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This club is famous for... the holy well

This club is famous for… the holy well

The clue is in the name, but what will drinking from the spring do to your round at Hollinwell?
 

Around 150 years ago, some believe the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor shepherdess called Bernadette and commanded:

“Go drink at the spring and wash yourself there.”

So was born the cult of Lourdes.

Golfers looking for miracles may find salvation with their own splash of water just off the eighth tee at the wonderful Notts Golf Club.

For at the Kirkby-in-Ashfield venue, almost immediately to your right as you pick up your tee after hitting your opening shot, lies the ‘holy well’.

I suppose a golf course is as good a place as any to ask for a religious intervention. Be careful, though, what you wish for.

The spring that runs down away from the tee box picked up its saintly name because it’s where the monks from nearby Newstead Abbey came to pick up their water.

With the area now known as The Hollinwell, you can taste the remarkably pure water to this day – club chiefs leave a big cup down there for players to quench their thirst.

But, if you do, be prepared for the consequences. Members say those who drink from the well will see their round change – whether for good or bad.

The spring is the same temperature all year round and secretary-manager Martyn Bonner says the source is unclear.

Once you’ve marvelled at it, take a 60 second detour from your round, and follow the spring round a corner. You’ll catch the sight of the fresh water bubbling up through the sand on its way to the well.

It’s an amazing feat of nature.

To get to The Hollinwell, you’ll have negotiated Robin Hood’s Seat.

This rocky outcrop, behind the second green, is where the legendary outlaw is said to have watched the road below and waited for fresh victims to pass by.

Who is Robin, though, without his Maid Marian?

Work at the back of the green at the 16th has uncovered a large stone, which some of the members have taken to calling Marian’s Bed…

Click here for the full ‘This Club Is Famous For’ archive

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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