Chichester Golf Club – Cathedral course

Chichester Golf Club – Cathedral course

Type of course? Parkland
Pleasant staff? Very
Best hole? The 5th par 5. It’s quite short at 439 yards, but there is water on both sides and the entrance to the green is extremely narrow, with a long bunker on the left. You really have to plot your way carefully. I escaped with a 6 for 2.
Après golf? A socially distanced drink on the outside terrace with our playing partners.
Nice round? It was a County competition and I played my little socks off – 5th best score out of 68 players, so yes. And it was great to play in a competition away from my home course for the first time in 10 months, all my regular Opens and other competitions having been cancelled in 2020 because of Covid-19.
Special memory? Losing my ball in a ditch on the first hole with an over ambitious second shot, when I had decided beforehand that I would definitely, definitely play safe and lay up.
Must play again? No. It’s a remarkably unremarkable course.
Pitlochry Golf Club

Pitlochry Golf Club

Type of course? I’m not saying it’s crazy hilly, but stick a couple of chairlifts on it and you have a decent ski resort.

Pleasant staff? Really, really lovely and chatty.

Best hole? The 18th is great: an elevated tee with beautiful views over the gorgeous surroundings and the colourful clubhouse and a stream to get over the reach the green.

Après golf? Haggis roll and coffee before, cup of tea and banana and caramel muffin after. All delicious.

Nice round? I didn’t play very well, but we were all still on a high after Europe’s victory in the Solheim Cup and it’s a stunningly beautiful course.

Special memory? Starting with two blobs after my best ever 9 holes just a few days before. That’s golf, that is.

Must play again? I would love to, it’s a fun course in gorgeous surroundings.

Gleneagles

Gleneagles

Type of course? Legendary

Pleasant staff? Jolly, jokey volunteers all delighted with their purple waterproofs.

Best hole? We sat on the 16th on the last day, which is where the momentum turned for Europe. Oh that birdie putt from Bronte Law!

Après golf? Venison burgers, cheese rolls, salami rolls, kit kats, peanut butter and chocolate biscuits, crisps, nothing was off-limits.

Nice round? We were there to watch the Solheim Cup and didn’t really expect Europe to win…

Special memory? Watching Suzann Pettersen hole the winning putt through someone’s legs.

Must play again? Three amazing days that nothing will ever top, so I don’t need to go back.

Blairgowrie Golf Club

Blairgowrie Golf Club

Type of course? Scottish gorgeousness

Pleasant staff? Absolutely lovely, all of them and they gave Charlotte courtesy of the course.

Best hole? The 16th because the tee box is behind a wee loch that you have to drive over. It’s just stunningly beautiful.

Après golf? Massive pot of tea and millionnaire shortbread before hand in the very busy clubhouse – the Solheim Cup effect, we were told.

Nice round? Fantastic. I had a good front 9 and I was just 1 over on the back. My finest 9 holes ever.

Special memory? Seeing my very first red squirrel on the 18th. But also having four birdies. That’s four birdies in one round. I’d never had four birdies in one round! Two on par 5s, one on a par 4 and one on a par 3.

Must play again? A solid contestant to be my golf club when I move to Scotland.

King James VI Golf Club

King James VI Golf Club

Type of course? Flat as a pancake river island with trees 

Pleasant staff? As welcoming as can be, as were the two chatty members who were busy painting the women’s changing room.

Best hole? Hard to tell, as we could only play 9 holes, half the course being closed due to flooding.

Après golf? The bar was closed and anyway, we had to start our epic journey back to the car!

Nice round? Lovely, but what made it special was the odyssey you have to embark on to get to the course. Across a road, up steps, across a railway bridge, down a ramp, along a path… great fun.

Special memory? Hitting the flag on the 3rd par 3 and almost finally having my very first hole in one.

Must play again? No. It’s very well looked after and very pleasant, but not very exciting.

Cooden Beach Golf Club

Cooden Beach Golf Club

Type of course? Is it a lush links course? Is it a parkland course with few trees? Is it more of a hybrid? Who knows, who cares.

Pleasant staff? Yes, and also very jovial, friendly male members on the course. Nice to be made to feel so welcome!

Best hole? The par 4 10th signature hole is really very good. There’s water across the fairway and to the left and a raised green protected by two massive bunkers cut into the side of the hill. It just looks really really great and it’s just hard enough to make you pleased to get a 5.

Après golf? Ok sandwiches quickly gobbled up before our round in the lovely clubhouse.

Nice round? Fantastic. This was a practice round for Charlotte’s Div 4 final on Monday, we both played very well, the pace was perfect, the course is just wonderful, there was an airshow overhead, the occasional train and glimpses of the beach beyond.

Special memory? The way we both played the par 5 18th hole. I am one up at that stage and I hit a great drive. Charlotte is 20 yards behind me. She clips the trees on the right of the fairway with her second shot and her ball stops dead. GAME ON, I think. I am 180 yeards away, so do I play it safe with a little hybrid for an easy chip onto the green? Hell no! I get the big girl out and land my ball at the front of the green in two. At that point I’m feeling pretty confident even though the pin is at the back. Charlotte is under pressure. She hits the ball and… her third shot ends up 7 feet from the pin! Thankfully I put my putt two feet away from the pin, but she sinks her putt for birdie! I do the same. A fantastic way to end a great round.

Must play again? I can’t wait to play it again.