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Worksop Golf Club Feature Review

By: Andrew Picken | Mon 06 Jul 2020

Review by Golfshake Ambassador Andy Picken

Worksop Golf Club is situated on the outskirts of the town, on the boundary of the National Trust’s Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest. It is easily accessible from a number of major routes and is well known for being able to be played all year round. It is free draining and is very well conditioned. The fairways are fast and free running with excellent turf and tricky greens, set in a mature woodland setting. The course measures 6,628 yards, par 72 for men and 5,928 yards, par 74 for women. It was originally designed back in 1914 by Tom Williamson as a 9-hole course. 

The clubhouse is a modern hospitality facility that has a lovely mix with old school wooden lockers and changing rooms. In the main foyer is a glazed cabinet featuring some superb golf related memorabilia.

Worksop has been involved in the development of many major golf personalities including Lee Westwood, Mark Foster, Maurice Bembridge and David Snell. Each have donated for display memorabilia and it provides a nice distraction at the main entry to the facility.

As Lee Westwood says: “I’ll never forget my roots. They are firmly embedded in the fairways of Worksop Golf Club."

Our visit was restricted due to Covid-19 but many golfers who have reviewed the facility during more usual times grade the food and beverages highly. A well-equipped professional shop adds yet more to the package. Views across the course from the clubhouse and practice green enhance the mounting feeling of excitement as you prepare for your round.

There is an informative and well-constructed website for the visiting golfer offer all information that you are likely to require. I would recommend that you check out the flyover videos if you are planning a visit as it will really help in picking lines of attack from the tees.

I love the fact that this site details advice from the likes of Lee Westwood and Mark Foster, helping you choose clubs and pick angles of direction for tee shots. However, their capabilities far exceed mine and I quickly realised that I didn’t have those type of shots in my locker as I searched for my ball in the trees time and again!

Front 9 Overview

The opening holes are a relatively gentle introduction to the course. All the trouble is to the right of the opening par 4 and the green has gentle slopes back to front. Having negotiated the 1t, the tee shot to the 2nd hole is from an elevated tee box and is visually inviting. The fairway is framed by mature trees on each side but the fairway slopes left to right so expect any decent carry of shot to be pushed to the right semi-rough if not placed accurately down the left of the fairway.

The 3rd hole is an uphill par 3 measuring nearly 200 yards that requires a big hit to carry the two deep bunkers just short of the green. The green itself is long and narrow and slopes severely from back to front. As a group we all played decent approaches to the green but then found that the green shape and structure added greatly to the hole’s defence. Putts from behind the hole were treacherous and difficult. An interesting, challenging golf hole.

The 4th hole is relatively short in length but it is also a challenge. At 383 yards, it offers a left to right dog-leg par 4 with two fairway bunkers at the corner, one long left and one short right. For the visitor I would suggest a conservative line to the fairway rather than the attacking lines suggested by the professional golfers. We all played different options off the tee to varying levels of success. Well struck drives require the correct shape to hold the fairway or will be gathered by the eagerly awaiting tree line that then blocks out any direct approach into the green.

I really enjoyed the 5th hole. It measures in at 322 yards from tee to green but most golfers will need to approach this hole with caution. If you can hit a high draw drive to carry 300 yards, go for it. If you are a mere mortal like me try and plot your way to the green. In our group we all played different tee shots and lines off the tee. I opted for a bail out hybrid that caught the trees at the elbow of the hole but was fortunate to be left an open line into the green. The green is triple tiered and is a cracker. Difficult to read and judge the pace we were happy to walk off with a bogey.

Next you are faced with a pair of par 5s. The fairway is generous in width with two bunkers down the right to catch the longer hitters. Again, it looks visually inviting and encouraged our group to open their shoulders. Please don’t be greedy with the second shot as I was, as anything slightly off line will be severely punished by trying to hit the green in two shots. Consider a layup short of trees that extend out in to the fairway or hit through the narrow gap to get close to the green. The green itself is raised with deep bunkers left and right. 

The 8th is another challenging short hole that measures over 200 yards from the back tees. There is out of bounds all the way down the right and to the back of the green and a single deep bunker front left. The green is large and relatively flat. 

From the back tees the 9th hole is a 512-yard par 4. A straight, challenging par 4 with gorse and out of bounds down the right and trees down the left. The fairway slopes from right to left pushing balls towards a large oak tree that can block out the second shot. The green slopes severely from back to front over two levels with a deep bunker guarding the front left and three large oak trees guarding the front right. This is another hole that looks great from the tee box and encourages a positive drive.

Back 9 Overview

The 10th plays 506 yards from the tips. A long narrow par 5 that gently curves to the right along its entire length. As the 9th there are no fairway bunkers but the fairway is undulating and slopes left to right. The second shot needs to be accurate to avoid the trees on either side and leave a good angle in to the green. The large green slopes severely from left to right with a large bunker front left. An interesting hole.

The 11th is shortest hole on the course plays slightly downhill to a small green that slopes from front left to back right. The green is protected by bunkers front and left with a very small gap for golfers trying to run the ball in. The framing of this green from the tee is excellent.

Moving onto the 12th, which signals the start of a tough stretch of holes, it is a very tight par 4 with trees left and right. A good straight tee shot will catch the down slope to make the approach shot much shorter. The green slopes severely from right to left with bunkers both short, right and to the left. 

The 13th at 428 yards is ranked the most difficult on the course. It offers a right to left dog-leg par 4 where a tee shot played safely out to the right will leave a long second shot. Two well placed trees in the fairway must be avoided on the approach to a green that slopes severely from back to front with bunkers on either side and a narrow entrance. 

The 14th is another tight right to left dog-leg. Well struck tee shots will reach the corner but be short of the deep fairway bunker. The green is long and narrow and slopes severely from right to left with bunkers on either side.   

Playing downhill towards a wide landing area, the 17th fairway is flanked by silver birch trees on the left and pine trees and out of bounds on the right. The approach is played uphill to a green that is bunkered on both sides and slopes severely from back to front, particularly the front section. 

Finally, the 18th is a par 3 overlooked by the clubhouse and out of bounds on the right. There are three bunkers around the severely right to left sloping green. A good tee shot that finds the green is the required start as putting on this green can be very difficult. A score of par on this hole is always a good finish to your round. 

Post Round Thoughts

Worksop is a club that has a lot going for it. Excellent greens and fairways matched with some unusual but interesting hole layouts. Easily accessible to the visiting golfer and boasts a strong reputation locally for its hospitality and welcome. Link this with this strong and ongoing affiliation to some of Europe’s finest golfers and that makes for a very strong package.

This is a course that benefits from a strategic approach and thought to the direction of tee shots and lines of attack. It will hold the English Men’s Amateur Championship in July 2022.

A thoroughly enjoyable visit and easy to see why it attracts Highly Recommended status by the Golfshake Community.

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