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  • Paul Graham-Fielding

Tall Pines - You Literally have to give it a thumbs up

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

This course is another that we had the chance to enjoy in the sun, so we cannot comment on the drainage that it offers but judging by the undulating terrain we expect it not to have too many issues!

The layout is an interesting one, Tall Pines is set in the rolling countryside with some fantastic views; from elevated tee positions it winds its way down to narrow valleys where you are completely encompassed by the hole you are playing. This offers a number of interesting holes that are spread out throughout the course requiring numerous shot types in order to scribble a nice number on your scorecard.

The 1st eases you into your round; it sets you up for a long tee shot from an elevated tee position with plenty of fairway to aim for. The hole then hits a dogleg right with an inviting green to aim at; you’ll need a good shot in leaving you close to the pin as you’ll soon find out that these greens are quick.

The second hole shows you the first glimpse of the contours that await your throughout your round. A long uphill par four that requires a good tee shot, the fairway narrows due to a well-placed tree on the left of the fairway. If you haven’t managed to get to grips with the greens on the first hole you need to take care here, a misjudged putt can quite easily have you back down the hill on the fairway.

The next hole takes you to the least enjoyable part of the course especially if you’re easily distracted in your game. Holes 3,4,5,6 are all in close proximity to Bristol Airport, and close means the run way is literally the other side of the hedge line. The course sits lower than the tarmac so you can’t really get a feel for how near you are until a landing aircraft touches down next to you. Not only do you have to put up with aircraft coming into land you have to try and compete with the taxiing aircraft that crawl alongside the fairways. Our group had to resort to using hand signals to communicate and we were no more than 20ft apart!

Once you escape this part of the course it returns back to normality, you’ll still hear the planes from the majority of the course but nowhere near as loud as the bulk of the front 9. It’s also nice to escape the up and down nature of those four holes, it can gets a little samey so you’ll welcome the 10th, a very tight driving hole where hitting the fairway is imperative. The fairways slopes from left to right but a well struck tee shot leaves the green accessible and available for a birdie.

The back nine is where the course begins to nestle itself back into the woodland and the holes are at their most testing. Each hole has its own little twist, it could be a narrow fairway, a postage stamp green or even a well-placed hazard; every one demands a some thinking time or all the good work from your front 9 can be easily wasted.

The course has 5 par three’s, these haven’t been put in here to cram the course in to its surroundings, they have been well thought out and each offers a real challenge even to the lower handicap golfer. A higher handicap and little less accurate player could quite easily find themselves with a double bogey on each.

If you are not the fittest of golfers then the 17th will take its toll on your before you’re greeted with the 18th par three. This a big dogleg left uphill par 5, the two big areas of rough left and right can catch a wayward 2nd. There isn’t a lot of room on the steep two tiered green so be careful not to let tiredness ruin your concentration.

After your round you’ll be glad to get back to the club house where you can enjoy a drink on the terrace that overlooks the course. The Tall pines bar is small but well stocked with a good selection of food; unfortunately it wasn’t served passed 5 on our visit so we were left to snack on peanuts and crisps.

Once you forget about how close you are to the airport Tall Pines becomes a very enjoyable course, the local landscape paired with the speedy greens make for a good day’s golf. There are some great deals to be had, our weekday round cost us just £12, so providing you can get the right voucher or tee time its great value for small groups and for societies.

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