Saunton Golf Club
West Course 7th Hole / Par-4 / 423 Yards
Architect: Frank Pennink (1973)
When Saunton Golf Club is mentioned the usual attention focuses, quite rightly, on the renowned East Course at the 36-hole complex located in England’s southwest coastal area.
Yet, there is another 18-hole layout, the West Course, which has its moments too. One of the really special holes to enjoy comes with the par-4 423-Yard 7th hole.
Golf in the United Kingdom doesn’t overly accentuate the insertion of water hazards as is the case with many designs in America. But, the 7th includes a pesky ditch that slithers about throughout the playing of the hole.
The strategy commences immediately at the tee. The curving nature of the ditch requires a healthy respect from all golfers. Staying down the left side is the more prudent play as this opens up the playing angle to the green.
One of the most striking qualities of the ditch’s role is how it moves in a swerving fashion – there’s room to avoid it but its role clearly can get into the head of any golfer who shows even the slightest bit of hesitation in determining your line of play.
The same ditch you encounter with the tee shot must also be crossed to get to the putting surface. Those who find rough off the tee can opt to lay-up in front of the ditch and proceed with a short 3rd shot to the green.
The putting surface is well suited for the task in rejecting all but the best of plays. Any shots not hit crisply can easily fall off the sides which then present challenging recovery situations.
The greatness of the hole comes in providing a clear examination for any level of golfer – choose wisely and reap the reward.
Conversely, play indecisively or with wayward play and the penalty will be swift and ever certain.