The 7th green overlooking the Channel at Walmer & Kingsdown GC
Golf holes of note often intersect with Mother Nature. It is through that connection that the spirit of the game can truly soar. Walmer & Kingsdown is open to the public and occupies terra firma that clearly causes a sense of anticipation. On clear days the coast of France is easily seen and the layout is the closest UK course to the European continent.
Located on the world renowned White Cliffs of Dover, forming the eastern boundary of the club, the course is the handiwork of the master player and architect James Braid. Little was done to the landscape and golfers face an array of earth movements, with fairway sloping and greens cut into the contours of the property.
“The Club on the Cliffs,” as Walmer & Kingsdown is known, clearly draws a range of golfers, from the UK and those from just across the English Channel.
The par-4 7th commences from an elevated tee that when the sun is sparkling provides an intoxicating rush for the tee shot one is about to play. The hole moves both downhill and turns right.
The key decision is how much of the corner can one successfully negotiate. Those able to carry the ball sufficiently can reap the benefit in having both a shorter approach shot and a better angle into the putting surface. But, prudence is called upon as out-of-bounds skirts the right side. Those opting to play further away from the right side have to be mindful of trees and deep rough that can quickly assert their presence.
The green is located near to the boundary of the property and when the pin is cut tight to the front left side there is a bunker that must be avoided, and being left “short-sided” means escaping with par becomes highly problematic. There are internal contours at the green and it pays to keep one’s approach shot below the pin for the best possible result.
Walking off the green with a par, and then inhaling the majestic scenery, is a moment to truly savour.
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