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  • Neil White

St Mellion (Nicklaus)

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

"They reckon the average Stableford score around the Nick is 24," we overheard a local commenting as we took post-round refreshment at St Mellion International resort.

If the words slightly soothed me after yet another bruising 18 holes, they positively delighted Mrs W who had skipped around the course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, to score 30 points.

This was after she discovered the head had been snapped off her driver, so tightly had we packed our car for our Cornish holiday.

It would be churlish, although true, of me to suggest I could have caught a bus to some of the women's tees so advanced were they by comparison to the men's. Suffice to say I discovered hazards which weren't even on her horizon.

But golf has no time for bad losers, does it?

St Mellion's championship course is a high-quality corporate track but we felt it lacked the charm of those which don't have associated holiday packages.

Nevertheless, it is a test which is far too fearsome for my ailing game.

This is straightforwardly down to how tight it is. I found myself having to risk playing shots into banks in the vague hope that the ball would slide down on to the fairway. Going straight for the light green stuff risked bunkers, water or trees.

Water is a key feature on several holes but should be avoided by anyone playing well. I wasn't, so ballooned my drive straight into the drink on the 5th.

Mrs W probably benefited from only being armed with a three wood off the tee because it kept her on the course and, because it isn't super-long, that didn't impede her chances of scoring well.

Except on the attractive par 5 12th, where she thought she would visit the rather pretty waterfall which was part of the hazard which runs the length of the hole.

The Nicklaus course is certainly a good walk. We enjoy going around under our own steam rather than in buggies but there were plenty of slippy hills to negotiate after a brief downpour.

Nevertheless, it is a course which can be conquered as long as players plot their way around. I didn't and was defeated but witnessed Mrs W stick to script and show me how it's done.

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