Tiverton Golf Club Review
Course Name: Tiverton Golf Club
Location: Post Hill, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 4NE, UK
Date Played: Summer 2021
Course Type: Parkland
Tiverton Golf Club lies just outside the town and is easily accessible from the M5 Motorway.
The club was founded in 1932 when James Braid was invited to design a course on 120 acres of Bradford farm. The land had been purchased by Sir John Heathcoat-Amory who at the time was the main employer in the town. Sir John was married to Joyce Wethered. The finest lady golfer of the age who drew much praise from the great Bobby Jones when they played together.
The layout created by the five-time Open champion remains largely unchanged.
Tiverton G.C. has two loops of nine starting and ending at the clubhouse.
The course does feature some undulation but would never be described as hilly and is an easy walk for pretty much everyone.
In one or two areas you do get a nice view of the surrounding countryside but most of the holes are tree-lined so you can’t always see much.
Like many courses created in the early part of the 20th century, a premium is placed on accuracy rather than length.
You are eased into your round by the 1st hole which is a 500-yard par-5 played from an elevated tee. Even quite modest hitters can get close to the green in two if they manage to find the tree-lined fairway.
Turn 90° left to play the 2nd which plays a little uphill with out of bounds to the right. Three bunkers are waiting to grab your ball up near the green.
For my money, the most interesting (or infuriating) hole, the 3rd is another short par-5. It features out of bounds down the right-hand side as it runs next to the Grand Western Canal! The fairway slopes severely left-to-right so you need to take account of that for your second and third shots. I don’t think the grass here could be mown too tight otherwise every ball would end up in the canal!
The first par-3 is my favorite of the short holes. Playing to a maximum of 127 yards your tee shot needs to be accurate to a narrow green. With the ground falling away to the left and out of bounds not far from the right-hand edge of the green. Fortunately, there aren’t any bunkers!
The problem on the next tee is deciding how much you want to bite off the dogleg. You need to carry a dip and if you can hit a tee shot around the 200-yard mark you should be left with a simple pitch to the green.
Hole number 6 doglegs quite sharply to the right so you may want to err to the left side of the fairway to give you a better chance of seeing the green.
The 7th is another stiff par-4 which doglegs from right to left. You need to favor the left-hand side due to the slope of the fairway. Your second shot will play a little uphill.
The 8th hole is another dogleg around the 400-yard mark. Take care with your club selection on this one. If you run through the back of the green you will leave yourself with a tricky chip.
The front nine finishes with a medium-length par-3 that plays back uphill towards the clubhouse. Well bunkered and with a two-tiered green pick your club wisely.
A long par-4 starts the back nine but fortunately, it’s straight so two well-struck shots should get you there or thereabouts.
Coming back in the opposite direction the 11th is the longest par-4 on the course at almost 450 yards. If you draw the ball then you are going to notice the large tree about 50 yards from the tee! Despite its length, the hole didn’t seem to play too long with a driver and 3-hybrid being sufficient for me despite my lack of power.
Unfortunately, some work was being done on 12 so it was playing as a medium length par-3 rather than the par-4 described on the club website. By the look of it, the main change was adding a large pond to the left of the green. This will draw your attention when you’re standing over your approach once it reopens!
13 has a hint of a dogleg from the white tees so you need to aim slightly right of the marker post as the fairway will filter your ball down to the left. A decent drive should only leave you with a short iron to another flattish green.
The final par-3 is played steeply downhill to a two-tiered green protected by sand and with trouble beyond.
15 is a short par-4 played back uphill with plenty of sand to protect the green. You may be better off with a long iron or fairway wood off the tee to leave a full approach unless you are able to reach the greenside bunkers.
The 16th appears to have a new green being readied for play which will add about 60 yards to the hole. Currently, it plays fairly straight although unusually the green has a tier that runs from front to back rather than side to side.
The penultimate hole is another slight dogleg where you probably want to favor the left side rather than the right. Last drive again only view a short iron.
The final hole is a little underwhelming with just a hint of dogleg to the left. A long iron or fairway wood off the tee should be sufficient for most and even then would only leave short to medium iron approach to another flat green.
The overall condition of the course was quite good although I would say I’m not quite as impressed as some of the reviews on Google.
The greens seemed a little soft underfoot and were taking pitch marks. They did putt reasonably well but were a little on the slow side with quite a healthy covering of grass.
The fairways were in pretty good condition. They offer a decent surface to play from although low handicappers might have preferred a slightly lower cut.
A few of the tees (mainly par threes) were a little worn but on the whole, the tees were nice and flat and in reasonable condition.
At 6186 yards from the very back, Tiverton is not going to test the modern player in terms of length. Making sure you hit the fairways is the bigger challenge to avoid being blocked out by the trees that line most of the holes.
Looking back I felt the majority of the greens were pretty flat with only a couple that had tiers to negotiate.
The rough wasn’t particularly severe which is good since if you strayed too far from the fairway were generally blocked out by trees anyway. As a parkland course, it offers quite a different challenge to the links at Saunton G.C. or Royal North Devon G.C.
Off The Course
There is the usual professional’s shop which seems well-stocked. A small practice area where you can sharpen up your bunker play before your round and also some practice nets.
There’s also a clubhouse offering the usual services and a pleasant patio overlooking the 10th where you can relax following your round.
Tiverton Golf Club Review: Summary
Overall I didn’t find Tiverton particularly memorable. The only holes that are likely to stick out would be the 3rd and 4th.
Work was being done on the 12th so the proper green was unavailable but this also looks like a hole that you would remember.
I’ll admit that I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to the price of green fees these days but I don’t see that Tiverton is worth £45 per round. The twilight rate of £25 is probably nearer the mark.
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