1,284 feet. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. It’s nearly 400 metres. Just under a quarter of a mile.
Imagine climbing that and you’ll have a clearer idea of what awaits if you fancy a round at Kington – the highest 18-hole course in England.
Luckily for the less fit among us, going round this Herefordshire track isn’t simply four hours scaling heart attack hill.
Much of the climbing is, thankfully, done in the car on the way to the clubhouse.
Major Cecil Hutchinson designed Kington just over 90 years ago – recognising the potential of the land around Bradnor Hill.
If that’s not a name that trips instantly off the tongue then I merely need to point out that he helped design Gleneagles and remodelled Woodhall Spa. You get the picture.
What Hutchinson saw, and took advantage of, was springy moorland turf and panoramic views taking in the Malvern Hills to the east, Clee Hill and the Shropshire ranges to the north.
Don’t forget Radnor Forest to the west and The Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons to the south west.
Quite a range, I’m sure you’ll agree.
The course is found on National Trust Land and incorporates part of the historic Offa’s Dyke walk.
It’s unusual in the sense that it has no sand bunkers. What it does boast, in abundance, are tight, hard to hit greens – such as the par 3 12th that’s barely 30 feet wide.
With difficult drives, interesting lies from the fairway and sheep freely roaming, it’s not a course that everyone will embrace – reaching as it does fewer than 6,000 yards.
But if you are golfing purist, it’s quirky, you’ll hit shots you won’t encounter anywhere else and, first and foremost, it’s a lot of fun.
Why on earth wouldn’t you want to visit?
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