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The Kernow Course - St Mellion International Resort
A golf course perfect for all
Posted Mar 04, 2011 by Jeff Dawson
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As much as the experience of playing the Jack Nicklaus-design ‘Signature Course’ at St Mellion International Resort was an amazing pleasure, the Kernow course – the club’s second 18-holer – was more fitting for a golfer of my standard and it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon striding down these fairways.
Although still far from easy, the 5297-yard par 68 golf course provided many similar challenges to those faced on the Nicklaus course but the major difference was that it was simply more forgiving.
You could be a little wayward and you wouldn’t be severely punished. You could duff a shot and still find yourself with a chance of making par. And just as you’re getting tired – especially after 36 holes of golf and carrying up and down hills for the second 18 – the final five holes are short, pleasurable holes that seem less relenting than what you have previously played - apart from the 14th that is.
This is the course’s signature hole and would certainly provide a challenge to even the most accomplished golfer. With a huge water hazard between yourself and the tee, this 142-yard (from the yellows) par three is daunting. The pin was placed at the back left when we played, the narrowest part of an already narrow green and the furthest place from the tee.
The gung-ho golfer will naturally attack the pin and can easily regret doing so whilst the more conservative player will try and find the middle of the green and play for par. Speaking from first hand experience the second approach works better!
Other holes of note that we particularly enjoyed were five, six, 10 and 16.
The fifth is another par three, this time measuring 147-yards from the yellow tees and is one that makes your eyes light up. It’s beautifully designed and plays well and is one where a par should be easy to make, if you find the green that is. If you fail to hit the dancefloor from the tee then you are going to realistically end with two putts for a bogey and that’s the beauty of this hole. It’s deceptively difficult. The green offers a tough challenge and is reasonably difficult to read but be aware that it slopes towards the tee so attacking the pin is a must if you are to give yourself a chance of a birdie.
The sixth, the hardest hole on the course, is only a short par four but having a monster drive really does you little favours here. The dogleg right ensures that the right hand bunker, 179-yards from the tee is in play when driving, as are the trees that line both sides of the fairway. Accuracy is more important than power – a constant throughout this course – and be wary of the path that cuts in front of the green, if you’re short this may come into play.
The tenth is a stunning hole and one that gets your juices flowing as the word eagle comes into play. A short par four measuring 220-yards from the yellows, it plays downhill and you only need to carry 207 yards to hit the green. But beware the big pond in front of the dancefloor. That, along with out of bounds down the left and a ditch and trees along the right-hand-side make it a dangerous hole if you don’t quite get it right. A two-tiered green makes finding the correct level imperative if you want a good score but a hole that can equally kick-start or destroy your back nine in one blow.
Finally, I have pulled out the 16th for two reasons – firstly, I made a birdie here and secondly because it’s a simple par three that should be enjoyed for because of its simplicity.
Measuring just 116-yards from the yellows, the green is surrounded by three bunkers and the green is a testing one to boot. The pin was front right when we played and that meant two of the three bunkers were very much a dangerous prospect. Get it right and you’re rewarded, get it wrong and you could post a score that you won’t want others to know about!
All in all, this was a superb way to round off a thoroughly entertaining day of golf at what I consider to be the toughest and friendliest golfing centre I have ever played at.
It has everything that you could ever hope for and makes playing the game as fun and enjoyable as it was designed to be. If you get the opportunity make your way to St Mellion International Resort and see for yourself.