Course Reviews

“Over many years playing golf on many different courses in many different countries, I have evolved my own grading system for golf courses. It’s a simple method whereby after some time has passed, I attempt to recall each of the 18 holes on the course. If I only have a recollection of a handful of holes then I won’t rate the layout very highly. If however, I can recall all 18 holes, then I would be inclined to give the course top marks. At Cavendish I can not only recall all 18 holes on the course, I can clearly remember every shot I hit.”

“Anything stereotyped should be avoided on the golf course. All construction work should follow the irregular lines of nature.”

“A well-preserved, if modest, Alister MacKenzie design laid out for the wealthy patron among the hills south of Manchester, which features several MacKenzie-style greens. The first two holes, may cause you to wonder what you’re doing there, but pay attention at the 280 yard 3rd or you’ll overlook a clever design with a fall-away green. The stretch of holes from the 8th through 11th, when a rushing brook comes into play, elevates the course to another class. At 5,800 yards par 68, it may not be for everyone, but Cavendish is a most pleasant setting and it’s comforting to know that not every club has caved in to the pressure to standardise.”

Tom Doak also rated Cavendish in the Top 10 courses in the world par under 70; he also cited Cavendish 10th in his best 18 holes from courses that aren’t on anyone’s Top 100 list and the 10th as one of the best 18 holes designed by Alister MacKenzie.

“An intelligent layout any new club should study before putting shovel to dirt’ and ‘Great routing with some truly memorable holes such as the 10th, 11th and 18th and an excellent set of short par 4s with the par 3s used perfectly to was play through.”

National Club Golfer ranked all golf courses in Great Britain (England Scotland and Wales) and selected the top 150 for quality. They then ranked these courses for value (under £100 green fees). Cavendish was ranked as the 42nd BEST course and the only course in Derbyshire to be included.The expert panel made the observations above.

“Not too many established courses of modest length are both a proper test and a complete delight, but the Alister MacKenzie design at Cavendish Golf Club in Derbyshire is an extremely notable exception…

Happily, the misplaced fashion for golf courses of ‘championship’ length has been debunked and most of us realise that it’s not all about yardage. A varied and clever design in a beautiful location is of far more importance, and Alister MacKenzie’s pre-Augusta creation has both in abundance.

A few years ago, the course at Cavendish Golf Club was included in our Hidden Gems feature, since when it has rightly worked its way into Golf Monthly’s Next 100 Courses of the UK & Ireland. Set in a delightfully secluded valley on the outskirts of Buxton in Derbyshire, the par 68 course twists and turns its way over gently undulating springy turf with something new awaiting at every turn.”

Click Here to read this sensitive and informed feature.

“Quite possibly the best layout in the world under 6000 yards. A true labour of love, Cavendish is thought by some to possibly be Dr. MacKenzie’s most accomplished piece of work with the UK.”

“Seek out an ample stretch of ideal golfing country, turn it over to a famous golf architect with an absolutely free hand to work his wicked will on it, and the result is the course of the Cavendish Golf Club… in its general characteristics the course is half-way between heath and moorland, its bold contours broken up by pine-woods and streams, bluff knolls and unexpected gullies. With such a variety of natural features ready to his hand, Dr. Mackenzie, who was invited to design the new course, had the chance that every architect dreams of. He was allowed to mould the course absolutely according to his own ideas, and I am inclined to believe that the result is the finest work he has done, at least this side of the Atlantic. He has certainly given us a remarkable variety of interesting and adventurous holes, and – what does not always follow – has arranged them so as to form a well-balanced and testing round.”

“There are two types of golfers – those that have played Cavendish and those who wished they had.”

Eddie Birchenough has an in depth knowledge of playing Cavendish where he worked as a caddy before embarking on a successful career as a Club Professional, finally retiring in 2013 after 27 years as Head Professional at Royal Lytham and St Annes G C, where he is now an Honorary Member.

“Every now and again you encounter a hidden gem that doesn’t just tick all of your personal boxes, it adds new boxes and then ticks them for you”. The article concludes with “if you get the impression I liked Cavendish, you’re wrong. I loved it.”

Golf Monthly, September 2014 published a golfers guide to Derbyshire where the writer stated the above.