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  • Neil White


A nine-iron clip arrowed into the green on the second hole and, as my partner lined up a birdie putt, I mused on why it was rated as the sixth hardest on Lindrick's stroke index.

He nudged the ball and was only slightly off target but it ran and ran and ran. The next putt was too firm back up the hill, the third slid millimetres past and the fourth missed too.

The former Ryder Cup course had shown why we needed to be on our mettle.

Lindrick is not overly long and can be conquered - as some of the better scorers in its autumn open 4BBB proved - but we were unable to unlock the mysteries of its greens' pace or subtle changes of directions.

Nevertheless, this is a memorable track with every hole providing a very different challenge.

I am a fan of the quirky so a favourite was the much-heralded par-5 4th with a blind shot down a bank to a relatively small putting surface.

It is followed by the 5th, which has such a steep opening that there is a high mirror on the tee to see if the group in front are out of range. I have never seen the like before.

Fortunately, our driving was in good order because there is many a carry over gorse, often revealing holes which are surrounded by bunkers.

The only hole without sand is the picturesque 12th but don't be fooled, it is easy to make a mess of (as I proved) with a dramatic dog-leg to the left down into a green whose entrance is reminiscent of links.

Indeed, there a few holes which reminded me of seaside golf - none more so than the 15th with humps in front of the green and a wall directly behind.

The 17th is another beauty, protected by more sand traps and the 18th is an ultra-testing par 3 which has caused debate by featuring in a best 500 holes in the world list and Peter Aliss's top 18.

I didn't think it stood out only because so many holes are memorable at Lindrick.

Then there is a clubhouse which oozes history of the famous 1957 Ryder Cup win and the club's current stars - Lee Westwood and Danny Willett.

Everything about our competition at Lindrick was a cut above, from the Open-style dressing of the 1st and 18th tees to the scoreboard which gave us a fleeting feeling of importance.

These touches added even more sparkle to a visit which demanded a return - when at least we will know what is coming on the devilish second green.

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