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  • Neil White

Delamere Forest

"Watch out for the ninth. It has big dips in front of the green and beyond and I watched two scratch golfers make a mess of it on YouTube."

Fortunately, having come to grief on the aforementioned hole on a previous visit to Delamere Forest, I took the advice I was giving to my fellow tournament competitors, took an extra club and made par.

What a pity I didn't pay such keen attention on the rest of the holes because I slunk away from the 18th having played one of my worst rounds of the year.

This beautiful Cheshire course is deceptive. There isn't much heather and the fairways seem wide but I can testify that a lack of precision around the greens can be very costly.

As said, it wasn't as if the course was new to me. Intriguingly, I wasn't caught out by the more memorable holes - my best were the downhill third which offers great views of Cheshire and the spectacular 14th which winds down into the furthest corner of the course to a green, protected at front and sides by bunkers.

However, blobs came aplenty elsewhere.

I didn't cope with the doglegs - coming to grief on the 8th and 18th despite tee-shots which had put me in strong positions.

This was down to finding way too much sand.

There is many a slant at Delamere Forest which feed the ball into bunkers and by the end of my round I felt as if I was playing more often on sand than on grass.

And when I did finally hit the green, I found their twists and turns too subtle. The number of times I edged the hole had me frothing with frustration.

Despite my abysmal return, I felt that a good score could have been achieved at Delamere Forest but not if it is taken lightly. I did my homework but I wasn't as precise as I should have been.

However, my wretched final score did not prevent me from recognising, once again, that this is a special course.

I can't comment on the hospitality because Covid regulations meant we weren't allowed into the clubhouse. A shame because it looked most inviting from outside.

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