Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club Review

Information

Course Name: Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club

Location: Mortehoe, Woolacombe, Devon, EX34 7EH, UK

Date Played: May 2022

Course Type: Parkland (9-hole/18-tees)

Mortehoe 1st Tee
Mortehoe 1st Tee

Introduction

Before I delve into a review of the golf course I’d like to point out that for about 10 years I was a member at a nine-hole course and therefore have no problems with 9-hole courses in principle.

the Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club in North Devon has an exceptional headland 9-hole golf course with panoramic sea views, an excellent standard of presentation

Golf Club Website

Taking a quick look at the website prior to my visit led me to believe I might be in for a treat although given that it is part of a holiday park and relatively speaking fairly cheap did temper my expectations quite a bit.

The course was established in 1992 and follows a pattern that many 9-hole courses have in that it has a set of different tees for a bit of variety If you want to play 18 holes.

The course is quite short at 4729 yards with six par-3s And 12 par-4s although only one hole is actually over 400 yards.

To be honest I was expecting a fairly flat and easy walking course given that the target market is likely to be the residents of the adjoining holiday park. I was quite wrong!

mortehoe scorecard
Mortehoe scorecard

The Layout

The club is situated on a roughly rectangular piece of ground on a hill overlooking the coastline.

The panoramic views from the higher parts of the course are excellent but unfortunately, that is about the only positive thing I could find on my visit to the club.

Having started my own golf career playing at municipal courses I am well used to playing in less than perfect conditions. However, that being said, the greens here are among the worst I have played on and I have played close to 500 courses now!

The course is a mixture of some longish par-3s and short par-4s. On a calm day, a big hitter could probably reach a high percentage of the par-4s with their tee shots. Although given its location I’m guessing there aren’t that many calm days!

The longest hole is the 425-yard 15th but with an uphill second shot and a stiffish headwind, it played a little longer!

There are a few bunkers dotted around to catch you out and they are generally pretty small so you could end up in an awkward spot and are therefore best avoided. Oddly the 7th/16th hole features no less than seven bunkers to catch you out.

There are remnants of an old dry stone wall which was presumably a field boundary and these can catch you out if you’re not careful along with a couple of dry ditches that might feature in particular one on the 9th/18th hiding on the left-hand side just short of the green.

small bunkers
small bunkers

Condition

Even making allowance for the relatively low green fee I was a little disappointed with the overall condition of the course.

Greens

I don’t think I’m being too unkind when I say that my back lawn (when I had one) probably putted as well as most of the greens at Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club!

While I don’t doubt that someone is putting time, effort and money into maintaining the course I would have to question whether sufficient funds are available to maintain a reasonable standard. 

The greens didn’t appear to have been mown very recently and certain areas appear to have been missed completely judging by the length of grass.

Consequently, there were pretty much the slowest greens I think I’ve ever putted on!

The resident bird population wasn’t helping matters by digging up chunks of the green either presumably in search of leatherjackets.

Bunkers

Rather a lot of large stones in the bunkers that I examined. Certainly to be avoided if you can, otherwise, you may be taking a chunk out of your wedge!

Fairways

Arguably the best area of the course but still not brilliant. Not sure if the mowers were having problems but there seemed to be different heights of cut in places.

Tees

Not especially level and the grass was amongst the longest I’ve ever seen on a teeing ground. When using an iron or fairway wood you had to tee the ball up pretty high to make sure you weren’t going to get some grass between your club head and the ball.

Mortehoe 18th green
Mortehoe 18th green

Challenge

Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf club is very short although a few holes do play a bit longer due to being uphill.

Probably the biggest challenge is trying to come to terms with the greens. Even quite short puts need to be struck firmly.

The course record is apparently a level par 66 which was set five years after the course opened. Presumably, the greens were in better condition back then.

The greens themselves are quite small, which is fair enough given the length of most of the holes, so they can be tricky to find.

Many of the back 9 tees didn’t seem to offer that much difference in either line or distance so you may be just as well playing nine holes.

The 8th/17th green was arguably the most awkward with a steep drop off on the right if you didn’t make the green.

Off The Course

There is a club shop although it appears to be closed at the moment.

As part of the holiday park, there is a bar, indoor pool and other activities available.

Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club Review: Summary

To be brutally honest aside from the views out to sea there is very little to recommend Mortehoe given its current condition.

In the local area, you could play Great Torrington for less and have a much better-conditioned course of a similar length and par.

I would assume even beginners and casual golfers would be looking for a little more quality than can currently be found at Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club.

The normal 18-hole fee is £24 and assuming you are prepared to travel a little then you could definitely find a lot better value for money.

Related:

Mortehoe & Woolacombe Golf Club Official Website

Devon County Union

Reviews of Golf Courses in Devon

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