Thursday, 24th April, 2014
Moyvalley Golf Club is an inland design based on the principles of Links golf. Although removed from the sea, it takes on some of the features of a traditional seaside links course, with tall fescue grass, grand putting surfaces with heavy contouring, run offs and firm surfaces. The course presents golfers of all levels an equal opportunity to experience the high and lows, the thrills and fears and the agony and ecstasy of golf. Darren Clarke has achieved this through clever golf course design, a range of tees and the always important elements of risk and reward associated with championship golf.
While not an overly long home with plenty of room on the right side, the ideal line for the green is close to the fairway bunker on the left. The shot into the green needs to be accurate both in terms of distance and length with anything landing short of the green catching the swale and feeding off to the right
The Par 3 green sits at an angle to the line of play, protected on the left side by bunkering. The slightly elevated green, itself, is gently pitched from right to left and back to front
Placing the tee shot is fundamental to this hole with the large hollow in the centre of the fairway and the bunker on the left creating a very tight driving hole. Anything landing short of the subtly contoured green that sits at an angle will run back off towards the player
This dogleg left features a generous fairway with the ideal line hugging the bunkering on the left hand side. The second shot needs to be played across bumps and hollows to a long and narrow elevated green that sits at an angle to the line of play
This is a medium length Par 3 with ample bailout on the left. The green is large and contoured with the surface falling off to the rear
The first of the par 5’s requires thought as to the placement of both the tee shot and then the second. Trying to reach the green in two shots brings the greenside water and the bunkering into play. With water running down the right side of the hole and then crossing the fairway, accuracy and distance control is vital
The angle of the green presents the challenge here. The safe tee shot is over the bunker splitting down the middle of the fairway, but creates difficulties with the approach. Playing down the left hand side from the tee can create a better angle to the green
Care needs to be taken to avoid the bunkering on both sides of the fairway. The lake protecting the left and centre of the green is only visible from the right side of the fairway. A strategic bunker on the right is position to grab an overly cautious second shot
With no greenside bunkering, this hole is deceptively difficult. Both sides of the narrow fairway are heavily bunkered and the smaller then normal green is shaped to move the ball away from the putting surface.
A magnificent oak tree stands sentry to block the right hand side of this green. Bunkers protect both sides of the fairway and the left side of the green.
Thread the drive between the fairway bunkering and a medium length second awaits to a green strongly bunkered on the front and right sides.
Another mature tree features prominently on this hole. The right side of the green can be difficult to get at following a poorly positioned tee shot.
The premium is on length rather then accuracy on this long Par 5. The tee shot must contend with pot bunkering on either side of the fairway with further heavy bunkering on the right guarding the second shot. The long narrow green sits across the line of play, with the rear third of the green on the left side falling slightly away from the fairway.
This is a downhill Par 3 with everything in full view. Bunkering on the left makes the pin difficult to attack on that side. There is plenty of room on the right for a safe tee shot
At all costs the bunkering and slopes on the right on this "driveable" uphill Par 4 must be avoided. If not, there is a nearby blind shot to a green with a great deal of movement in places
A lake guards the entire left hand side of this feature hole. The second shot needs to negotiate both a lake and a narrowing fairway as the approach to the green starts. The green is one of the largest on the course and can easily lead to three putts.
The penultimate hole is all about accuracy. Bunkering in the front of the green ensures that the tee shot must be long enough to reach the surface; water to the rear of this undulating green ensures that it cannot be too long.
Water is the main challenge on this hole. It protects both sides of the fairway from the tee and then crosses the fairway short of the green. A decision is needed as to either play short, leaving a longer approach, or take on the carry in the hop of a short pitch to the long, narrow green.