St. Enodoc Golf Club

St Enodoc Golf Club on the North Cornwall coast overlooks the Camel Estuary, with Padstow on the far side, and to the North out across the Atlantic. The location on the high sand dunes is ideal for golf combined with stunning sea views.

The club is situated in one of the driest parishes in Cornwall and being on sand is ideal for golf twelve months of the year; even in the depths of winter frost is a rarity thanks to the warm Gulf Stream climate. The area is renowned as a holiday resort and with the advent of the motorway network and the upgrading of the A30 is only about 4 hours drive from London.

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The clubhouse as viewed on arrival

The club has two courses; the Church course is the James Braid designed Championship course which in September 2005 hosted the English County Finals and in July 2014 the English Women's Amateur Chamapionship again. The shorter Holywell course is an ideal course for those wanting slightly less of a challenge but which features some typical links terrain.

The club is complete with practice ground, two putting greens and an excellent clubhouse complete with bars and restaurant.

The Clubhouse Facilities

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The main clubhouse bar
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The lower bar lounge area

 The club has a recently fully refurbished bar and  lounge area along with two outside sitting areas to enjoy both drinks and the extensive range of bar snacks and an all day breakfast which are available from 9.00am till 5.30pm. Fuller meals are provided in the upstairs restaurant which has a commanding view of the first and eighteenth holes with the sea beyond.

 

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The clubhouse dining room

 

History of St. Enodoc Golf Club

It is said that golf was first played on a part of the present course by a party of undergraduates in 1888. Their efforts were confined to the area round the church of St Enodoc and Daymer Bay. In 1889 a number of local gentlemen laid out a few holes amongst the massive dunes at Rock, and as their enthusiasm increased they formed in 1890 St. Enodoc Golf Club. From the minutes of the General Meeting, held in the open air in March 1892, there were about 20 members paying an annual subscription of 5/- to pay the rent of £6 p.a. for the land.

Early records mention competitions held over 27 holes, 18 out and 9 home, but sadly no definitive plans exists to indicate precisely the holes then played. It is known, however, that the first tee was situated on the high land about 300 yards to the east of the present Club House, and that there was one hole on the Northern side of Daymer Bay.

In about 1900, Dr. Theophilus Hoskin purchased some 300 acres of land comprising the whole of the land then in use, plus the adjoining Trenain Farm and Brea Cottage. In 1905, Dr. Hoskin granted a lease to the Club of "Coles Sandy Common" for £30 a year, and two years later entered into an agreement to allow play on that part of Trenain Farm, which now contains the 13th and 14th holes.

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The Prince of Wales teeing off in front of the old clubhouse and buildings in 1927

In 1907 James Braid laid out a full 18 hole course, which was first altered in about 1922, notably by the construction of the present short 8th and a diversion of the original 11th, 12th and 13th holes. In 1937 the present clubhouse with new access road from Rock was opened in time for the English Ladies' Close Championship. As a result Braid constructed the existing 17th and 18th holes necessitated by the re-siting of the Club House.

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Wanda Morgan winning the 1937 ELGA championship

The tenancy granted by Dr. Hoskin in 1905 continued until 1949, when his widow decided to sell the property. The club arranged to purchase but, while negotiations were procceding, the Duchy of Cornwall agreed to take over the whole of the land together with the Club House, and to accept the Club as tenants under a lease.

The shorter nine hole course which closed in 1939 due to wartime labour shortages re-opened in 1967, using some of the holes originally designed by James Braid in 1928, and was extended to eighteen holes in 1982. Though not so exacting as the Church Course (as the main course is now known), the shorter "Holywell" course, has proved immensely popular with the golfers of all ages and abilities.

The most important change in the club's recent history occurred in 1987 with the purchase of the freehold from the Duchy of Cornwall. Since acquisition the Clubhouse has been considerably enlarged and improved, and then in 1998, taking into account the much greater pressure of play on the course and the effect of a spate of dry summers on the fairways, a modern computer-controlled watering system was installed, supplied from a 6 million gallon reservoir constructed on land between the first and the second holes of the Church Course.

Over the years the membership has grown steadily and now numbers approximately 1,300, five hundred of whom are resident in the Duchy. The club prides itself on the encouragement it gives to junior golfers. In recent years several have gone on to represent the county at both junior and senior level. In 1998, Scott Godfrey won the Carris Trophy and became, as as far as we know, the first St. Enodoc golfer to win a national championship of any sort. Since then he has achieved even greater success, winning the English Amateur Championship in 2001 and gaining full international honours in the England team. ScottGodfrey.jpgScott Godfrey playing in the 2003 Open Championship at Royal St. Georges

The Church Course has changed hardly at all since Bernard Darwin wrote his description shortly before the Second World War. In 2004 a review by Peter McEvoy of the course has resulted in the some new fairway bunkers being established and some additional tees and a new 13th green has been built and in 2007 the considerably lengthened Par 5 16th now 560 yards long was opened. Golfers today still play the course essentially as laid out by James Braid - a tremendous tribute to that great golfer's vision and skill as it has stood the test of time even with the enormous changes in clubs and balls in the last seventy years.