Sapey Golf Club Feature Review

By: Melvyn Davies | Tue 15 Sep 2020 | Comments


Review by Golfshake Ambassador Mel Davies


Opened in October 1990, Sapey Golf Club is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has matured into one of the outstanding courses in the area. Set high in the rolling hills of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire border, wildlife abounds, finding refuge in the surrounding woods, cornfields, and pastures. Located not too far from Hereford, Worcester and Kidderminster, the Highly Recommended venue is easily accessible for a large number of people. Also, with the lodges on site it is a great destination for visitors from further afield to stay and play. Sapey is a terrific spot for golf days and societies.

Pre-Round Thoughts

It had been around a decade since my last visit, so I was really looking forward to seeing how the course had matured. I was greeted by Head Professional Martin Payne who was only too willing to talk to me about changes already made and future projects that will without doubt take the club forward. It was also pleasing to hear they have had a big influx of new members since lockdown. Martin has a swing room that can be hired out for use, and there is also a practice net and a large putting green so getting a warm up pre-round is easily achievable.

Front 9 Overview

The front 9 starts with a relatively gentle opener where a good drive will leave a short to iron into a well bunkered green. Next up is the first of the six par 3s, all of which are great holes and offer many challenges. The 3rd and 4th can yield birdies from well-placed drives, but like on the whole of the course, being just slightly off-line can lead to a visit into the now well matured trees, and a chip out is normally the only route you can take.

The 5th is stroke index 1 and you can really see why, bunkers pinching in down the left and trees on both sides make the drive tight, and even if you find the fairway a mid to long iron will be needed to hit a shallow green where a bunker is placed short left. Another great par 3 is next up followed by the first par 5, and at nearly 550 yards off the yellows, reaching in two is not easy for most.

For me, the 8th is the signature hole. A mid-iron over the ditch that is attached to the pond and waterfall is needed, but don’t go long or left as water awaits. Standing on the tee this hole is a real beauty and a par is a great return. The front 9 ends with a great dogleg to the right par 4 where a good tee shot can leave a short iron into a small green that is not at all easy to hit.

Back 9 Overview

The back 9 starts with a par 4 where accuracy is required, and a short iron will be left into another small green with bunkers pinching in on the left. Another great par 3 over water and uphill is next to a very wide but shallow green before you head to the second of the three par 5s.

This par 5 is really gettable in two but the approach is not easy as bunkers short left and right, along with another greenside to the left await. The penultimate and longest par 3 is next up followed by a great but long par 4 over a ditch and then up to a tiered green.

The 15th is the third and final par 5 and for most it's a three shot hole. Another tight and relatively long par 4 is next up then comes the final par 3 downhill to a green with bunkers left, right and another further back right. If you play the par 3s here anything close to par, you know you’ve had a great ball striking day. The finishing hole is yet another tight tee shot, but get a good one away and a short iron is left to quite a shallow green with one bunker left and two right. A lovely finish to a great course with the clubhouse set behind the green with a balcony looking down.

There really is a fantastic mix of holes and the variety along with the quality of the layout make this a great course to come and play. You can score well if you are hitting the ball solidly, but if not the trees are always there ready to greet any wayward shots. I really enjoyed Sapey and the greens especially were excellent. The definition on the fairways and around the greens were of the highest quality.

Post-Round Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole round and it offers challenges for every aspect of your game. Tight tee shots, graduated rough and small fast greens can cause problems for any level of golfer, but the course is also playable and one I’m sure everyone would enjoy. We went into the very modern feeling clubhouse and a wide variety of drinks and food were on offer at very reasonable prices. We had our drinks and food outside on the balcony overlooking the finished hole and it was a great way to end a thoroughly enjoyable visit.

Verdict

Some drainage is already in place and more is in the offing so this will help in making the course playable all year round. The greens were really pure and fast which was great to see. You can clearly see a lot of time, effort and money is being put into making this a tremendous venue for all levels of golfer, and the lodges will only further enhance the number of visitors to Sapey.

Overall Rating - 10

Course (Conditions) - 10

Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10

Course (Green Condition) - 10

Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 9

Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 10

Practice Facilities - 8

Friendliness/Hospitality - 10

Pace of Play - 10

Value for Money - 10


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