Review's of St Mellion Golf Club
The Nicklaus course - wonderful; one of the best you'll ever play
The Nicklaus course at the St Mellion golf resort; Saltash, Cornwall; is the signature course having been designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus himself. The course opened in 1988. Jack Nicklaus & Tom Watson played Nick Faldo & Sandy Lyle in the inaugural match. For the six years 1990-1995 the course staged the B & H International Open ; with Olazabal, Langer and Ballesteros among the winners. The course is a par 72, 6,284 yards off the yellow tees. There are 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 4 par 5s. The course was constructed through some very severe terrain; with many changes in elevation; tight driving lines; severe overhangs and heavy rough to avoid. The Nicklaus substantially encircles the Kernow course except for the 17th and 18th holes which approach up to the clubhouse through the middle of the Kernow course. This is a truly iconic scenic layout of extreme difficulty and great enjoyment. However it is a challenging walk especially up from greens to high tees even with the use of a buggy. Playing the Nicklaus course following on from the Kernow course was not the most sensible way to maximise performance potential. Given the course difficulty I was pleased that my gross score was only +5 shots above my club handicap. A couple of bad shots proved to be my undoing. Unfortunately I let my ego get the better of me on the par 4 5th hole using a 3w instead of driver and failing to carry the water hazard. Stick to ones normal reliable game! This is one of the best courses I'm ever likely to play.
Kernow course - excellent parkland
The Kernow course at St Mellion GC, Saltash, Cornwall; is a par 70 parkland style 5,309 yards course off the yellow tees. The SSS is 67. The Kernow was completed in 2010 following a remodelling of the original Old Course that was opened by the first course owners. The Kernow is a quality course in its own right but is regarded as 'secondary' to the adjacent signature Nicklaus course. The course is in excellent condition; has firm undulating greens; water hazards; changes in elevation; doglegs etc. There are a number of blind / semi blind approaches up to greens. The course comprises 5 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 3 par 5s. This was game 2 of the SES mini bank holiday tour; and the first of the two St Mellion courses to be played on the same say. The golf resort deal; comprising two rounds of golf; a three course evening meal; overnight accommodation; bar vouchers and breakfast before departure was £161.00. Food was great quality. Excellent vfm.
Spectacular challenging championship course
The Nicklaus Course at St Mellion was his first European course design and modestly quoted by its creator as “potentially the finest course in Europe.” That may be arguable today but it was a pleasure to play a course where Seve, Ollie, Langer and Casey have been international winners. The 18 holes wind their way around hill and valley in spectacular fashion, with narrow fairways cut into the hillside and small, well-protected greens surrounded by woodland creating a mature, secluded environment belying its mere 28 years. Every hole presents a different challenge with severe slopes deployed to great effect creating stunning vistas on every tee and water coming into play on five holes. Every fairway has a “crimped” edge (like a Cornish pasty) so the buggy path is a real roller-coaster ride over the mounds; buggies must stay on it meaning a lot of to-ing and fro-ing but on pristine fairways. Maintenance and signage are excellent, there are 3 or 4 well-equipped comfort stops and it is easy to find your way around this picturesque but very challenging course. The par-3s were target golf to hillside ledges with recovery difficult if you missed the green. You need your A game here, and not just with your irons. The 14th needed a full mini-driver into a strong wind over a valley, bushes and 2 short bunkers - not for the faint-hearted. The 5th required a full 200 yard shot over a lake to leave a short pitch over a stream to the green, but the 11th offered perhaps a more daunting 180 yard downhiller over a lake and bunker to a narrow green. With 6 groundstaff pausing to watch, I was relieved to nail a rescue club just over the flag and wander off muttering “too much club”! I was lucky to get a free round, courtesy of my nearby holiday cottage which had membership, but the course fully justifies its £80 green fee. They hadn’t heard of TSG in the pro shop but Crown Golf members get 20% off. Keeping the buggy, for which I paid £22, on the path was a bit awkward but it would have been tough to walk and it allows year-round use. Inside are a decent, if expensive, pro shop, bar and restaurant typical of a luxury hotel with good leisure facilities that offers a range of deals and golf breaks which are worth looking into.
Great great great
2 great courses in great condition. This is the third time ive stayed there and will be happy to return. The whole package is great. Golf, food and staff 10 out of 10
Great Course, Poor Staff
I will start with the course itself: It is a great layout with so many different types of golf hole. every hole is very different from another with no 2 being similar. It is tight but not so bad that if you hit a slight draw or fade you would be in trouble. I played on Wednesday 23rd October 2013 and it had been wet for a few days with some heavy rain only 24 hours before. The course drained ok but it was very wet on some fairways and to the point where you were playing shots and getting massive splash back. The greens held up fantastically, they weren't as slow as expected and it was great to see each one hand mown in the morning. The tee offs were struggling with the level of rain and were very wet under foot but did not hamper shots. The layout of the course is brilliant and if you want a real challange but fair then this course is a must. It is worty of a championship and you can understand how it has held them before. To give it a score would be a solid 8/9. The issue for me is the 'class' thing. A golf course of class to me is one where the prostaff and green staff go out of their way to really make the whole experience special. Royal Porthcawl and Trevose are prime examples of this where from the moment you arrive you know you are playing somewhere very special. St Mellion to me has a lot to learn from this perspective. The proshop staff are very direct and almost make you feel like you are an inconvienience. I certainly did not feel special and more of a number that will earn them revenue. Even Celtic Manor have an edge and there courses are played by high volumes. Nothing seemed like it was easy for them and everything was rushed and a hassle, they were professional but i felt like another number in there money making machine-not something a course of this quality deserves or should have. The green staff also need to learn course etiquette as on several shots played they were whizzing about on their vehicles and i felt a little patience and a smile could have gone a long way. Fortunately the course does what it needs but a few weeks at Trevose for the pro staff would definitely not go a miss-common courtesy and a smile cost very little! It would have cost me £60 for the round but i stayed at the hotel and got a deal. Is this worth it-for the course yes, for the overall wow factor from the moment you arrive definitely not.
ST MELLION GC
This is the "flagship" venue of the Crown empire. There are 2 courses - Kernow (the hotel course) and Nicklaus (the championship course where the pro's are due to return in 2011). Great value at £0 for us Crown members! The Nicklaus is fabulous but a brute - narrow undulating fairways, thick rough on steep surrounds, plentiful water hazards and tricky greens. The Kernow is currently being redeveloped so suffering from a preponderance of par 3s and some temporary tees/greens - it should be finished by next summer.