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| Saturday, 20 January 2018
About Hole 1
The 1st hole at Oundle is a demanding par 5. Accuracy is of most importance as any tee shot right will be blocked out by the trees. Longer hitters may be able to reach in two, however as the second shot is blind and the target small, laying up is much the safer option.
About Hole 2
The 2nd hole is unusual in that the medal white tee distance is 15 yards shorter than that from the yellow tee, but don't be fooled. The drive from the elevated white tee is across Harper's Brook and the tall trees that boarder it. From both white and yellow tees the key is to keep the ball between the marker post and the trees that line the left side of the fairway. This opens up the green and will leave a shot into the pin with a short iron. Anything right from the tees spells trouble.
About Hole 3
The 3rd hole is the first of three very different par 3's on the Oundle course . At 130 yards it is the shortest but is quite often played into the prevailing south westerly wind. The front right of the green is guarded by a large oak tree while anything pulled slightly left will find one of two bunkers that line the left side of the green. Take a little time to look behind the tee and to the right. You may see an owl in the hollowed out tree trunk keeping an educated eye on the golf.
About Hole 4
From the shortest to the longest, the 4th hole measures 569 yards from the medal tee. The drive is downhill towards the farm access road. Slightly right of the Oundle church spire is a good line. The second shot should be directed over the marker post to avoid fairway bunkers on the left, 150yards from the green, and on the right, 130 yards from the green. An iron to the green will need to be accurate as the green slopes right to left and is guarded by front bunkers.
About Hole 5
The 5th hole is a sharp dog-leg left, and one of the toughest holes on the course. The best line from the tee is not at the marker post. For the easiest shot into the green, aim as far left as possible, towards the corner of the dog leg. Beware the bunkers guarding the front of the green, the flag is often tucked behind one of them. For this reason aim for the middle of the green, always happy to walk away with a par.
About Hole 6
The 6th hole is a challenging par 4 at 473 yards. The drive needs to be straight and long to give realistic chance of reaching the green in 2 shots. Out of bounds featurers strongly on both sides of the hole off the tee. In the summer it plays down the prevailing wind but when this alters the hole will show why it is rated the most difficult hole on the course.
About Hole 7
The 7th hole turns back into the prevailing wind. The drive needs to be long and accurate to miss the bunker on the right hand side of the fairway. Don't be deceived by the length of the second shot. Members will tell you it's further than it looks and the bunkers either side of the green entrance often swallow up the ball.
About Hole 8
The 8th hole is a short par 4, downhill, slight dogleg right. The tee shot is of most importance, with trees and bunkers lining the left of the fairway, and a pond to the right. Longer hitters would be looking to carry this for the easiest shot to the green. The green is very difficult to read, and well protected by three bunkers. This hole does provide a good birdie chance so long as you put yourself in the correct position off the tee.
About Hole 9
The 9th hole is the second par three on the course, and is very deceptive. The hole plays much shorter than it looks, especially as it is usually played with the prevailing wind. Even if you find the putting surface a par is by no means guaranteed. The shared green is one of the most difficult on the course, always pleased to walk away with a par here, birdies are few and far between.
About Hole 10
The 10th hole may seem short but it is a potential card wrecker. The drive has to be long enough to carry the brook that is hidden from the tee. It should be targeted at the marker post but favouring the left side. Trees to the left and right off the tee spell trouble. Once the drive is negotiated the second shot has to be accurate to avoid running through the green into grass and sand bunkers at the back of the green or, even worse,Harper's Brook behind these bunkers. Treat this hole with respect it is quite capable of biting you very hard.
About Hole 11
The shot into the11th green is very difficult to judge on this hole. Make sure you carry the bank at the front of the green, but anything long spells trouble as the ditch and out of bounds await. A hole with great character.
About Hole 12
The 12th hole is a short but testing par 4, favours a slight draw off the tee, to give the shortest shot into the green. Take an extra club when playing into the green as to miss the two bunkers that guard the front. These can be very punishing. Be wary of the swirling wind also, very deceptive with the tall trees surronding the hole.
About Hole 13
The 13th hole is the last of the par 3's and probably the toughest hole on the course. Pin-point accuracy is needed to stay away from the trouble. Out of bounds left and deep bunkers right mean walking off with a par here is more than welcome.
About Hole 14
The 14th hole is a typical risk and reward hole. With a good drive this hole is reachable for the longer hitters, but beware of Harper's Brook running down the right of the hole. The safe option is to hit an iron to the bottom of the slope leaving a short iron into the green. A good birdie chance but anything right spells trouble.
About Hole 15
The 15th hole is a very deceptive hole, beware the tee aimed at the trees lining the right of the fairway. With the shot into the green take an extra club as the hole plays longer up the hill than the yardage suggests. A difficult green to read, always happy with a two putt on this one.
About Hole 16
The 16th hole is an intimidating hole, the second hardest on the course. An iron shot to the road will leave a mid iron up the slope, or for those wanting a shorter shot into the green, take on the bushes to the left. The approach is all important and very difficult to judge with such an undulating green, shared with the 9th hole. A hole definitely worthy of its stroke index.
About Hole 17
The 17th hole is rated the easiest hole on the course and easily drivable for the longer hitters. But beware the two bunkers guarding the front of the green, which is one of the most difficult greens on the course. Keep left and low of the hole with your tee shot and it becomes a good birdie chance.
About Hole 18
The setting of the 18th green is perhaps what most visitors remember of Oundle golf course. The drive should be lined up on the clubhouse clock behind the green, taking care to avoid the large beech tree that over-hangs the driving line a few yards in front of the tee. The second shot needs to be struck at the entrance to the green, that is set in the workings of a 150 year old quarry. Be careful, the green slopes away from you and requires care to pick out the line of the putt.