Notts Golf Club was founded in 1887 but it wasn?t until 1901 that play began at the present site. The club initially shared a council-owned course on Bulwell Common and although there was some opposition,
a decision was made to move to Kirkby Forest, 14 miles out of the city on the road to Mansfield.
Willie Park Junior was invited to lay out 18 holes and J H Taylor later added touches. The result is one of the UK?s finest inland courses.
Notts, known to locals as ?Hollinwell?, is a heathland layout that has also been described as an inland links. Long and with a profusion of gorse and heather protecting the fairways, this is a demanding course that even the most capable golfer will find truly challenging.
Through the summer months the ground becomes firm. This can lead to some unpredictable bounces and there?s little to stop the ball when it?s headed for trouble. As such a tough test it?s been a popular venue for top-level competition over the years. When Christie O?Connor won the John Player Classic here in 1970 he picked up a cheque for £25,000, then a world record first prize.
As you wend your way through the oak and birch trees be sure to take time out and look at the huge rock behind the 2nd green, known as ?Robin Hood?s Seat?. Also just hidden by trees to the right of the 8th tee is the ?Holy Well,? from which the course takes its name.
Since 1896 the club has had just six professionals. The most famous was Tom Williamson, pro from 1896 until his death in 1950. Williamson was a clubmaker and course designer who played in every Open Championship from 1897 to 1947. Brian Waites was also pro here from 1969 to 1998. He won twice on the European Tour and was a member of the 1983 Ryder Cup side that narrowly lost out at PGA National in Florida.
address: Derby Road, Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, NG17 7QR
t: 01623 753 225
stats: par 72, SSS 74, 6,911 yards
gf: rates on application
GM TOP 120 RANKING: 71