Review Colne Valley Golf Club
Review by Golfshake Member Matt Holbrook (19 handicap) - July 2014
Set in the quaint village of Earls Colne, 10 miles West of Colchester, Colne Valley Golf Club sits in the tranquil countryside of Essex offering a treat of parkland golf for players of all abilities since 1989.
After receiving a warm and friendly welcome in the Pro Shop you wander across the the putting green and get a taste for what's in store as you overlook the double green on 9th and 18th. With a couple of nets alongside the putting green this has everything you would need before teeing off. If you're really keen there is a chipping green and practise bunker on the other side of the club house.
The par 3's here are a real challenge but present an excellent test. The 6th plays 180 yards (yellows) downhill onto a long narrow green. Anything left will see you in the bunker, anything right will hit the bank and role down towards the 7th tee, making club choice extremely important.
The 11th provides a different test. Just 140 yards off the yellows over water, again onto a long narrow green. With little room to work with shot making is key otherwise you may be finding the water!
At 197 yards the 13th is one of the most difficult par 3 arounds. Long and straight is key (easier said than done), the smart miss here is right of the green onto the steep bank which the ball will roll down.
There are a lovely mixture of par 4's at Colne Valley ranging from 306 yards to 450 yards.
The 2nd hole presents a severe dog leg left meaning placement off the tee is paramount to ensure you leave yourself with a shot right of the tree and over the ditch onto a highly guarded green.
The 7th is the shortest par 4 which may allow some to take iron off the tee but beware of the sloping fairway to the right and a fairway trap.
At 450 yards, arguably the toughest of the par 4's, the 10th can sometimes play as a par 5 depending on wind direction. With a large tree to negotiate from the tee as well as OOB left finding the fairway is a task alone. If you manage that you still have a long shot down hill into the green.
The SI1 14th is not for the faint hearted with a testing tee shot through a small gap guarded by trees ensuring accuracy is vital to scoring well on this hole.
The 1st is a par 5 playing just shy of 500 yards. Tee shot right of centre is ideal as the fairway slopes right to left and anything too far left will end up in the rough, or even worse, in the trees. The green is protected by deep bunkers so laying up would be a wise choice.
The 4th is a much shorter par 5 and a real opportunity for the bigger hitters to cut the corner over the trees and possibly leave a mid iron into the green. Beware of the OOB right on your approach shot!
For me the hardest hole on the course is the 12th. Not due to length but your tee shot must find a gap between 2 fairway bunkers and some OOB on the right. The fairway is narrow. If you manage to find the fairway your second shot is equally as difficult. With water right and OOB left the fairway is narrowed by trees both sides so laying up seems the sensible choice - but a difficult second shot still awaits.
I found Colne Valley to be a cracking, enjoyable and testing course in superb condition and I'd highly recommend to golfers of all abilities.
The greens are some of the best around running at 9.5 stimp on the day when I played in July. There are no easy greens and this for me is what makes a good course a great course - no easy putts.
The staff in the clubhouse greet you with a friendly smile upon arrival after your round. The spike bar has just undergone refurbishment and has a warm friendly and modern feel to it. But seriously, get yourself outside to the balcony for a stunning view overlooking the 9th and 18th holes.
This is a real gem. The course is fantastic, views stunning, food in the clubhouse spot. If you are in the area then Colne Valley is well worth playing.
Overall I'd rate Colne Valley 9 out of 10.
For more information on Colne Vallye visit colnevalley.intelligentgolf.co.uk
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