Played by NCG: Notts (Hollinwell)
Reason for a Notts (Hollinwell) Golf Club review
Notts (Hollinwell) Golf Club were hosting a regional round of the National Club Golfer Secretary’s Day and the hunt was on to find those who would qualify for the Grand Final at Woodhall Spa.
Where is it?
Notts, or Hollinwell as it is more widely known, is set in the rolling hills of North Nottinghamshire – about 10 minutes from the M1.
What to expect?
There’s a bit of everything at Hollinwell.
It feels like it’s going to be a classic heathland course but there’s also moor and woodland to negotiate.
These contrasts are not readily apparent, though, and one of the Willie Park Jnr-design’s great features is the way these are seamlessly blended into the layout.
It all starts with the drive-in, which has got to be one of the best entrances to a club I’ve ever experienced.
It’s all laid out before you as you wind your way along a road that seems to stretch for a mile and then the wonderful, and imposing, clubhouse comes into view and you know you are about to embark on a proper four hours’ golf.
My best bit…
The 13th, the last of the ‘short’ holes if you can label a 241-yarder as such, gets a lot of plaudits and rightly so.
You fire down from an elevated tee to a green that is completely surrounded by bunkers.
There are six in all and it’s hard to see where the sand ends and the turf begins. Needless to say, I found one of the front traps but the splendour of this hole eclipses any performance. I did, though, manage to get up and down.
My favourite moment came much earlier on. The 2nd is one of the strongest par 4s I played all year.
At 428 yards, it’s more like a 4 and a half for my meagre talents and I looked to play it as such.
Gradually moving uphill, it’s a tight landing zone from the tee and you can easily find the heather on the right hand side.
The hole then doglegs slightly to a green that is almost in a bowl below what seems like a forest of trees. It’s a wonderful sight, one of the best on the course, and it’s a hole that is as inspiring as it is difficult.
What to look for…
You’re in the heart of Robin Hood country at Notts so make sure to view his famous ‘seat’. It’s where the famous outlaw looked down on the main road below and waited for another wealthy victim. It is found behind the second green.
Take a drink at the well by the yellow markers on the 8th tee. The course is named after this historic ‘holy well’, which still dispenses clear and fresh spring water.
When I go back…
I’d love to play a little better next time I tee it up at Hollinwell. While the course was in excellent condition, my game was in turmoil and I made no impact on the scorecard.