I last visited Wokefield Park about 10 years ago and all I can remember about it was the intercom on the 9th tee where you could place your food order at the halfway house and being about 4 inches from a hole in one on the 17th.
I was playing with my cousin for the second time this year, his handicap is 20 but he often plays much better than that, usually when he is playing against me. The weather was not great, mainly drizzle but the course had also had about a weeks worth of rain overnight so some areas were a little wet.
Because the weather was not great I didn’t get any useful photos of the course I have therefore linked the holes to 3D Flyovers on the De Vere site.
The opening hole is quite a tough one, bunkers on both sides of the fairway to catch anything offline and it is uphill, not a steep incline though, all the way to the green. There is not a lot of protection around the green, which is wide but quite shallow so the approach can still be tricky. We found out straight away that this was going to be a tough round, the fairways were so soft that our drives did not run out they just stopped where they landed.
The second is a short dogleg but I would suggest you take an iron off the tee as there is a huge bunker on the corner. Another large sandy area awaits in front of the third green, I managed to find the sand here and did not get up and down for a par but I had still started bogey, par, bogey. Tony however had started bogey, par, par, I’m still very skeptical about this handicap of 20.
Over the road now to the fourth which is a great par 5. If you are long enough aim over the bunker on the left, if not aim straight for the lake, you will not reach it. Keep it up the left for your next two shots staying safe of the lake and leaving a better approach into the green. We had a little chuckle to ourselves on this hole as Tony lost a ball. His second shot was bang in the middle of the fairway, unfortunately for him there was a huge puddle there, we could see his ball but neither of us fancied getting our feet wet.
The fifth heads back the way you came, being slightly uphill it plays longer than it looks but keep the ball left and you should do well. The sixth is another par 5 that bends round to the right and threads between two lakes. It is a real risk and reward hole, flirt with the bunker with your drive and you may be able to clear the lakes with your second, if not make sure you know the yardage to the second lake as you will be wanting to lay up to leave a pitch into the green.
I made a terrible mess of this hole, I had a cracking drive but found the first lake with my next shot, after a penalty drop I managed to slice a 4-iron approach into the second lake. Tony didn’t do much better, he laid up short of the second lake but then put his approach to the green into it.
You could have a go for the green on the short par 4 seventh but you can take all the trouble out of the hole by just playing an iron short of the bunkers then a wedge into the green, we both made par here. Lots of sand to negotiate on the par 3 eighth which requires a well struck iron to reach the green, I found the sand but Tony hit the green with a very high-flying 5-wood which just stopped dead when it hit the putting surface. He spoilt this great shot by three putting for a bogey though.
The ninth gives you a tempting view of the fairway on the other side of the lake but don’t give in to temptation, it is a very long way. Try for a left to right drive to get you a little way around the corner of the dogleg, you will still be left with a long second shot but it is better to get to the green in three instead of playing from the tee again for three.
Best drive of the day for me on the tenth, smashed it straight down the middle leaving me just a flip with a wedge to the green, par for me, bogey for Tony. He is playing very well today, way to many fours and fives on his card for a person with a 20 handicap.
The eleventh was interesting you want to stay up the right hand side to keep clear of the lake but the whole of the right hand rough was underwater from all the rain so it was either up the middle or flirt with the lake. We managed to stay out of the water on both sides but didn’t quite reach the green in two both ending up with a five.
The short twelfth is played back over the lake, it’s about 130 yards to clear the water and the green is quite long so you could probably take an extra club or two just to make sure. I am proud to say I played this hole like Jordan Spieth. My first shot pitched just short of safety then I chunked my next attempt into the middle of the water. I finally managed to clear the lake with my third attempt, still coming up short but finding the bunker instead of the water, Tony missed the green right but still posted a four.
I did better on the following hole, it’s a left to right dogleg and I went for it by aiming over the bunker, I just managed to clear it. I didn’t putt well though and posted a five, Tony got to the green in four, walked off it with a five. The fourteenth is the longest hole on the course, you can shorten it a little by driving down the left, close to the lake. It really isn’t worth the risk though as you are not going to go for the green in two here as there is a ditch that runs in front of the green.
Split the bunkers with your driver on the next hole or lay up to the bunker on the right to leave a mid-iron approach to the green. The sixteenth is another dogleg, if you do not drive the ball far enough you are going to be left with an approach over four bunkers. The penultimate hole is a short iron to a green with just two small bunkers for protection, great birdie chance, we both posted bogeys.
I really like the tee shot required on the last hole there is a large tree on the left side of the fairway which would impede your second shot if you drove down the left. However the fairway cuts in on the right around the bunker making the drive quite a tight one. Your second shot is played over the ditch short of the star-shaped bunker leaving a wedge into the green.
Despite the conditions I really enjoyed my round at Wokefield Park, it is a great course with quite a few risk and reward holes.