News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Coxmoor GC is tucked in the fold of the B6139 and A611 intersection, not more than a few miles north of much more famous near neighbour Notts GC.  Its history, like many hundreds of courses, started as a 9 holer.  The founding year was 1913, the very same which saw the US governmment first collect income tax and Canberra become the capital of Australia.  The course went through a growing phase to 18 holes including an expansion across the B6139.  When in 1934 the club successfully negotiated for more land on the clubhouse side of the B6139 they had no hesitation in engaging the long time pro of Hollinwell, Tom Williamson, to design a new 18 hole course.  Mr Williamson is one of the great figures of English golf during the Golden Age, though these days he seems to be merely an interesting footnote of history.  This is a great pity for Tom Williamson was truly a jack of all trades to do with golf. He achieved the great triple of serving as the pro for Notts for 50 years, playing in every Open from 1897 to 1947 and designing over 50 courses.  He was also a noted club designer and was the first to number irons, though he worked the system ascending from the most lofted to the least lofted.

The new design achieved the understandable goal of having 18 holes on one side of the road.  This turned out to be a huge benefit as the B6139 is today very busy with traffic.  Mr Williamson also created a remarkable routing through some very tumultuous land that doesn't in the least tax the legs as many other hilly courses do.  It isn't only a matter of short green to tee walks, the course also doesn't incorporate any overly uphill approaches on the two and three-shotters.  Granted, just as most good architects would do, the course is eased by a few sharp downhill/uphill par 3s.  While the quality of the 3s may suffer a bit because of this technique, the overall routing is a pleasure to walk and play.   

The first is a portent of most of the round.  Very wide fairways and hilly terrain.  To combat the wide fairways many bunkers are very well placed to entice or scare golfers depending on one's PoV.


Williamson designed an extremely clever drop shot par 3 for the second.  Even from this distance well in front of the tee one cannot see the precise location of the fronting bunkers in relation to the green.


In keen conditions all must challenge the bunkers to hold the green.  In this photo the reader can see the dead ground hidden by the bunkers. 


The par 5 third features the first of several blind drives.  The green is reachable in two, but bunkers left and right may induce some to lay-up off the tee.  The second is an attractive long approach.


Turning back on the third the next is a very short two-shotter which is a risky proposition for the aggressive player.  A possible weakness of Coxmoor are its three drivable par 4s, none of which are a real temptation for the long hitter.  The 5th is a tough down and upper, again with very well placed bunkers. #6 is a longer par 5, one of five at Coxmoor.  Unfortunately, a blind ditch runs through the landing zone for second. 

The short, severe drop shot 7th plays over the entrance to the club.  It seems to me that a great opportunity for a double barreled green with the low barrel by water was missed.


The eighth is a knob to knob to knob par 4 very reminescent of many Ross holes. 




#9 is a shortish par 4 snaking through a natural valley.  A higher section on the left side of the green makes for interesting putting.


The back nine starts with a decent par 3; the green runs away and right.  For some reason trees were planted in a most peculiar position.


Yet another shortish par 4 is featured.  The 11th is a vexing hole due to the green location benched in the side of the hill.  It seems prudent to keep well left off the tee, but then one can't use the hill as a back stop.  Again, trees are placed around the green - robbing the hole of some of its aesthetic appeal.




The #1 handicap hole isn't long in length at 380ish yards, but similar to Rye's 4th, the fairway is a humpback affair.  The green is not terribly generous in size either.


The use of hills at Coxmoor is what impressed me the most about the routing.  Often times similar style holes continue to appear on many hilly layouts, but Coxmoor is extremely varied.  The 13th seems like a valley hole, but after watching a drive run miles left toward the gathering bunker it is clear this isn't the case.


The green on this medium length par 5 is reachable in two, but one must challenge a right bunker and gorse further right of the green.  The front left bunker is shaped in an interesting way more heading back up the fairway than around the green.  This type of design leaves a nasty length bunker shot for the thoughtless bangers.


A short two-shotter playing toward a blind pond follows - the second such hazard and not clever.


#15 is the one truly outstanding drivable par 4.  I think one has to be a fool to give this green a go from the tee, but at 290ish yards there are plenty of folks who will do just that.  What makes this hole work is the awkward feeling golfers of any ability will get while standing on the tee as trees line the left side.


It seems few courses in the UK from the period of the Golden Age can avoid having one or two truly stinker holes.  The 16th is a relatively non-descript par 5 which is not in character with the rest of the course due to its narrowness.  Even if one scrapes past the trees on the right he will more likely than not end up in the left rough having to hit around trees and dead at a fairway bunker.  If successful, he is the rewarded with a blind approach.  No, this isn't anything close to my idea of a good par 5.  The par 3 17th transitions the course back up to the level of the clubhouse.  Its a good hole requiring a very well judged tee shot.  The green has an interesting hump on the left side. 

The final hole is a longish par 5 heading uphill for the tee shot.  The green is very unusual for its length of approximately 60 yards.

 
I enjoy Coxmoor and certainly think it worthy of hidden gem status.  That said, there are several perplexing holes which detract from the over-all quality of the design.  However, despite the road noise and lack of a really top notch hole I can't help but think this is just just a hair below the nearby, and very attractive Sherwood Forest.  The routing is quite engaging with especially good use of hllls and the greens are generally of interest even if often times subtle.  As I was quite surprised to find the course a bit soggy despite very dry weather I cannot give Coxmoor an unqualified recommendation, but I will say the course is very worthwhile playing if one is nearby and can't play Notts.  This little corner of Nottinghamshire is truly blessed to have Notts, Sherwood Forest and Coxmoor, three courses high in interest, so close in proximity.     

Previous stops on the Tour.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37725.0.html  Temple

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38973.0.html  Little Aston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30965.0.html  Beau Desert

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,33988.0.html  Notts

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50088.0.html  The Old Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50086.0.html  The New Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50078.0.html  The Castle Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html  Kington

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37526.0.html   Harborne

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49998.0.html   Worcester G&CC

Next scheduled stop: Little Aston

Ciao     
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 06:43:17 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Tommy Williamsen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean wrote, "Mr Williamson is one of the great figures of English golf during the Golden Age,"
Thanks Sean, but you misspelled my last name.
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Another excellent tour, for which many thanks. I haven't been to Coxmoor for far too many years. I remember it with affection and also with more gorse. Or perhaps I just got into more gorse than I should have.

Adrian_Stiff

  • Karma: +0/-0
As always, a fantastic tour and yet another course I may never have seen. Thank you Mr Arble.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Chris Buie

  • Karma: +0/-0
I really like the unassuming look of the course - strong on the bunkering - appears like it would be quite enjoyable to play - a sturdy chainsaw I think could improve the course in a few places. 
As I've said before Sean's tour of the lesser known courses of Blighty is one of my favorite parts of this board.  Please continue with the tour of the unheralded Sean.

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean,

Excellent stuff! I enjoy Coxmoor but dont thinks its of the calibre of the others in the area (Notts, Sherwood Forest or even Lindrick), but still worth a round if you happen to be playing in the area. Most of my experience of playing has been in the summer months when the rough, especially if Open qualifying is there, can be really tough, but also gives the course a better look than comes across in some of the winter photos you have taken.

You mention that people would be a fool to go for the green on the short par 4 14th but in the dry summer months, fidning the fairway can be really tricky with many shots running through the fairway, which cambres away from you and the dogleg, and into the long rough. As you know I'm not the longest hitter, but have been in the greenside bunker by drawing a 3 wood round the corner, so its not as risky as it can look.

Also, you mention the long green on the last hole. I seem to recall being told the green was once the front portion and it was lengthened simply to get the last green nearer to a view of the clubhouse? Also a pity you miss some pictures of the holes as the short drop shot 7th is a decent hole of its type, and the 12th isnt a bad hole either.

Lastly, Tom Williamson is a man whose reputation should spread further than just the east midlands were most of his architectural work was done. He is reputed (exactly when I'm not sure) to have worked on every course within a 50 mile radius of Nottngham except one (again not mentioned). I hope soon to be able to get into the Notts GC archives to find out more about him, but I recall there was mention in the history book of Royal Dornoch that he was asked to visit to recommend changes, but the long trip north put him off!

Cheers,

James
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 05:11:55 PM by James Boon »
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thank you gents.  I know this site focuses on the top dogs 95% of the time, but it is nice to see the non-event courses with plenty of merit.

Boony - I don't think there is anything between Sherwood Forest & Coxmoor.  Plus, to continue the personal feelings about golf and what it should be, Coxmoor is cheaper than Sherwood.  Both are worth seeing from visitor's perspective and easy to do when visting one of the premiere clubs of the Midlands - Notts. 

Ciao 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 06:45:40 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
I really like the looks of many of the holes.  It's hard to believe that even the most ardent tree lovers could the placement of some of theirs.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
I really like the looks of many of the holes.  It's hard to believe that even the most ardent tree lovers could the placement of some of theirs.

Tucky

Interestingly I had a conversation with the some members yesterday and they said the super wants to take out half the trees on the course.  I told him they should listen to the guy. 

Take a look at the updated tour.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Bill McKinley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thanks for posting Sean!  Coxmoor looks like a really fun course to play. A lot of elevation changes and they look to be used well too.
2016 Highlights:  Streamsong Blue (3/17); Streamsong Red (3/17); Charles River Club (5/16); The Country Club - Brookline (5/17); Myopia Hunt Club (5/17); Fishers Island Club (5/18); Aronomink GC (10/16); Pine Valley GC (10/17); Somerset Hills CC (10/18)

James Boon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean,

Thanks for the update.

Have you lost my number? Didn't you fancy my company?  ;D

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Tom Kelly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thank you gents.  I know this site focuses on the top dogs 95% of the time, but it is nice to see the non-event courses with plenty of merit.

Boony - I don't think there is anything between Sherwood Forest & Coxmoor.  At the moment, I think Coxmoor just shades it for me (and that shade makes it a 1* while SF is ever so close and on further play I could be persuaded of a bump up) because of the fantastic routing over the hills - great variety of hill shots without the course feeling terriblly hilly.  Plus, to continue the personal feelings about golf and what it should be, Coxmoor is cheaper than Sherwood.  Both are worth seeing from visitor's perspective and easy to do when visting one of the premiere clubs of the Midlands - Notts.  

Ciao  

It is interesting to hear somebody rate Coxmoor higher than Sherwood Forest, I haven't come across many if any who would agree with you, but each to their own!

I personally think that opinion might change if you played Sherwood Forest more.

Coxmoor has more undulating land and with some work, mainly tree removal and some bunker restoration/renovation it could be an exceptionally good course but I still think it has too many poor holes to be considered great, where as Sherwood Forest in my opinion doesn't have a weak hole. The only bad thing Sherwood could be accused of is lacking variation on the back nine stretch from 12 through 14. But I personally think that in some ways this group of holes makes the course as it makes the back nine one of the most challenging nines I have ever played, without being boring. I can only compare it to Carnoustie (a lofty comparison I know) in that it really tests the golfer through the back nine stretch without becoming overly penal or dull. It is not always as fun as some courses can be but is a real true test of golf. Safe to say I am a big fan!

In my experience Coxmoor has never quite lived up to its reputation as there are too many weak holes and no really outstanding holes.

...........as an after thought I have also found Coxmoor to play wet and slow far too often given its sandy soil. Most of its holes run through valleys and lots of greens are located at the base of hills and in dips which means it doesn't shed water particularly well after rain, which can be frustrating. Not an overly serious crime but far from ideal.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sean,

Thanks for the update.

Have you lost my number? Didn't you fancy my company?  ;D

Cheers,

James

Bill - thank you.

Boony

You told me Fridays were a no go for the remainder of the year - cheeky monkey. 

Thomas

Sherwood is a more consistent design throughout.  Coxmoor's five par 5s and two blind water holes are hard to overlook.  Neither course features terribly interesting greens, but I wouldn't consider that weak points of the designs.  Neither course has a truly outstanding hole either, but that isn't a huge tick against a design.  My issue with Coxmoor is the conditioning.  This is meant to be a heathland course, sorry to say it no longer is, but that is the case for Sherwood as well and to a large degree for Notts.  All have allowed the best feature of their course to slip away into parklandville.  My issue with Sherwood is playing back into the winter sun for several holes coming home - a very bad design concept if you ask me - especially considering how long winter lasts.  In any case, I am more inclined now to go along with Sherwood being better if the drainage is good.  I hope to see Sherwood again this winter.

Ciao   
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 06:49:05 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Tom MacWood

  • Karma: +0/-0
I like the look of the bunkering. From I've seen in some older photos of his work I think Williamson had a real flair for bunkering...and he was doing it pretty early on too.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back