10 of the Best - Golf Courses in Lincolnshire
When you think of classic golf courses, Lincolnshire is not a county that immediately springs to mind. However, it is home to a great combination of heathland, parkland and links courses and in the fabulous Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa, it boasts what is surely one of the top courses in Britain. Here, we take a look at 10 of the very best courses in Lincolnshire.
Woodhall Spa Golf Club, Hotchkin Course
Par 73, 7,080 yards, heathland
£76, November 1-March 31, £53
Home of the English Golf Union, Woodhall Spa has two courses, the Hotchkin and the Bracken. They are both excellent examples of heathland golf at its best, but the Hotchkin is something special and features high on every 'best of' list. It is set among beautiful woodland and is famous for its bunkers, some of which you may go into and never be seen again. You are going to have to accept that somewhere along the line you are going to end up in the sand, so make sure you know how to get out. Keeping the ball in play is essential - trees, gorse and heather lie in wait. Get in the heather and you will be happy just to get the ball back in play. Do not miss the greens on the wrong side. The second is a par four measuring 442 yards which offers the choice of hitting to the wide part of the fairway or aim between the bunkers, which leaves a shorter second to a green with a large dip. The fifth only measures 148 yards but the large, narrow green is surrounded by deep bunkers. The 13th is 451 yards with bunkers on both sides of the fairway and more bunkers to be negotiated before you reach the green, which has a shelf at the rear.
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Par 71, 6,490 yards, parkland
Green fee £25
There are three loops of nine at Belton Park Golf Club and the 18-hole layout we like best is the Brownlow. The third is 324 yards but you need to be accurate to have a chance of a birdie. A stream and trees await an errant tee shot, with out of bounds on the left. It is a dogleg and plays uphill to a large, undulating green. The sixth is a par three played over water to a well-guarded green. The wind usually blows from the right. At just 394 yards, the 13th is generally regarded as the hardest hole on the course. The perfect drive should be struck over the edge of a lake, leaving an approach to a two-tiered green that slops from back to front and features a dyke at the front. The 16th is 375 yards and is another hole requiring care from the tee. You play downhill, where a pond waits those who hit the ball too far. The approach is played over the pond to a sloping green.
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Seacroft Golf Club
Par 71, 6,835 yards, links
Green fee £50, winter £30
Seacroft is a highly underrated links, situated on the east coast at Skegness. It first opened back in 1895 and has hosted many important amateur events since then. This is a classic links course, with the first nine holes heading away from the clubhouse and the second nine meandering back in the opposite direction. Care needs to be taken at the eighth and ninth holes, with a main road running alongside both holes. Seacroft boasts 18 fabulous greens, all year round. The fairways are tight, fast running and undulating, with plenty of blind and semi-blind shots to be played. There are 75 well placed bunkers to be avoided. The course is located in an English Nature Site of Special Scientific Interest, which means that golf, nature and the environment live together in harmony here.
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Lincoln Golf Club
Par 72, 6,075 yards, parkland
Green fee £40, winter £20
Lincoln Golf Club is a delightful parkland course set in beautiful grounds and featuring plenty of extremely challenging holes. The fourth is 360 yards and features three fairway bunkers - one left and two to the right. The approach is played to a bowl-shaped green, guarded by three further bunkers. The ninth is a great par four, running to 464 yards. Trees line both sides of the fairway, with one bunker to the right and two to the left. The 14th, at 330yards, offers a good birdie opportunity. It has an undulating fairway and an approach shot is played to a two-tiered green – accuracy is essential. The 17th hole measures 177 yards, with the tee shot played over a lake. It features out of bounds on the left and bunkers all around the uphill green.
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Market Rasen Golf Club
Par 71, 6,259 yards, parkland
Green fee £18
The parkland course at Market Rasen that in 1912 and features many natural hazards, including the River Rase, which flows through the course. The first is a cracking 452-yard par four with a drive struck over a pit to a tree-lined fairway. On the left, and out of bounds, is a reservoir. The approach is played to an elevated green. The sixth is a par four measuring 387 yards that demands an accurate drive to a tree-lined fairway. There is a bunker 40 yards short of the green waiting to catch any approach that is noit struck properly. The hole features a large double green that is shared with the third hole. The 553-yard par five 15th is the longest hole on the course, with a tree-lined fairway. A bunker at 200 yards awaits any drive hit to the left. The fairway falls left to right through a valley and the approach is played to an elevated green protected by bunkers. The 18th is a par three of 187 yards with gorse bushes to be cleared and out of bounds on the right. The green is protected at the front right hand side by a large fir tree and bunkers to the left hand side.
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Elsham Golf Club
Par 71, 6,426 yards, parkland
Green fee £40
This is a delightful course that was established in 1900. The second hole at Elsham Golf Club is a 350-yard par four featuring a sharp dog leg to the right. It calls for an accurate drive to leave a short iron to an undulating green guarded by trees and a stream. The sixth is a 160-yard par three which features a deep grass ditch in front of the green and deep bunkers on either side. The 11th measures 375 yards. The drive has to be threaded through an avenue of trees, with the fairway gently moving from left to right. There is a large oak tree on the right, behind which are four fairway bunkers. The green is protected by no fewer than five bunkers. The 16th, at 411 yards, has no bunkers, but your drive has to clear plenty of scrub, with trees right and left. There is a ditch on the right and, as you hit your approach to a green surrounded by trees, out of bounds on the right.
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Holme Hall Golf Club
Park 71, 6,413 yards, parkland
Green fee £30, winter £20
A glorious layout that offers superb value for money no matter what time of year you choose to visit the course at Holme Hall Golf Club. The first hole is a terrific par five measuring 512 yards. The bunkers are the key – big hitters can carry the sand on the right of the fairway, while shorter hitters should aim left. The green is also well guarded by more bunkers. The eighth is a par four. At 397 yards it is not long, but you will need to strike a decent drive to clear all the heather and rubbish in front of the tee. The fairway is wide and the second shot is played to a large green guarded by three bunkers. The 13th measures just 160 yards. It sounds simple enough, but there is one bunker short of the putting surface and another on each side – they are to be avoided. The 17th is a 404-yard par four, with a lake on the left of the fairway. A good drive down the right-hand side will open up the green for the second shot.
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Forest Pines Golf Club
Par 73, 6,859 yards, parkland
Green fee £40
The clue is in the name although, in truth, there are plenty of other types of trees at Forest Pines Golf Club. It comprises three loops of nine holes and was the venue for the 2013 Boys Home Internationals. The first thing that will strike you about Forest Pines, which is set in 190 glorious acres, is the sheer beauty of the place. The three nine-hole courses add up to more than 10,000 yards of championship-standard golf. The signature hole is the seventh, which features water. In one year alone, the club retrieved more than 6,000 golf balls from the pond. The most challenging layout is the combination of the Forest and the Pines.
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Kenwick Park Golf Club
Par 71, 6,715 yards, parkland
Green fee £50, £25 off peak
Kenwick Park, located near Louth, is a magnificent parkland course. The second hole measures 159 yards, but it is a potential card wrecker, with water lurking to each side and to the back of the green. Just aim for the centre of the putting surface and try to get out with a three. The eighth is another fabulous par three. This one measures 201 yards and is played over water to a two-tier green protected by a deep bunker to the right. The 11th is a 388-yard par four played through a narrow avenue of trees. The second shot must carry a small ditch running across the fairway 30 yards short of the smallest green on the course. The 18th is a par five, measuring 503 yards. It plays uphill, with your drive threaded between two large oak trees on the left and three bunkers on the right. You will need to avoid another tall oak with your second. The green is two-tiered.
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Blankney Golf Club
Par 72, 6,638 yards, parkland
Green fee £36, winter deals available
Blankney is more than 100 years old and is located within a spectacular estate. There are hundreds of trees on one of the prettiest courses you will ever play. The second, at 375 yards, calls for a good drive, as near to the water as possible. This leave an approach to a two-tier green, where it is vital to find the right level. The ninth is a cracking 453-yard par four. It is a dog leg, often played into the wind, with bunkers at the dog leg. An elevated green is well protected by bunkers. The 14th measures 402 yards. There are bunkers on the left of the fairway which gives the illusion that the landing area is small, but there is more room than you think. A dip in front of the two-tier green makes it seem closer than it actually is, so always take one club more than you think, but there is trouble at the back. The course finishes with a straightforward par five of 505 yards. If you can get your drive to the ridge you have a good chance of hitting the green in two – the putting surface slopes from back to front.
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