Great Torrington Golf Club Review
Course Name: Great Torrington Golf Club
Location: Weare Trees, Torrington, Devon, EX38 7EZ, UK
Date Played: Summer 2021
Course Type: Heathland
The club was founded way back in 1895 when a nine-hole course was mapped out on Great Torrington common.
The club moved to the current layout at Weare Trees in the early 1930s.
The club is still only a nine-hole track but does have a different set of tees for those playing 18 holes.
Some people may turn their noses up at nine-hole courses. As a long-time former member of a nine-hole course, I’m always happy to give them a try.
Great Torrington G.C. is laid out over a roughly triangular piece of land a few minutes from the town center.
Down one side of the course, you have some great views of the surrounding countryside.
A quick look at the scorecard might lead you to believe the course is a pushover as even from the very back tees it’s less than 4500 yards.
It’s true that a number of par-4s are quite short, particularly from the yellow tees. You still have to keep it straight on most of them otherwise you could be tangling with the trees or run off into rough on some of the sloping fairways.
The first is a gentle opener at less than 300 yards playing uphill. There is potential for tree trouble both left and right and if you go too far right then you’re Oscar Bravo! The alternate tee for the back nine shares the same teeing ground so you have essentially the same shot when playing this hole as the 10th.
If you’re feeling cautious then you could use an iron to lay up short of the fairway bunker on the left and only have a short iron to the green. You do need to favor the left-hand side of the fairway as the green is set slightly to the right. You could get blocked out by a small tree that sticks out into the fairway.
Club selection on your approach is important as there is a steep bank to the right of the green.
Most of the greens are fairly flat and the first is one of the flattest.
Unfortunately, the white tees are reserved for competitive play so I was not able to sample the second hole at its full length. This is the hole with the biggest difference between white and yellow tees.
It plays straight back down the hill parallel to the first. Even I managed to get within about 30 yards of the green due to the downslope and the following breeze.
There’s a bit more room off the tee so finding the fairway shouldn’t be too difficult. If you do stray off-line then you may find yourself chipping out of the trees. The 11th tee shares the same teeing ground as the second so once again you will be faced with the same tee shot on the second nine.
The second green does have a little more undulation so you’ll need to pay attention to your approach putt.
Onto the third hole which is actually the longest on the course along with its back nine counterpart.
It’s actually the first hole where the back nine tee is separate. Both give you a different angle on the tee shot. There are trees again both left and right to be avoided although from about 150 yards off the tee the trees give way to rough as the hazard.
The fairway slopes slightly from right to left. Bigger hitters may find it more of a problem as the slope increases the further you go down the fairway.
Your approach will be up the hill to another flat green. If you can avoid the bunker left then you should have a reasonable chance of doing no worse than par.
Once again you turn 180° to play the first par-3. A pretty long one, especially for amateur golfers. When played as the 13th it is over 230 yards long.
It does play downhill and it is possible to run the ball in from a little short of the green, however.
The green is one of the more complicated ones on the course to putt on.
Another par-3 follows although this one is likely to be a wedge shot for most players.
Most of the trouble on this hole is long so err on the side of caution with your club selection. The day I played the flag was set in an awkward portion of the green which was a little lower than the rest of the putting surface.
The 6th/15th is an interesting hole. You have to walk back quite a way to reach the teeing grounds. This is one of the few holes where the back nine tee is a bit different from the front nine.
The fairway slopes quite a lot from left to right and you aren’t going to be able to see where your ball is landing. Try to hug the left-hand side if you can to avoid the fairway bunker and also running off into a patch of deep rough just short right of the green.
If you’re brave enough to hit your driver then you only have a short flick to another flat green.
7/16 is another short par-3 with one long teeing ground for all of the tees.
The green is slightly above the level of the tee so you can’t actually see the ball land.
As with the fifth long would be the place to avoid.
The 8th/17th is only a short par-4 on the card but does feature a pretty steep climb so plays a good bit longer than it does on paper.
It’s also fairly narrow with trees and bushes on both sides and a bunker about 70 yards from the green on the left.
I suppose the sensible choice from the tee would be a long iron or hybrid just short of the bunker. You would then have a flick onto the green which has a few more slopes than many of the greens at Great Torrington.
The final hole to complete each nine is another par-3. When playing from the yellow tees it is around a 60-yard difference. It plays a little bit downhill and there are a number of bunkers to avoid and a tree just to the left of the green could come into play if you’re too far off-line.
It’s fair to say that some nine-hole golf courses aren’t in the best condition because they don’t have the sort of revenue to spend a fortune on maintenance. Fortunately, Great Torrington doesn’t fall into that category.
While not superquick I thought the greens putted very nicely. No great evidence of unrepaired pitch marks or other issues. Unfortunately, most of the putts you miss will be down to your inability to read the green or strike the putt correctly! I would prefer the greens a fraction quicker but I’m just splitting hairs.
The fairways were starting to look a little brown in places due to the unusually warm weather we’ve had in the UK recently. Yes, even the UK gets hot sunny weather!
I thought the fairways were in good condition and offered a nice surface to strike a ball from.
The tees are the only aspect that let the course down slightly.
Some of them are a little uneven in places and looking a bit worn.
Obviously, the course isn’t going to challenge you with regard to the distance you can hit the ball. However, it is by no means a pushover. You need to place your ball accurately on the par-4s in order to leave a short approach to the green.
No doubt somebody on a hot streak could do some damage.
A number of elevation changes and sloping fairways mean your ability to strike the ball correctly will be tested quite often.
In general, I would say the greens were fairly flat so wouldn’t be too challenging to putt on as long as you were judging pace correctly.
Off The Course
The staff and members that I dealt with were all friendly and helpful which is always a sign of a good club.
There is a bar and restaurant and also a nice outdoor area for use during the summer months.
Great Torrington Golf Club Review: Summary
If you’re looking for a quick round at a fair price on a course in good condition then I’d say Great Torrington should definitely be on your radar.
Okay, seriously big hitters may not find the course much of a challenge but I’m guessing the majority of golfers still rack up a fair few bogeys!
Using my county card I secured a £5 discount from the usual £20 green fee. Given the price some courses are charging these days, I think that offers excellent value for money.
You can be a full member of the club for just £435 a year.
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