Golf Course Review of Minehead & West Somerset Golf Club
Minehead & West Somerset Golf Course
Reviewed by Ed Battye -
Quick Summary: Links golf in a beautiful location with lovely sea views
Our 5 Star Rating: 3.5
Minehead and West Somerset is a true links golf course set against the rugged backdrop of the Brendon Hills with captivating sea views all the way along the impressive back-nine.
If you are seeking the joys of seaside golf in beautiful surroundings this ticks virtually all of the boxes.
It’s a lovely location for a golf course and the setting produces a pleasing mix of honest links golf, close to the coastline, and a gentler, more parkland style for half a dozen holes towards the inland side of the property.
I personally enjoyed the opening three holes as well as the long run for home, which starts as early as the 11th, and hugs the shore for most of the way. Whilst no doubt, others will prefer the section of the course away from the sea that has more trees and lusher fairways. The holes that did it for me contain many of the thrills and spills associated with classic links golf; rippling fairways, tight turf, excellently sited greens, strategically placed bunkers and exposure to a stiff breeze.
I could mention several holes in detail but I’ll highlight just a couple to give you a flavour of Minehead & West Somerset; the first and last.
The opening hole is a superb example of what a short par four should be. At only 247 yards one might think this should be a certain three but there is so much going on in the last 100 yards that if you are just a fraction out with your tee-shot you could find yourself faced with an awkward lie or stance and easily run up a bogey or worse. The approach and valley-shaped green run along a raised diagonal ridge and well placed bunkers enhance the challenge of this fluid hole.
After this more than impressive start you play fine holes at the second and third too. There isn’t quite as much movement in the land on these sub 400-yard two-shotters but there are still plenty of undulations. From here you gradually work your way out to the far end of the links, a stream to contend with on many of the holes, before turning back to the clubhouse. This closing stretch, tight to the rocky beach, contains a good variety of holes and culminates in the superb 18th.
At 213 yards from the tips the closing hole is a stiff examination and I’m sure many members will be able to recount tales of a good score dissipating here in a heartbeat. The proximity of the clubhouse to the left of the green is intimidating, particularly with a tailwind, but it is the large swale towards the front of the putting surface that is key to the strategy of this excellent hole, which is also flanked by an equally terrifying sand dune to the right. You must judge the carry over the swale, or perhaps more sensibly a ground attack, to perfection in order to set up a birdie opportunity.
The greens were in fantastic condition on our visit in early April and were a joy to putt on. Many of the putting surfaces have subtle undulations whilst some are more pronounced. I can imagine Minehead plays well all-year round and is certainly suitable for golfers at all levels of experience. The beautiful views and inspiring setting ensures you won’t be disappointed with a visit to play golf in this gorgeous part of the country.
Club Website: www.mineheadgolf.co.uk