Nottingham GC was founded in 1887.
Play opened on a 7 hole course in December that year.
By 1894 the course had developed the course to 18 holes, but soon outgrew the site.
A new site 14 miles from Nottingham was located and in no time at all Willie Park Jnr. designed a new course which was named Hollinwell.
With the convenience of it’s own station, Hollinwell officially opened for play in November 1901.
A year later JH Taylor was consulted on the bunkering, and in 1912 Tom Williamson oversaw the addition of 3 new holes west of the road which made the course much more walkable.
Over the years Hollinwell has hosted: The News of The Wold Matchplay, The Daily Mail Tournament, The Dunlop Masters, and more.
Hollinwell is sited in it’s own valley, and the entrance road down into the valley is quite imposing.
It sets the scene nicely.
It is an attractive site.
The course has a large footprint and is surrounded by forest, so there are no background distractions, and no reason for the course to be compromised for room.
The back nine does encounter some hillier ground at holes 11, 12 & 13 and while I thought the cross hill 12th hole was an average hole , the up valley par 4 eleventh hole, and the delightful drop shot par 3 thirteenth more than make up for it.
I found it hard to categorise Hollinwell, and I guess that doesn’t matter.
Parkland, heathland, moorland- or all of the above?
What does matter is that it has a championship feel to it and is long enough and strong enough to host championships.
But equally the less gifted golfer playing off the appropriate tee will also enjoy their day.
Notable holes include:
- hole 6, a strong nicely bunkered par 5 that will ask players questions at each stage of the hole
- hole 8, a challenging par 4 with a tee shot out of a gap in the trees and over the natural spring that gives Hollinwell it's name (Holy Well)
- hole 10, a tricky par 4 which requires two accurate shots to hit a partially hidden green set into a left to right slope that will punish errant approaches.
- hole 13, a steeply downhill par 3 with stunning views from the tee. It is without doubt the 'signature hole' at Hollinwell.
- hole 18, a long strong finishing hole. The high tee gives a great view of the course, and the majestic clubhouse is the perfect backdrop to the last green.
Notts Golf Club's Hollinwell course has something for everyone!
Low markers will be thrilled with the challenge and the setting, and the rest of us will enjoy the walk and find it rewards sensible play.
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