Leamington & County GC has the experience of over 100 years of golfing tradition combined with a healthy modern attitude to bringing new golfers into the game.

The club have undertaken some course developments this year too, a slightly altered layout now exists with a re-route and two changed holes which include a new 18th. A joint editor’s visit was required to check it all out, Mandy and myself chose the hottest day of the year to do it!

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A wonderful sight to begin with, the first hole is in full view, plunging down to the bottom of the valley with your tee shot and back up the bank for what should be just a short iron approach. With the signature hole next, it creates an instant impression that proves hard to ignore.

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MG Pick: 2nd 129 yards Par 3 (Below)  Absolutely pretty as a picture, but a pretty deceptive hole too, lined with pine trees and bushes at the back so an errant tee shot is doomed. Landed our balls on the green and watched them disappear over the back and to the right hand side respectively, giving us challenging up and downs. Too nice a hole to bear a grudge but lessons were learned, next time we’ll run the ball in from the front instead!

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Once away from the pines you emerge into open countryside before returning to the clubhouse neatly at the raised ninth green. That one is a good test and follows on from a good few more, a stretch of gently undulating and attractive holes for your long games to take centre stage for a while.

Time to grab a quick drink before you take on the back nine, starting with a 10th hole that isn’t too dissimilar in style to the first. A couple of shorter par fours at 11 and 12 come along next and give you a chance to score before Leamington & County’s testing finish starts to take effect.

The 14th sees the course at its most strategic, this one might need a few tries before you can master the best way to play it for your game. A right to left dog leg to begin with that doesn’t need a whole lot of club. But have a good think at your approach shot, a teaser, down the sloping fairway to an upsloping green. A clever hole to map out.

Following the longest par three, a further test at the 16th, this time right to left but again not a driver hole, just a hybrid or long iron needed to place one short of the ditch instead. The 17th threatens big trouble on the left, which on an energy sapping day we were destined to find and then this most challenging of finishes, proving perfectly that length isn’t always an important ingredient in a testing stretch is complimented perfectly by the all new 18th.

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Leamington now presents a short hole that’s got off to a good start with two aces already recorded in its very young existence. Sadly not by either of us, but we did rally our heat exhausted selves well enough to cross the valley and find the putting surface for a nice closing par each. That’s not to say it’s easy, good club selection is crucial, you can ill afford to be either long or short here.

19th hole

A gentle stroll via the patio back to the lovely ground floor clubhouse ensued for a much needed drink. Just to rewind a touch, pre-round we both enjoyed the most delicious of sandwiches, selected from a very large range of dishes on the bar snack menu. If they are anything to go by there’s another indication for the popularity of Leamington & County. Elsewhere, a range of rooms are available to provide space for social events and conferences and the club restaurant is very highly regarded too.

Pro Shop/Development

In the current issue Mandy includes an interview with Angela Eadon, a leading figure in the success of Leamington’s recruitment and development schemes. Along with club pro Chris Thornton and his team, this is one of the region’s most forward thinking clubs in terms of teaching individual golfers and especially Get into Golf schemes for a full range of new players. The club’s practice facilities include their superb indoor academy suite, which includes three driving nets, GC2 and full custom fit/club repair services.

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Feature

Gaudet Luce Golf Club

Gaudet Luce – Major host

This is a modern golf and leisure complex that doesn’t like to sit still and the steady growth in popularity of the club since its opening in 1995 has enabled the family ownership to put investment back into the course and facilities.

125 years – South Staffs GC

The South Staffordshire Club is always a special visit. Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Wolverhampton, a traditional members club with a much admired parkland course that never fails to impress. Messrs Vardon, Colt, Braid and more recently Donald Steel have all played their parts in creating a layout that charms, teases and yields a low score very reluctantly.