I was quite intrigued by the course badge – a cow! However, it soon became clear why this was chosen because the clubs history records that cattle used to graze on the course. Fences were immediately erected to protect the 9 greens. The club badge now proudly sits on all Mapperley’s correspondence as a reminder of its humble and most fascinating beginnings.
Wind forward to1983 and a new 18 hole Golf Course was opened by Neil MacFarlane MP, Minister for Sport. The design of the rolling parkland course, with stunning views from the clubhouse of Gedling Country Park and all the way across to the Vale of Belvoir, was by golf pro’ John Mason.
Since that time, there has been a continual investment programme, involving improvements to both the Clubhouse and the Golf Course.
I last played this course in 2006, and other than remembering that I liked the course, I couldn’t actually remember much about it, but then again I struggle to remember what I had for breakfast today, so there’s no real surprise there then! This meant that I was effectively playing, for me, a new course.
My first thoughts on arriving were “why on earth is the car parked packed at 10am on a Wednesday?” Simple answer, its seniors morning, and they get an increasable amount of support for it. The added advantage this made, was that the if we got our act together, got out there quickly and kept up with the last group, the half way house would be open when we got there. Now that’s motivation for you! Of course keeping up with a group of seniors is practically impossible, as its a known fact that a senior player can complete 18 holes on any golf course in under 2 and a half hour with considerable ease! But we would give it our best shot all the same.
The round didn’t start all that well, the tee shots blind over a hill and down to the green, with the fairway sloping left to right, and the ideal tee shot would have been a high line, then letting it run down to the right. The conditions were wet when we played which slowed the ball down on the fairways, but on a dry summers day you’d easily get an extra 40+ yards on your drive on this hole.
With the hilly nature of the course, this is the case for a lot of the holes. A dry hot summers and you could easily knock a handful of shots off your score. Today was not however one of those days, as I managed to add handfuls of shot through bad driving and poor irons.
This was heavily confounded by my 2 playing partners, Spencer and his wife Heidi, who had both made steady starts, being members at Sickleholme had hardened then to the conditions. What felt like hills to me were just small undulations to them and the driving rain that hit us on the last few holes was just a bit of moister!
John’s back to back birdies on the 3rd and 4th put him a good mood for the round and was playing some great golf that 3 birdies for the round. Whilst Heidi was hitting straight and steady and was racking up a decent round for herself.
At 5719yards the course isn’t the longest around, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in character. Its a tight course, with most fairways lined with mature tall trees, If you missed the fairway by a little bit you’re in trouble but you’ll find it. If you miss it by quite a way, its gone!
I do love a course that undulates and rolls, it makes tee shots far more interesting, the views better and adds a whole new element to playing. This course gives you all that. Despite being close to the centre of Nottingham most of the time you had no idea, the thick mature trees cut out the sight and sounds of the city really well.
Back at the club house there’s a real homely feel to it, the staff at the bar are really welcoming, the food is good and really reasonably priced. Seb took care of us really well when we were there (Hope you eventually got your cup of tea matey 🙂 I’d recommend the chilli!
Thanks to John Newman in the Pro shop for looking after us as well.