Appleby Golf Club

Appleby Golf Club

Type of course? North Pennines moorland

Pleasant staff? Couldn’t have been more welcoming

Best hole? The signature 15th par 3 is simply delightful. You have to hit over a beautiful babbling stream at the bottom of a steep crag to reach a green that you can’t see. Gorgeous.

Après golf? We had to dash, but we would have loved to hang out on the lovely terrace amongst the splendid views of the North Pennines.

Nice round? Astounding. I’d picked this course because I thought we’d have some nice scenery, which didn’t disappoint, but I didn’t know it’d be so much fun to play as well. And so well looked after. And it only cost us £15 each!

Special memory? Picking a sheep to aim for on pretty much every tee shot (no sheep were harmed). Also having to chip through the electric fences that protect every green from the above-mentioned sheep. 

Must play again? I would love to. It’s in my top 3.

Barnard Castle Golf Club

Barnard Castle Golf Club

Type of course? Parkland

Pleasant staff? We didn’t really deal with anyone – the electricity was off, so we were told to tee off whenever we could and the alarm was screaming as we finished, so we went home.

Best hole? I really liked the 9th par 5, up and down with a stream at the bottom. Probably because it was more typical of a downland course.

Après golf? We fled the alarm, sadly. It would have been nice to see if the clubhouse was more attractive inside than outside (see photo).

Nice round? It was very hot and I lost the will to live from holes 10 to 12. Charlotte played a stonker (40 points). 

Special memory? Hitting the pin with my chip on hole 14 for an almost-eagle, leaving me with a tap in for birdie. And my faith in golf was restored.

Must play again? Although it’s a parkland course, there are some great holes on this course that I’d love to play again – especially on the back 9.

Ashbourne Golf Club

Ashbourne Golf Club

Type of course? Downland/parkland Peak District-stylee

Pleasant staff? Yes

Best hole? I loved the SI 18 5th. It’s a short downhill par 4 with a dogleg left, so it’s all about picking the right line and you might end up very close to the green. We went too far right with our drive and underestimated the roll (or overestimated our ability to get the ball to stick) with our approach shot and both ended up in the mess at the back. The kind of hole you’d love to play again to get it right.

Après golf? Avant golf was two MASSIVE sausages in a medium size roll in the disappointingly soulless clubhouse.

Nice round? A bit slow for my liking as we got stuck behind a fourball from the 7th, but at least there was enough shade to keep us cool on the hottest day of the year.

Special memory? Walking up the fairway on the 15th and seeing what looked like dunes – on closer inspection it was just little mounds with tufty grass, but all of a sudden if felt like we were on a links course. Also an excellent strategic hole.

Must play again? Yes. The course is quirky, very varied, a lot of fun, with beautiful views and so lush for this time of year!

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.