First tee

One of the world’s largest con­struc­tion man­u­fac­tur­ers has cre­ated a world-class new course in Eng­land...

Today's Golfer (UK) - - CONTENTS -

In­cludes Bri­tain’s new­est course, Pete Cowen and our Travel Awards.

More than four years in the mak­ing, one of the UK’S most ex­cit­ing new golf course de­vel­op­ments is near­ing com­ple­tion – and this is our first glimpse of the fin­ished lay­out.

JCB Golf & Coun­try Club has been crafted by Eu­ro­pean Golf De­sign with the in­ten­tion of host­ing fu­ture Tour events and has al­ready been played – and praised – by Gary Player.

The drive into the gated prop­erty, sited at JCB’S world head­quar­ters in Ro­ces­ter, Staffs, ex­udes qual­ity and runs par­al­lel to two holes and past what will be the site of 10 lux­ury golf lodges. A concierge awaits on ar­rival and ush­ers you to­wards the soon-to-be com­plete club­house, which houses an in­door putting green, cus­tom fit­ting suite and sim­u­la­tor.

Once drunk on tech, you can take to the

fully grassed driv­ing range or sim­ply let rip on the first tee. There, you’ll find the first of many fair­ways framed with na­tive tall fes­cues and wa­ter fea­tures which oc­cupy close to 270 acres.

The beauty of the par-72 course is fully laid bare around the turn and con­trasts against a beastly trio of par 5s ex­ceed­ing 600 yards from the 7,303-yard tips.

The par-3 9th is par­tic­u­larly In­sta­gram wor­thy, play­ing back to­wards the ru­ins of Wood­seat Hall – an 18th cen­tury man­sion – which will even­tu­ally be re­stored to cre­ate a half­way house.

Com­plet­ing a spec­tac­u­lar quar­tet of short holes is the 17th, the course’s sig­na­ture, which plays as long as 255 yards and as lit­tle as 116 (pic­tured right and be­low).

The green it­self sits on an is­land and is pro­tected by three bunkers, each fall­ing away to­wards a sur­round­ing lake which also fronts the 18th tee.

Links-like, fes­cue rough borders ev­ery fair­way. The view from the the tee on 17th, surely oneE n g l a n d of ’s b e s t p a r 3 s .

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