Hole by Hole Flyover
The opening tee shot is inviting in the extreme, plunging down into the river valley onto a newly reshaped fairway
and leaving a short shot across the River Bovey onto the green. As the river is very much in play from the tee,
it is wise to lay up with a long iron or a wood.
The 2nd is a treacherous hole where placement is everything. A dogleg to the left around a wood, it’s all too
easy to over-shoot the fairway. Stay as tight to the left as possible to leave the best line into the green, which
again, is on the far side of the river. Whilst not wanting to come up short be sure not to over club as two pot
bunkers await you.
The river again dominates the 3rd, although the lake around the green is actually an ornamental in the castle
gardens. The green is sited on a natural promontory and is a target that is almost entirely surrounded by water.
The right half of the green is the side to aim. Here, there is a little more room than the view from the tee may
A classic hole in the heroic mould. The river catches the eye line from the tee and runs alongside the 4th fairway.
Bunkers and trees lurk on the far side of the fairway for those who take the cautious line, whilst the river awaits those
who are over optimistic. The approach to the green is heavily bunkered so lay back to leave a full shot in.
The down hill tee-shot is an inviting one, although the trees to the left and right can easily encroach on the demanding
second shot back over the River Bovey. The less powerful may be well advised to lay up. If you do ‘go for it’ its wise to
take one more club than the yardage suggests.
The 6th is an attractive downhill par three plying back across the river. The green is angled so that the back
right portion is tucked behind the right-hand bunker. Shots to this section of the green need to fly the full
distance although the right to left wind and downhill shot makes this almost a club shorter than normal.
This famous (and equally infamous) hole has tantalised, infuriated and charmed golfers since its
creation. Sir Henry Cotton recognised its undoubted quality by listing it in his favourite 18 holes in Britain.
The river meanders in a dangerous fashion down the right. The green is a classic example of Abercromby’s
The final river hole in one of the most daunting opening stretches of golf. Here the river nibbles in alongside
the landing area and the green is set alongside a stream that winds all down the left hand side of the green
and the approach. The bold line from the tee will hug the left so that a shot up the length of the green is set up.
Newly restored from Abercromby’s original design, the 9th hole is a par 3 with a small green closely guarded
by 6 treacherous bunkers. Choose your club wisely.
The 10th is the only par 5 on the back 9. It plays across a valley through a saddle in the hill. Leaving a
second shot across another valley. Players laying up need to be wary of the ditch at the bottom of the hill.
Players going for the green in 2 must carry the 3 big bunkers short of the green.
This is a superb par 4 with a dramatic approach across a lake-filled valley. Any shot even slightly short
of the green is likely to roll back down into trouble. Many should lay up but even this leaves a demanding
pitch to an elevated green. Take plenty of club on this shot as well, because it predominantly plays into the wind.
The final short hole may be the hardest of them all. From the back tee, it is frighteningly tight with an
angled green guarded by a deep front bunker. The prospect from the forward tee is a little less daunting,
but still calls for a deceptively long uphill shot. It is certainly better to be long than short, as the back of
the green is free of bunkers.
The 13th provides possibly the first light relief of the round and is in range from the tee for the longer players.
Bunkers hug the left hand side of the fairway for the last 100yards and any shot destined for the green must
flirt with them. The green is on 2 levels so an accurate approach is essential to create a birdie opportunity.
The right side of the green runs off quickly so it is usually better to aim a little left with the approach shot.
Another short par 4 through a narrow gap in the trees, the 14th is a fun hole, rewarding accuracy rather than
raw power. The bunker in the fairway is the line, everyone having to decide how to carry or circumnavigate it.
More powerful players will drive straight over it and may well reach the green, although the green’s cunning
undulations make putting a challenge.
This hole swings to the left around a dense stand of fir trees. The ideal line is to stay on the left half of the
fairway making the approach shot shorter. On a course where most of the greens are small, this hole differs
by providing a generous target, but it is elevated. Take plenty of club, especially if the flag is cut behind the
If conditions are firm and fast, stay right of the marker post but be careful to avoid the bunkers.
Longer players may fancy hitting it to the right, but this leaves an awkward angle to approach the green.
A running approach shot is often a good idea to this small green. Anything over the green is not easy, so it
is better to be a little on the short side.
The key to the 17th hole is choosing the right line from the tee. For the longer players straight
over the top of the highest tree, whilst the shorter player should hug the right of the copse.
Once over the hill, the green is an inviting target, but testing to hit from a downhill lie.
This hole requires a drive up around the bunkers if the green is to be in view for the second shot.
Drives hugging the left will leave a shorted second, but will be blind with the approach to the green
tilting sharply from left to right.
Thank you to MB Aerial Services for filming the footage.