You would expect the home of English golf to be a special place and Woodhall Spa lives up to these expectations in every way. With the Hotchkin Course as the centre piece, the Bracken Course as an excellent accompaniment and some of the finest practice facilities in the country Woodhall Spa is a golfers paradise.
Situated in the Lincolnshire countryside the Hotchkin Course is renowned for its cavernous bunkers and is always in beautiful condition. A record entry of 45 competitors in the eighth Volkswagen Masters Regional Final highlighted the popularity and reputation of the course and torrential rain did not stop players from enjoying an inspiring test of heathland golf.
The Hotchkin is never easy but with heavy rain throughout the day the course was playing particularly long and extremely tough. Players battled it out for a place in the UK Final at Celtic Manor with one player from each group progressing.
Group A produced 2007?s second female winner with Moira Wilson (pictured centre) shooting an excellent round of nett 74 to win on a count back. The 9 handicapper from Seacroft Golf Club was once a member of Woodhall and used her knowledge of the course to secure a place in the UK Final. ?I started with four pars today but then had a double bogey at the fifth and at the seventh and then a treble at the ninth. I came back well with three birdies which got me back on track,? she said.
Scoring in Group B highlighted the difficulty of the weather conditions and the course. Eventual winner Maurice Hewitt (pictured right) was one of many who struggled with the punishing bunkers but fought valiantly to secure the win. ?I played quite solid today, I struggled when I got into bunkers because they were so deep, taking two to get out of the dreaded bunker on the fifth and three to get out of another bunker that was taller than me,? said Hewitt. Playing off a handicap of 16 the Sherwood Forest member shot a round of nett 77.
20 handicapper Daniel Johnson (pictured left) completed a double win for Seacroft Golf Club with victory in Group C. Johnson shot a round of nett 73 to win the group by a convincing nine shots. ?I did not get off to the best of starts fatting it off the first tee then shanking one out of bounds. After six holes I decided to leave the driver in the bag and hit three iron off the tee which worked really well as I was able to keep the ball in play,? said Johnson.
Regional finalists will compete in the UK Final in September on the new Ryder Cup Course at Celtic Manor. A winner from each group will then progress to the World Final which will be held at the Arabella Resort in South Africa.
DATE: July 17
VENUE: Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin Course)
T: 01526 352511
STATS: 6921 yards; Par 73; SSS 75
Ranked No. 19 in the Golf Monthly Top 120 Course Rankings
With over 100 years of history, the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa sits amid wonderful natural surroundings, offering an exquisite and memorable golfing experience.
The density of the heather and trees guarding the fairways of the Hotchkin are an ever-present danger and the bunkers must also be avoided as they are designed to properly punish an ill-judged shot. This is no better exemplified than at the famous short 5th hole where sand traps surround the putting surface.
Your driver must be used intelligently off the tee as the fairways are narrow in places and also well protected by the beautifully maintained sand traps. The club, home to the English Golf Union’s National Golf Centre, boasts an excellent range of facilities including a second course ? the Bracken ? and a 20-bay floodlit driving range.