Davenport greens will provide you with a fair challenge as we were early adopters of the Sports Turf Research Institute program that is used for the Open Championships. In the STRI report issued to Davenport in April 2013 our agronomist stated ‘I am absolutely delighted to find greens in such superb condition. Green surfaces were all noted to be fully grassed, blemish free, firm, smooth and fast. Indeed the program data collected was outstanding for this time of year.’ Take a look a the course overview here to familiarise yourself prior to your visit
ALL YEAR ROUND GOLF
At Davenport you will be playing on one of the driest courses in the area where you will get the maximum year round golf on fairways and the main greens. When other courses are closed or very wet we are usually open and playing on well-drained fairways and quick draining sand based greens.
You will be playing at a peaceful location up on Middlewood Road, Poynton, away from main roads, railway lines and the airport. Bobby Jones described Augusta as “agreeably undulating without being too hilly”. In elevation we are like that, located between the Cheshire Plain and the Pennines with a wide variety of holes that will usually give you the opportunity to use every club in your bag.
A tough opening hole where ideally your tee shot should be played with a gentle fade through the avenue of trees. There is more room on the right than appears from the tee. The second is all uphill to a narrow entrance – better to favour the right side of the green where a bank will help any misdirected shot back on the green. Miss on the left & there is trouble. The green slopes from back to front with a tier in it. Take enough club to reach but try & leave yourself below the hole.
Long hitters can have a go here but the path into the green is narrow and a fade is the best way to get past the cordon of bunkers. The percentage play is to hit around the 175 yards mark and have a full swing with a short iron. The green is 32 yards deep so pay attention to where the flag is situated on this one of the flattest greens.
A testing tee shot into a green that is slightly above the teeing ground. Players tend to under-club as the green is raised and the bunker short of the green gives the illusion that the green is closer than it is. Take a club more than you think as most of the trouble is short of the green. When putting there is a deceptive slope from the back of the green.
A testing hole where the tee shot is the key. Long hitters can play to draw the ball around the corner but the risk tariff is high. The percentage play is to hit your tee shot around 210 yards to the right of the bunker – too far left and you will be blocked out from the green You will not be able to see the base of the pin – play for the centre of the green and favour the right if you are not pitching the ball all the way. If in doubt it is better to be short than long approaching this green.
Again the tee shot is the key here. Long hitters can get home in two by cutting the corner, carrying the oak tree that stands sentry down the left. The percentage play is a tee shot to the corner (220 – 240 Yards is ideal) then a shot uphill to the green. This will leave a short iron to the green but anything short of the green is likely to run back leaving a difficult shot. Be bold and a birdie chance will result.
Long hitters can carry the bunkers from the tee – a 220 yard carry is needed to take them out of play. Mortals have a decision to make – with little room on the fairway to get past the bunkers. The approach to the green needs to be accurate as there is a fall off to the right and a bunker to the left. A par here and you can congratulate yourself.
A daunting prospect from the tee but this hole played carefully can offer up a par. Whilst long hitters may carry the ball all the way, there is the option to play just short to the left and let the contours take your ball onto the green. The bunker on the left makes the green appear closer – don’t be mislead – take enough club.
Only a short par four but one that needs good course management. Again the tee shot is key – ideally a stroke of 210 yards to the elbow of the dogleg is the best way to start. The second is uphill so take enough club while trying to leave your ball below the hole for an easier uphill putt and chance of a birdie. Visitors are often fooled by the speed of the putt from above the hole.
A solid tee shot down the middle will put you in position to reach the green. Long hitters take note that a pond lies over the brow of the hill about 300 yards away. The second is over a dip and ideally with plenty of club aim for the left side of the green to keep away from the right hand greenside bunker that collects a lot of shots.
Most of the trouble on this short hole is at the front so make sure if you are in doubt with clubbing to be bold rather than short. The hole looks simple but such is the clever design that it catches many a player out. Ideally play to the left side of the green with a gentle fade and you will be rewarded with a birdie chance putting on a relatively flat green. Watch for the cross winds not felt on sheltered tee.
Probably the hardest par on the course. A long straight drive through an avenue of trees is needed to give you a chance of getting home in two. The second is a real test that should ideally be carried all the way. Mortals will need to run it in over a mound before the green – the target is just left of the green’s centre to use the terrain to push the ball to the right onto the green. Too far left will find the greenside bunker. The green is below you and less club my be needed.
Another testing par four that needs accuracy rather than length as hitting the fairway is critical. So drive up the middle of the tree lined fairway . Your second will be ‘blind’ and the marker pole behind the green will be you line. When playing your approach remember the fairway is uphill and so more club may be needed. If you are to err, right is better than catching the green side bunker on the left.
A driver may not be the best club from the tee as the fairway falls away to the right (and OOB) – but if a driver is used then a shot down the middle with a draw will leave a very short shot in. A fairway wood or long iron is the safer option and this will leave a short iron into a narrow green and a good chance of a birdie. Visitors when putting often misjudge the slope of this green.
A great short hole where the green is below the tee making club selection very important. the bunker short right is cleverly positioned as it guards the side that offers the best approach when pitching to run the ball in as the contour short of the green throws balls left. However there are 20 yards between the bunker and front of the green and so this can still be a good way in provided you can carry the 156 yards over the bunker. Bunkers either side of the green add to the difficulty.
From the mens’ tee the bold shot here is over the hedge left centre of the fairway where the contours will give a good kick on leaving you a short iron in. This will pay dividends as you want to get close to this very small green for your second. A more conservative play is to aim just left of the bunker and a longer approach. Trty to leave your second shot below the hole as this green slopes steeply from back to front. The hollow is front of the green makes this a tricky approach.
It may look simple but this short hole requires respect. Clubbing is important as the green is slightly above the level of the tee and the bunker short right makes the green appear closer. Go by the yardage and when the hole is cut on the back tier more club may be needed to end up on the same level and make putting easier.
The tee shot is the key here and there is not much benefit in blasting away rather than positioning your ball in the middle of the fairway. A straight tee shot may run out of room and so a faded shot of around 220 yards is the ideal. This achieved you will have second to a green well above you. Take at least a club more than the yardage suggests and you will find a fairly flat green and a chance of a birdie.
A par five to finish. The tee shot needs to be down the left hand side to allow the contours take the ball right (too far right brings the trees and pond into play) – with a reasonable drive the slope may take to the bottom of the hill where there is a chance to get home in two. The second, whether going for the green or laying up ought to favour the left of centre as the land will take the ball right. Now for a well earned drink in the bar!