th may be your best chance.
A very good drive will get you over the hill though your approach will have to contend with a downhill lie and another new bunker again awaits anything mishit.
The par-4 7th can be driven, though you will need to clear two cross bunkers which sit at around 200 yards.