11 reviews of Merlin Golf and Country Club
Two of us played here for the first time on a Saturday morning in August and enjoyed it. They kindly honoured a "foreign" County Card otherwise £50 for 2 would have been a bit pricey for this course. However the entrance with its palm trees, herringbone dry stone walls and long drive was welcoming and the staff very helpful. The course brings you back to the clubhouse at the 12th and they will sell you a 12 hole greenfee (£18) if you want. But then you would miss the best holes. The front 9 has virtually no bunkers in play and little definition to the holes - check your driving line at the 2nd and go forward on the 6th to check the approach for your 2nd shot. However the par 3s are mostly good, and they have 5 of them. I also liked the 14th, 15th, 16th and the home hole is an attractive, benign par 4 playing with the prevailing wind with a pond guarding the green. The captain is obviously no fool as he has chosen this hazard, the only one on the course which threatens the playing line, as his charity hazard. A good holiday course at 5793 yards off the yellows and Skinners 'Betty Stogs' bitter in the clubhouse, CAMRA's Champion Best Bitter of Great Britain in 2008 and still great.
As a member, I may be a bit biased....at the present moment (May '10) the course is in excellent condition apart from the greens which have not recovered from hollow-tining and a long dry spell.Probably the worst facility is the 'driving range' where everyone hits off the grass because the mats are so poor! In fairness, the range was built by the previous owner and is more of an open sided cattle shed....Staff are very friendly and the welcome here is something that could be copied by some of the more illustrious courses nearby!!
My wife and i were new to Golf and organised a week at Merlin in October 07. Accomodation and service were excellent but what made the week was the (unseasonal) weather - warm and sunny with lttle wind. It made the week! Reading earlier statements all should be aware that facilities on and off the course appear to have been upgraded - the planes do drone but you get used to that ! Not sure about the heavy lorries dumping to the East.
Most importantly the course - as beginners we found the course long but enjoyed the 3rd, 6th, 16th (but not the 17th into the wind)while the slower, thicker grass on the greens took some getting used to (after the south east of England). The first was a nice gentle introduction and the 18th was a good friendly finish if you kept to the left. My favourite was teeing of at the 6th and playing the second shot "blind" towards the green. The bowl housing the 7th green was fun, the dog leg right at the 11th was infuriating both for the tee shot running on and the two level green to finish while I always found the par 3 14th a challenge due to a very small and elusive green.
For low handicap golfers poor weather would provide the challenge but not neccessary the fun. We were challenged but felt that a week playing there improved our game both of the tee and those important second shots - overall we found the fairways generally flat and straight hitters were rewarded but players with a good short game would be less challenged.
We are booked in same time for 2008 aware that it did not appear too busy at this time but we will be very fortunate to get near to the weather we had - we now have top grade water-proofs !! The yardage booklet purchased remain a pristine momento of our week - highly recommended !!
We played this course after a huge deluge on 25th Sept and in very very strong winds.
It is a beast in very high winds, the staff said it was not unusual to experience such winds on a regular basis.
When calm, good scores are very achievable however when the winds get up expect very high returns. The competitions board showed plus 100 for some 18 handicap players in recent competitions, this was not unusual
We found the fairways to be of a good standard but the greens a complete mix some good some bad,the speed very slow on the vast majority
We will return there next year and hope we find less wind and better greens
Bar and food prices very good value indeed and highly recommended
Played the course in early august and despite the fairways being in good shape the greens were awfull, in fact the previous pin positions were so profound that if one was on your line it would be impossible to hole your putt, not very well marked out course either, very easy to go to the wrong tee.
This was a peak holiday week but few people on the course which made me feel at £22.00 it was overpriced.
Played the course in September 2004 and had no hesitation in going back this year.
The course layout has been changed since last year making it a lot more sensible (What were holes 17 & 16 are now 2 & 3).
Clubhouse facilities are excellent.
Greens & Tees could be improved. There was a lot of work going on around the course so it looks like it will only get better.
Friendly welcome, an OK course and good value for money what more do we want (I had the sun as well !!)
We played this course on 11th September. Whilst its outward appearance would indicate that it is a "budget" course, when we played it we were pleasantly surprised by the quality. The fairways were in very good order and the greens were excellent. The gorse/bushes on the front nine need to be given constant consideration as does the undulations and sloping fairways throughout the whole course. The SSS matched the par off the yellows which is a bit unusual, and is evidence that this isn't an easy course (especially as the wind is a constant factor).
With a 2-fore-1 voucher this was super value at £18 for two of us. I would recommend it, but if you don't hit it straight then bring a few balls too..!
It might have been designed by Merlin, but I didn't find this course magic.
Played here mid September and the course resembles former farm land quickly made into a golf course. Many soggy areas, and what appeared to be mole hills on the greens which were patchy. The driving range must have been the cow shed, with second hand poor range balls marked with another club's name.
Layout is disorganised with the holes looking like they were thrown down randomly. On three or four occasions you have to walk behind or across other fairways and greens. On a crowded day this must be distracting. The tees are often sloping and the rough so deep that there is no chance of getting out. Many fairways are blind to the hole, but there are no marker posts for you to see the pin location. Without a stroke saver - which they didn't have you can be teeing off blind. On the front nine you come close to the local air base which sounds like you are on the runway as the jets take off.
Played this course in November 2002. Even though the weather was bad I found the course was kept in excellent condition with only one "soggy fairway". A good course players of all levels.
Excellent welcome in the clubhouse.
Looking forward to going back this year.
This course has changed over the last year, with many of the smaller holes being replaced with better par 4's, since May 2001
The course needs to mature more and some of the holes gain better definition. Still some potential for areas becoming waterlogged.
That being said, the course is in excellent condition, with the greens needing particular praise. They are true and you can put on a line confident in knowing that your ball will follow that line, supper condition. Big pat on the back for those involved in looking after it.
We played this club in the summer of 98. Although it is not a very specail course it is well maintained and worth the money. The clubhouse-staff made us feel most welcome
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