Cricket St Thomas Golf Club Review
Course Name: Cricket St Thomas Golf Club
Location: Cricket St Thomas, Chard, Somerset, TA20 4DG, UK
Date Played: Summer 2021
Course Type: Parkland
The Golf Club lies in the village of Cricket St Thomas between Chard and Crewkerne.
It is a proprietary club and was renamed from the Windwhistle Golf Club when the current owners purchased the course.
The original nine-holes were laid out by one of the Great Triumvirate, J.H. Taylor. It was extended to 18 holes during the 1990s when additional land was purchased.
Perhaps a little on the short side the course does still offer a wide variety of challenges.
The course is split into two sections. The first six and last three holes plus the clubhouse driving range and pitch and putt on one side of a lane and holes 7-15 in adjoining land.
Many of the holes are tree-lined although only a single row of trees separates adjoining fairways for the most part. So if you are going to miss then you’ll be better off missing by 20 or 30 yards than by a few as you will probably have a shot from an adjacent fairway.
The land around the clubhouse is reasonably flat however the other portion of the course is anything but.
A 90° dogleg par-5 starts the round although it didn’t seem to play the length on the card. Big trouble is right which is out of bounds. Even a modest straight tee shot should leave you with a view of the green which is relatively unprotected.
The 2nd is a tricky par-3 of around 200 yards in length which will require a good tee shot.
Out of bounds is the big danger on the next par-4 which also has a sloping fairway to push your ball into trouble!
The 4th is the second and last par-5. Out of bounds troubles the right-hand side again on this uphill tee shot. Make sure you shout ‘fore’ if your second shot goes right as you may be drifting onto the 17th fairway!
Longer hitters may be tempted to go for the green on the 5th. A row of trees down either side may cause you some problems although it does open out short left of the green if you can clear the fairway bunker. A front pin may be tricky to access due to the slope from the greenside bunker.
The 6th hole crosses the 18th and plays uphill of the tee. The worst trouble is down the left-hand side.
Nip over the lane and you’re now into a different parcel of land. Lots more undulation to deal with!
A well-struck tee shot down the 7th sees you landing on the upslope and will leave you a medium iron to the green. Big trouble awaits those who go right.
Holes 8, 9 and 10 are all in a separate piece of land. The 8th doglegs left to right and a decent tee shot should only leave a short iron into the green. The front nine finishes with a par-3. The green is set below you and there are some bunkers to deal with although they are quite far away from the green. You could be left with a tricky chip if you miss the green to the right.
The 10th is a difficult hole played back uphill with a slight dogleg to the left. Thick rough awaits if you veer too far from the fairway. One of the trickier greens at Cricket St Thomas as it features a tier.
The next is another short par-4 played slightly downhill. Will have big hitters licking their lips with the possibility of driving the green. For those that can’t reach take care with your second as the green is set in a slight depression. Any ball pitching short may kick off the steep slope and through the back leaving you with a difficult chip.
The 12th is played to a severely sloping fairway that also features a large gouge around 150 yards from the tee. Your approach will also be quite tricky as you’re likely to have the ball below your feet. You can try to bounce the ball in using the banking to the left as a backstop.
The penultimate par-3 has the green set slightly above you and you play over a ‘valley’. Depending on the turf conditions you might be able to run the ball in from the left but I would advise taking one more club than you think.
The 14th is a longer version of the 13th played back across the same valley. Ideally, you need to hit the fairway so your ball will run to the bottom of the slope giving you a significant distance advantage. The green is tucked behind small trees so you might need to use the banking to the right to help you find the putting surface.
The 15th continues the progression as a longer version of the 14th. You will probably be faced with a medium to long iron from an upslope to a green that will be out of sight.
Back over the lane and there are three holes to play. The 16th is a short par-3 and shouldn’t pose too many problems assuming you pick the right club for the yardage.
The final two holes are also probably driveable for long hitters although you will need to hit the ball straight to avoid trees and bunkers.
I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the course overall. It is quite tidy with most areas looking well presented. For the most part, the rough was kept pretty short. You shouldn’t need to spend ages looking for balls and even high handicappers should be able to get round at a reasonable pace.
I thought the greens were excellent. A good speed and they putted true. Didn’t see much evidence of unrepaired pitch marks. Some of the best greens I’ve played on this year.
I thought the fairways were presented nicely and were very pleasant to hit shots from no matter what standard of golfer you are.
The tees are probably the one area that let the course down in terms of conditioning. A few seem to have taken quite a bit of a battering some might be struggling due to being in shaded areas where it is difficult to get adequate turf growth. They were also a few that were a bit uneven.
On most of the holes at Cricket St Thomas, accuracy is more important than distance. While there are a couple of driveable par-4s most golfers will be better off placing a fairway wood or long iron onto the fairway.
The middle section of holes should test your ability on a variety of sloping lies. I would guess the wind would also have a big effect on the difficulty of the middle section of holes since they are slightly more exposed.
For the most part, the greens seemed pretty flat so approach putting was more about judging the pace than the line.
Off The Course
You can take advantage of the driving range and pitch and putt to warm up. There’s also a professional’s shop and restaurant/bar.
Cricket St Thomas Golf Club Review: Summary
It is slightly lopsided with the front nine being around 500 yards longer than the back nine. There are a couple of holes that feel a little samey but on the whole, I enjoyed my round despite the fact it took 4.5 hours! There also seemed to be quite a few long walks from greens to tees and also a few where you seemed to be walking back on yourself. Not a fan of either!
To me, the greens are the most important part of any course. Poor greens can spoil the experience on even the best golf course but it’s fair to say the greens here were tiptop.
If you are in the area then for the money I think this offers a pretty good value experience. I’m not sure I’d want to drive two or three hours just to play here though.
Other Somerset Courses I’ve played:
Most people, I think, would agree that Burnham & Berrow (Championship) is the best course in the county. Others that I’ve enjoyed include Bath G.C., Clevedon G.C., Enmore Park G.C., Minehead & West Somerset G.C., Taunton & Pickeridge G.C.
Other Somerset Course Reviews