Axe Cliff golfers can all enjoy a smoother drive after some fine approach work

PUBLISHED: 07:09 27 May 2020 | UPDATED: 07:09 27 May 2020

The Axe Cliff Golf Club course as seen from the air. Picture: ANDREW TAYLOR

The Axe Cliff Golf Club course as seen from the air. Picture: ANDREW TAYLOR

Archant

As I drove up our lovely smooth brand-new road to the club car park last Saturday with the old Jag purring like a ‘Cheshire Cat’, the poem ‘Road to Mandalay’ came into my little brain, writes Dave Bruce.

The approach road to Axe Cliff Golf Club before the resurfacing work. Picture BRIAN THOMPSONThe approach road to Axe Cliff Golf Club before the resurfacing work. Picture BRIAN THOMPSON

Written in 1890 by Rudyard Kipling only four years before the formation of our wonderful club which was formulated in a meeting at the Clarence Hotel in Seaton when membership fee was set at one guinea a year (10/6d for ladies) and Dr Pattinson was voted chairman.

The newly laid road surface in Squires Lane that leads up to the Axe Cliff Golf Course, the initial designer of which was one James Braid. He was a five times Open winner and designed over 400 courses around the world. In 1894 he was commissioned by Axe Cliff to design what would be their fledgling course of nine holes. He came back several years later at a cost of nine guineas plus expenses to set up an 18-hole course.

Today’s course of 18 holes, is a par 70 and is played out over 5,969 yards.

It is a testing clifftop course offering a challenge to all categories of golfers combined with breath-taking views over the cliffs of Lyme Bay and the beautiful Axe Valley and its Wetlands.

The appraoch road to Axe Cliff Golf Club after the resurfacing work. Picture: BRIAN THOMPSONThe appraoch road to Axe Cliff Golf Club after the resurfacing work. Picture: BRIAN THOMPSON

Most days, one can see Portland Bill in the east and Torquay down to Start Point in the South West.

Due to its location and free-draining soil, it is playable throughout the year. In fact, trolley bans don’t exist at Axe Cliff!

During the lockdown the course has been maintained by volunteers and is in good condition.

New members will see a clubhouse, when allowed to re-open it, newly redecorated and everyone receives a warm welcome from both members and friendly staff.

The pictures, by Brian Thompson, show the road before, and after, the resurfacing – and do believe me when I say that the new surface is indeed quite a transformation and a blessing.

I agree fully with our manager Simon Wellington that this will give the club a new lease of life and grateful thanks must go to our generous landlord Robert Loveridge for this and many other things he is helping us in rejuvenating Axe Cliff. The future looks bright.

We are well into our second week of playing again and it’s good to see so many members using it.

In one of our Round Robin e-mails I think Nick Jones, on his first game, quoted what most of us were feeling: “What a day! You don’t realise how much you can take for granted until the privilege is taken away. Grateful thanks to all concerned. The course looked great and it was fantastic to see so many good friends enjoying themselves but clearly observing all social distancing rules.”

I’d like to finish this offering of Axe Cliff news on a light note and shall thus leave you with another brilliant question from Adrian Bishop: “Does anyone know if we can take showers yet, or should we just keep washing our hands?”

With Brian Thompson’s agreement I have adopted our very own slogan and it reads: ‘Stay alert and avoid slices. Control the crows. Save the greens’.

Thanks for reading....


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