At A Glance
- Clever use of elevation changes.
- Variety of green complexes.
- Wide fairways reward accuracy, not straight driving.
- World-class 10th.
- Great golf at under 6000 yards.
- Use of natural features.
- Ravine on 1, 2, 3 and 18.
- Creek on 4, 10 and 11.
- Severe slopes throughout.
- Incorporation of manmade features. Railway on 5, 6, 14 & 15 and wall on 14.
- Centenary Plans have been approved! Click here to see what's in store.
Full Course Review
Perhaps the best-known golf course architect past or present is Dr Alister MacKenzie. His work around the world, particularly in the sand-belt of Australia and on the Monterrey peninsula, gains constant and growing acclaim. Also, each year his godlike status is further reinforced by the masses who tune in each year to The Masters. A world away in the peak district of Derbyshire, England sits Cavendish Golf Club in the Victorian spa town of Buxton.
What is immediately discernible is the variety and quality of the greens. The first green is heart-shaped. The second? Wide, shallow and oblong rewarding a shot hit to the correct distance. The third - kidney-shaped. The fourth - similar to the second but turned 90 degrees to reward accuracy and allow for a slight miscalculation with regards to distance. The false fronts on five, fourteen and fifteen all give the visual impression of a large green which plays much smaller. The same praise is lauded for all eighteen.
Cavendish is undulating moorland with challenging side slopes. Because of the topography, there are exquisite views and a little hill climbing. The first three holes are seemingly straight from tee to green but must be played as doglegs. A ravine is used to add interest on the first three holes and the closing hole. The same ravine is hit across on the first and third tees. It is hit over on the approach to the second and final greens.
Mackenzie also uses elevation to perfection. Tee shots and approach shots requiring a carry are encountered often but are not a stretch even for the long handicap. There are shots from elevated tees and shots to elevated greens along with shots required over ravines, creek beds and depressions throughout.
The fairways are broad, but the golfer must place the shot. The right angle of attack into the green is paramount. The best example of this is perhaps the eighth. From the tee, visible is a prominent ridge. The high right to the low left slant of the ridge gives the impression the ball should be played to the right; however, after clearing the ridge, the fairway levels off. Due to the bunkering greenside, from the left, the green can be attacked. From the right, it is protected by a bunker and semi-blind.
Cavendish Golf Club is a wonder. The variety of the greens, both the size and shape, are world-class. The severely sloping site along with creeks, ravines and rolling terrain make the routing a wonder. What MacKenzie was able to produce on a complicated piece of land is awe-inspiring. Cavendish is not spectacular at first sight. It doesn't impress on a routing map or scorecard. However, once enjoyed it is a course which provides countless lessons for the architecturally inclined student of the game.
Click here to read about the parallels between Cavendish and Augusta.
Sean Arble's tour of the course can be found by clicking here.
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Everything you need to know before you go!
Address:Derbyshire, SK17 6XF, England