St Enodoc

St Enodoc

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St Enodoc Golf Club

St Enodoc Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

A trip to certain special courses leaves an enduring ambience that lasts long after the memory of a rare birdie or pured five iron has become no more than a haze.

It is hard to pinpoint an overwhelming reason why this should be; and why another course of apparently equal merit should fail to stir the soul in the same way. In the case of St Enodoc, situated close to the remote village of Rock in Cornwall, many factors combine to create the cumulative effect.
 
It is a course that has charm, variety, an abundance of history, an element of quirkiness and a hint of the unknown. Founded as long ago as 1891, it was not until 1907 and James Braid’s arrival that it began to resemble the course it is today. The five-time winner of the Open Championship returned almost 30 years later and since then it has barely changed.

One of the unique features of St. Enodoc is the 12th-century church of St. Enodoc, located within the course boundaries. The church adds a distinctive character to the course, and its spire can be seen from several holes.


Visit St Enodoc's website here.
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A Brief History of St Enodoc Golf Club

St. Enodoc Golf Club was founded in 1890 by a group of golf enthusiasts, including Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert. The club was initially established as a nine-hole course on the sand dunes near the village of Rock in Cornwall.

Like many golf clubs in the United Kingdom, St. Enodoc was affected by both World Wars. During World War II, the course was used for military training, and the clubhouse was requisitioned for military purposes. After World War II, the club began to flourish. In the late 1940s, the course was expanded to 18 holes, with the renowned golf course architect James Braid contributing to the design. Braid's work is still evident in the layout of the course today.

In the 1980s, the course underwent significant renovations led by renowned golf course designer Peter Alliss and Clive Clark. Their work improved the course's layout and added modern features, enhancing its reputation as one of the finest links courses in England.

St. Enodoc has hosted several prestigious golf tournaments over the years, including the English Ladies Amateur Championship and the Southwestern Counties Amateur Championship. These events have showcased the course's challenging and picturesque nature.

Today, St. Enodoc is one of the top golf courses in England and stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of traditional links golf in a stunning natural setting.

St Enodoc Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

There is the wonderful opening hole, a par five that on the card looks like an excellent chance of a solid start but whose upturned saucer of a green can reject a chip – let alone a medium iron.
 
And even while racking up an unlikely double bogey from what seemed a routine par, the sight of the Camel Estuary, with the port of Padstow beyond, makes it impossible not be uplifted. Impossible, that is, as long as you happen to have come on the right kind of day, when the sunlight is dappled across St Enodoc’s rolling fairways and the meadowland beyond.
 
A particular delight here is the way in which the course reinvents itself every couple of holes. The first two are pure links in character – and exceptionally difficult with it – but as you make your way downhill towards the 3rd green you’d never guess you were next to the coast.
 
The short par-four 4th is a particular delight. Within range of a decent drive for longer hitters, the sliver of a green is set across the line of the approach and bordered along its right edge by a field.
 
Leave the scorecard for another day and concentrate instead on the simple pleasure of pitting your wits against each individual and memorable hole. It is an elusive target and since anything left is an automatic lost ball it’s a hole well capable of looking after itself despite measuring only 292 yards.
 
To conclude this parkland stretch is a gorgeous par three played over a valley with a stream running through the bottom to a green at a similar height to the tee.
 
Moving on, the 6th is in a category all of its own. It begins innocuously enough but the second shot calls for an iron of some elevation to clear what many believe is golf’s biggest sandhill. Certainly it dwarves the bunker at Royal St George’s 4th with which it shares the same monicker – Himalaya. What’s hard to believe as you stand underneath it terrified of an ensuing thin is that the green could be just 80 yards or so beyond. Technically there’s no reason, at a modest 378 yards, why it can’t be birdied. However in practice, unless you know the land like the back of your hand, you’ll be more than happy with a four.
 
This concludes a breathtaking opening run of holes that only a golfing heathen could fail to be seduced by. Following a blind drive at the 7th comes further transformation as the generous and flat fairway beyond the marker stretches into the distance.
 
After this is a classic links short hole entirely at the mercy of the wind before the front nine concludes with a downhill par four where the green is backed by tall evergreens.
 
Yet if that comes as a surprise then wait until you’ve faced the 10th. It’s a hole that would never be built nowadays – and all the better for it. Technically a par four, only the very best will ever experience a birdie putt here.
 
Despite measuring 457 yards, driver is effectively not an option from the tee for the better player as a huge hillock encroaches onto the fairway, which narrows to single-file width before opening up again beyond.
 
The ideal tee shot leaves a second of at least 210 yards to a green almost hidden from view and tucked away to the left. For the other 99 per cent, the sensible play is to lay up short and right in front of the tiny church where John Betjeman, the former poet laureate, is buried. A tidy pitch can still save a par four that feels like a birdie. If all this sounds a touch unfair, bear in mind the 10th was designed in an age before par was considered so important. So just concentrate on plotting your way round it and make sure you take fewer strokes than your opponent.
 
St Enodoc’s very own Amen Corner, in more ways than one, then pivots around the church, and meanders back towards the clubhouse in preparation for the mighty finish.
 
The 13th and 14th are moorland in character and by some distance the weakest on the course, which is one reason the club have recently called on the architectural services of Peter McEvoy, the two-time Amateur champion and current Walker Cup chairman of selectors. By changing the lines of the fairways and creating new bunkers to add definition, they should be greatly improved in the near future. As the prelude to a quite stunning closing stretch, however, there is no time to dwell on them.
 
Like the 5th, the short 15th straddles a valley and then comes St Enodoc’s second and final par five. Following the line of the cliffs below where the Camel Estuary sparkles – on a good day – hollows, crests and mounds must be traversed before arriving at the green.
 
The 17th is another par three, this time demanding a long iron to find a suitably large green protected by a mound on either side. Only then does St Enodoc’s charming clubhouse come back into view, at the other end of a closing hole that will more often than not provide the right winner in a tight game. With the green elevated and surrounded by sand, it might be best treated as a three-shotter.
 
Having overcome this final hurdle you’ll be amazed to remember that the course only measures a modest 6,200 yards. Factor in the ungenerous par of 69 and you’ll begin to understand why you’ve had to use every club in the bag on your way round. But to reduce St Enodoc to numbers such as these is to lose sight of its very essence. Should you be fortunate enough to find your way to this special corner of Cornwall, leave the scorecard for another day and concentrate instead on the simple pleasure of pitting your wits against each individual and memorable hole.

What are the St Enodoc Golf Club green fees?

The St Enodoc green fees are clearly listed on their website and vary depending on which course you play, the season and if the golfer is adult or junior.

The most expensive green fees at St Enodoc are £145 for an adult to play 18 holes at the weekend/on a bank holiday on the Church Course during the Summer. The cheapest green fees are £19 for a junior to play 18 holes on the Hollywell Course in either season.

Where is St Enodoc located?

St. Enodoc Golf Club is located in north Cornwall, England, near the village of Rock and the town of Wadebridge. The nearest train station to St. Enodoc is Bodmin Parkway Railway Station. From Bodmin Parkway, you can take a taxi or use local transportation options to reach the golf club in Rock, which is a short drive away.

St Enodoc is situated on the rugged and picturesque coastline of the North Cornwall coast, offering golfers stunning views of the Camel Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. The charming nearby fishing town of Padstow is famous for its seafood restaurants, including those owned by celebrity chef Rick Stein. It's a great place to explore the harbor, enjoy fish and chips, and experience the maritime culture.

Are there handicap restrictions at St Enodoc?

On the Church Course there is a maximum handicap of 21.4 for men and 22.7 for women. There are no handicap restrictions on the Holywell Course.

Is there a dress code at St Enodoc?

Yes, to reflect the high standards of the golf club, St Enodoc requires that members and visitors adhere to their dress code.

On the Course:
  • Men and women should wear recognised golf attire. 
  • Blue denim, beach wear, football or rugby shirts are not permitted
  • Proper golf shoes with socks are required on the courses.

In the Clubhouse:
  • Smart casual wear is allowed in the reception, conservatory and bar.
  • Shoes must be worn in the upstairs dining room. 
  • Beach attire, flip flops, caps and hats are not permitted in the clubhouse.
  • Shorts are not to be worn in the dining room.


Visit St Enodoc's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.