The Isle of Wight plays host to 8 golf clubs, from 9 to 18 holes. The clubs all hold many competitions, some locally and even nationally.
Cowes Golf Club
Isle of Wight,
Tel: 01983 292303
A gentle, downhill par 5 greets the unsuspecting visitor to Cowes Golf Club. This is relatively flat, parkland course with easily reachable out-of-bounds on many holes: all down the right on the first, into the local High School. You need a pretty good shot to get out-of-bounds on the second, but believe me, it can be done, and is pretty easy on the third. Once you get past the fourth, your worries are over, for a while, you are now playing up and down the middle of the course, just watch out for the water. A severe hook off the eighth will probably break a greenhouse, but there are no worries on the ninth, assuming you are the right side of the trees of course, and not in the water. I haven't even mentioned the bunkers, you can actually see some of them from the tee. If you want to combine a gentle walk with a good test of golf, this one's for you.
* Choice of 8 golf clubs
* 9 and 18 hole courses
* All abilities catered for
Freshwater Bay Golf Club
Afton Down, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight, P040 9TZ
Tel: 01983 752955Fax: 01983 756704
If you like a leisurely game of golf in the midst of beautiful coastal scenery, then you will really enjoy the 18-hole course at Freshwater Bay Golf Club; it is an ideal venue for society and corporate golf days. Located on Afton Down and Compton Down above Freshwater Bay with sensational views of the Solent and English Channel, this seaside links style course on natural open downland is 5,725 yards long, par 68 and provides a challenge for golfers of all abilities. All visitors are made welcome and do not normally require start times, although the following times are reserved for members:
Weekdays: until 9.30am (10.45am on Thursdays)
Saturdays: until 9.30am & between 12 noon & 2.00pm
Sundays: until 10.00am
Ryde Golf Club
Binstead Rd, Ryde,
Isle of Wight, PO33 3NF
Tel: 01983 614809
Lovely park-land course, tighter than Osborne in that there is an out-of-bounds fence on the right of most holes, but this course has very little long rough. There are four par threes in the nine holes, two easily reachable, and the other two should be. The character hole is the seventh, and the character builder is the eighth. The seventh is a good par three, green above tee, but played across a valley with a stream running through the bottom. A deceptive tester to a two-tier green bunkers right and left and an almighty slope if you are short - sounds like fun? The eighth drive back across the valley. OK, you just went the other way with a six iron, so what's to worry about? You've got a wood or a long iron - easy. Many a round has died at this point. The horses in the field on the right take it in turns to either eat, or ball watch. Theirs is a precarious existence.
Westridge Golf Centre
Isle of Wight,
Tel: 01983 613131
A family friendly facility. A mature easy walking course but designed to challenge beginners and skilled players alike. Fully stocked golf shop. Floodlit driving range. Membership and club hire available.
Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club
The Fairway Lake,
Isle of Wight,
Tel: 01983 403217
More of a heath-land course, with gorse, bracken and heather, this is arguably the top golf club on the Island.The terrain would seem to be a natural golf course, although it was in fact built on Lake and Blackpan Commons - originally grazing land - and the layout of the course has changed quite a bit since World War I. For instance, the present 14th, 15th and 16th are later additions, the course boundary being the back of the 13th green, 3rd tee and the right of the 17th. There was once a hole from (roughly) the present 10th tee, down over the sandpit to a green the other side of the track. Nowadays you cannot see anything in that direction except trees.
Sandown has just about everything - par three over water - par three to a narrow green on the side of a hill - par four over a valley and two bunkers to reach the fairway - blind drives - longish carry drives - up-hill holes - down-hill holes - bunkers - trees - gorse - rough (some with heather) - elevated tees - pro's shop and a first class club house, where a good lunch can be purchased. Well worth the slightly higher green fee.
Ventnor Golf Club
Steephill Down Rd,
Isle of Wight,
Tel: 01983 853326
A downland course, with six of the first nine holes on a slope, left to right going out and the reverse coming back. Two of these are only played once, since additional holes and greens were built a few years ago. Instead of playing the ninth as a dogleg, play straight on to the new green. The tenth and eleventh are new holes, one out and one back to the clubhouse. So instead of the first being the tenth, second time round, it becomes the twelfth and hence the two holes at the far end of the course are not played during the second nine. Confused? Ventnor makes good use of different tees for the second nine holes - this can make them play entirely differently.
A. Newport Golf Club - www.newportgolfclub.co.uk - 01983 525076
B. Osborne Golf Club - www.osbornegolfclub.co.uk - 01983 295421
C. Cowes Golf Club - www.cowesgolfclub.org.uk - 01983 280135
D. Ryde Golf Club - www.rydegolf.co.uk - 01983 614809
E. Freshwater Bay Golf Club - www.freshwaterbaygolfclub.co.uk - 01983 752 955
F. Ventnor Golf Club - www.ventnorgolfclub.co.uk - 01983 853326
G. Browns Golf Course Ltd - maps.google.co.uk - 01983 402447
H. Provision Golf - maps.google.co.uk - 01983 562933
I. Needles View Pitch & Putt - maps.google.co.uk - 01983 759581
J. Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club - www.ssgolfclub.com - 01983 403217