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Moortown golf course review

What are the best holes you’ve ever played?

Our club golf man takes you on a tour of his favourite 18 – a composite round he’d love to play every single day of his life
 

What are the best 18 holes you’ve ever played? If you could put together a composite round, of your most memorable moments, how would it look and which of your favourite courses would feature?

Serious questions and I jogged back through drawers full of scorecards and yardage books to find the holes that have resonated most from the rounds I’ve played and the places I’ve visited.

You’re going to notice some omissions – I’ve unbelievably yet to tee it up on any of the St Andrews courses – but perhaps you’ll find some inspiration in here that could send you on your way to a distant corner of the UK when lockdown is finally eased.

If you want to play along with your own 18, here are the rules:

  • You must have played the hole
  • It has to correspond with the number on your virtual card – so your 1st has to be an opening hole and so on
  • You can only use a course once
  • I took the white tees but play off whatever yardage suits best – just keep it uniform throughout

All clear? Right, this is my list…

1st: Prestwick, Par 4, 345 yards

best golf holes

Somehow we’d managed to get a dawn start on a Saturday at the birthplace of the Open – our incredulity at that met only by the disbelief of an employee who, when asked what we tees we should play off, barked ‘the members’.

He was even more dumbstruck when I pulled the driver out of the bag and, if I ever return, I will play this fabulous opener completely differently.

The railway line that hugs tight to the right all the way down makes even the steadiest of hands shake and it is an eclectic, and brilliant, start to what’s going to be an unconventional list.

2nd: Montrose, Par 4, 391 yards

best golf holes

Play this while you can because climate change is driving a dagger right through the heart of the hole. The slightly raised tee, looking out across the sea and out of bounds, provides a memorable view and the drive is tighter than you think.

Overcook it, which I’ve done more than once, and some heavy gorse, or a couple of nasty bunkers in the firing line, will make par very difficult.

3rd: Royal Porthcawl, Par 4, 388 yards

best golf holes

You’ve got a view of the sea from every hole at Royal Porthcawl and it’s particularly close here. You might start to notice a theme as, again, we’ve got the beach running alongside the hole and out of bounds all the way along.

What I really like about this is the green, which is set so close to the fence that any misjudgement means disaster. That and the fact I hit a tricky chip over a bunker and pinged the flag for a par…

Has that whetted the appetite? Find out which holes follow on Steve’s list on the next page…

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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