There have been countless times while heading north on the M6 I would look to my left, see rain clouds over the Lake District and wonder if the sun ever shone on this part of the world. Well, my first foray into the Lake District not only revealed sun, but 25 plus temperature; a very hot day to tackle the rocky slopes of Windermere GC. The course is nestled in the Cleabarrow Fells, typical Lakeland terrain above the famous town of Bowness on Windermere and Lake Windermere. There are well earned views of the Cumbrians to the west and Pennines to the east. The Lakes is a Unesco World Heritage site that features Lake Windermere, the largest and one of the deepest lakes in England which is some 10 miles long and among many mountains, Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. A walkers’ paradise, the Lake District National Park is the most visited in the UK....so be forewarned about a trip when the kids are out of school!
With 18 holes being in place by 1892, Windermere is a fairly old course by English standards. George Lowe of Lytham & St Annes designed the original 9 holes, but it is unclear which holes these are or who designed the other nine. The course we play today is far longer than earlier versions, but at less than 5000 yards (in praise of daily tees) there are plenty of shortish, yet knotty pars 4s.
The opener immediately confronts the golfer with a marker post high above the tee....well hello.
I walked past this marker not far off the tee and wondered if this was the result of the Captain's Drive In...lets hope not!
Windermere is a bunkerless course due to national park restrictions, but perhaps this rock bunker is an attempt at something different.
While intimidating from the tee, a decent drive will afford the golfer a relatively easy par.
The long par 3 second ramps up the butt puckering level.
While there is deceptively more space than it seems, this remains a very difficult short hole.
The 3rd is nothing special, but we do walk past the 5th green and that looks more promising.
More to follow.