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Isle of Wight Golf Courses, Clubs, Driving Ranges
Cowes Golf Club
Crossfield Avenue, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31
A gentle, downhill par 5 greets the unsuspecting visitor to Cowes Golf Club. This is relatively flat, parkland course with easily reachable out-of-bounds on many holes: all down the right on the first, into the local High School. You need a pretty good shot to get out-of-bounds on the second, but believe me, it can be done, and is pretty easy on the third. Once you get past the fourth, your worries are over, for a while, you are now playing up and down the middle of the course, just watch out for the water. A severe hook off the eighth will probably break a greenhouse, but there are no worries on the ninth, assuming you are the right side of the trees of course, and not in the water. I haven't even mentioned the bunkers, you can actually see some of them from the tee. If you want to combine a gentle walk with a good test of golf, this one's for you.
Freshwater Bay Golf Club
Afton Down, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, P040
If you like a leisurely game of golf in the midst of beautiful coastal scenery, then you will really enjoy the 18-hole course at Freshwater Bay Golf Club; it is an ideal venue for society and corporate golf days. Located on Afton Down and Compton Down above Freshwater Bay with sensational views of the Solent and English Channel, this seaside links style course on natural open downland is 5,725 yards long, par 68 and provides a challenge for golfers of all abilities. All visitors are made welcome and do not normally require start times, although the following times are reserved for members:
9.30am (10.45am on Thursdays)
If you would like confirmation of availability, please ring the club on 01983 752955.
Ryde Golf Club
Binstead Rd, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 3NF
Lovely park-land course, tighter than Osborne in that there is an out-of-bounds fence on the right of most holes, but this course has very little long rough. There are four par threes in the nine holes, two easily reachable, and the other two should be. (I believe there are plans to lengthen one of these holes to make it a par four). The character hole is the seventh, and the character builder is the eighth. The seventh is a good par three, green above tee, but played across a valley with a stream running through the bottom. A deceptive tester to a two-tier green bunkers right and left and an almighty slope if you are short - sounds like fun? The eighth drive back across the valley. OK, you just went the other way with a six iron, so what's to worry about? You've got a wood or a long iron - easy. Many a round has died at this point. The horses in the field on the right take it in turns to either eat, or ball watch. Theirs is a precarious existence.
Westridge Golf Centre
Brading Rd, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1QS
A family friendly facility. A mature easy walking course but designed to challenge beginners and skilled players alike. Fully stocked golf shop. Floodlit driving range. Membership and club hire available.
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Ventnor Golf Club
Steephill Down Rd, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38
A downland course, with six of the first nine holes on a slope, left to right going out and the reverse coming back. Two of these are only played once, since additional holes and greens were built a few years ago. Instead of playing the ninth as a dogleg, play straight on to the new green. The tenth and eleventh are new holes, one out and one back to the clubhouse. So instead of the first being the tenth, second time round, it becomes the twelfth and hence the two holes at the far end of the course are not played during the second nine. Confused? Ventnor makes good use of different tees for the second nine holes - this can make them play entirely differently.
I introduced a friend to this course one-day in October - it was a bit foggy. He swears to this day, that there is no course there at all - we were just playing to the same flag from different directions. Go and see for yourself - it's well worth a visit. It's not easy to find, so get good directions and if necessary, get a local to draw you a map.