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Elemore Golf Course, Hetton Le Hill Community Golf Club

Address Elemore Golf Course, Hetton Le Hill Community Golf Club, Easington Lane, DH5 0QB
Telephone 01915173061
Holes 18 - With spectacular views
Yardage 6278
Par/SSS 72 /71
Visitors No restrictions, public, pay & play golf course
Societies Phone booking
Green Fees
B weekdays / C weekends
Course Designer Jonathan Gaunt
Location 4 miles S of Houghton-le-Spring A1 (M)/A690 Junction
Room available to hire for functions
Weather Forecast
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Elemore has a strong nucleus of regulars and members, supplemented by a strong midweek following of veterans and ladies and a developing junior section.It is a Municipal course and therefore subject to many new and returning visitors , and can be busy on good weather days and during holiday periods.
The course itself is ideal for both low and high handicappers and it has a variety of challenges,beginning with a lenghty par 5 and ending with an equally lengthy par 4. These holes at either end of no less than five par threes,two holes over water and several changes in direction. A breezy day is neither an advantage nor disadvantage and the well kept greens are large but difficult to run up to as almost all of them have an elevated apron and in your ball is hit short it stays short.Equally if you overhit the green the chance is that you will find your ball ten to fifteen yards further on at the base of a slope looking back up to the green.
Before I briefly describe the holes one by one just a mention that the staff are very friendly,the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming and the bar food 's tasty.(I can't vouch for the beer as I don't drink,although I can say that the lads I play with seem to enjoy their post match thirst quencher.
Hole 1. A par 5 to start you off. Stay left of the pylon off the tee,as you come over the hill the fairway kicks right with the green being placed left. Its an advantage if you play this hole with a little draw. Unfortunately I have a natural fade (slice).
Hole 2 is form an elevated tee with a dogleg left. If you try to cut the corner pine trees will bar your way or the strategically placed long bunker which either must be driven over or you must be accurate and find the 5 yard gap between it and the trees. The right side of the fairway is relatively open but throws you farther away from what is a lengthy par 4. Again a natural draw helps (bugger!)
Hole 3 Its the first par 3 and depending on the positioning of the yellow tees (blue in winter) is only about 85 yards. BUT ,and it is a big but, this tee shot is over water onto a shallow green. Out of the back of the green is a steeply plunging rough area and the chip back can be overhit back into the water.
Hole 4. Another par 3 this time about 150 yards with a little danger to the right. This is one of the easier holes but can play long as it can be calm on the tee box but breezy nearer the pin.
Hole 5 Stroke index 1. A lengthy par 4 with a blind tee shot hidden bunkers on the right and an elevated approach which makes reaching the green in two quite a task. I've played the course about 75 times now and have never reached this green in regulation. If you do hit your approach too long the green is once again protected by bunkers and its elevation and you will need an upslope chip back to the double tiered green. Too far out of the back and you will be bird nesting.
Hole 6. The second water hole. 90% of players lay up to 150 with a five or six iron off the tee,and then brave the water with a well judged approach. Too much adrenaline and there is water at the back and sides ,underhit your approach owing to the undulating fairway and you will be frightening the swans. The brave or foolhardy can drive the green from the tee but the wind needs to be helping, or at least not hindering.The Captain put one over my head last month as I was putting so it is definitely reachable!
Hole 7. Time to relax a little as this relatively short par 4 produces its fair share of birdies and pars. However trying to push your drive as far up as possible to chase a birdie can be treacherous as the trees on either side and wild rough have claimed many a Pro V1. There is a gentle but persistent climb which will affect your approach shot and for some reason the greenside and fairway bunkers have seen a lot of my balls.
Hole 8 A lengthy par 3 with a greenside bunker which is ideally placed for anyone who aims straight at the pin and leaves it short. There is space on the right for a chip and putt but in the winter this area can be heavy.The green is undulating and I've missed a few short putts on this hole.
Hole 9. A lengthy par4(well used word it may be that I'm just not a big hitter). We usually have a longest drive competition here as its quite open but with a well placed fairway bunker down the left. The green is one of the few that you can run a ball down to but there are bunkers either side therefore there is only three or four yards to play with. The green is large enough to be found from 200 yards plus but there is an out of bounds at the back and the car park thereafter. I've been in it once having thinned a nine iron but I managed to miss the rows of cars and the grey haired bloke with the cigar and worried look. Its probably the first time he had heard 'Fore Car Park' yelled.
Hole 10 . Starting the back 9 as we began the front,with a par 5. The tee shot is into a relatively shallow valley and the unwary often stray onto the ninth fairway. The second shot is relatively open as the valley flattens out but if your concentration wanes there are trees and rough either side. The approch shot is downhill onto a green that slopes back uphill. Do not go long and left here or you may as well set off for the next tee. Actually the next tee can be a struggle to strangers. Its on the left of the green and is found through a series of well worn paths that all lead to the tee box.Its a bit confusing on your first visit.
Hole 11 A par 3 over a slight ravine. Its about 125 yards and this is the hole we usually choose for our nearest to the pin. The large bunkers to the front and sides can trap many and if you go too far left you're in the trees. Often all four of us miss the green and nearest to the pin is carried over. The green is relatively flat and puttable. Its a totally different tee from the white tees ,and twice last year during the medal rounds I've been 5 off the tee.
Hole 12 A par 4 with trees down the left and a small group of four semi mature trees at driveable range on the left side of the fairway. The green is a tricky one (for me) to hit as the hole is called the saucer and it does have the contour of an upturned saucer. Hit the green slightly off centre and the ball keeps going down any of the sides leaving a chip back up and loss of points.I've played several of my shots form the base of the next tee.
Hole 13 A relatively short par 4 which can be reached with the trusty driver. Leave it short though and there are bunkers and a valley which leaves you a blind chip or a sand shot for your greed. It is a good chance of a par for medium handicappers and a great opportunity to kickstart the road home.
Hole 14 Definitely another opportunity to hit the green with your tee shot although go right and you are either in trees or the farmers field. Even a poor tee shot may only leave a five or six iron to a relatively unprotected green. Its probably my stroke index 18 as I've had a bit of a un on it lately and its my last chance to score well before I reach the last few challenging holes.
Hole 15 . Straight and reasonable par 4 with a tricky fairway bunker to the left / middle of the fairway. It plays deceptively long though as there is the gentle slope that prevails on the 7th and 5th. I've learned now that I must club up but new players may be caught short.
Hole 16 This one can make or break your round ,your heart ,your clubs. Trees down the left,ot of bounds on the right,its long,there's a lateral water hazard,a narrow approach to your second shot and the green despite being big can leave you some nasty downhill putts. For me a par is rare. Not losing a ball is a bonus.
Hole 17 The last par 3. About 160 yards with a large bunker to the front. Trees to the left but a flat space to the right if you miss the green,where it has been known for me to putt right over the access path.
Hole 18 Leave your clubs at the tree (you will see it) and walk down to the tee for your final tee shot of the day. I used to take a line over the tree but now favour to aim slightly left to avoid the bunkers and leave a second shot from a level stance. Your second shot will likely be through a natural valley and then the fairway slopes downhill to the green. Its a large green inviting a long iron or wood to reach it in regulation. Again there are difficult downhill putts which can kill a round,and there are trees to the left and right which can prove fatal for a tired and hungry golfer.
The clubhouse is just around the corner and you can make your way past the practice putting green and into the bar to reflect on what should have been.
Very few players find Elemore easy first time around, if you are one of the few that do then you must have caught it on a good day. Come back again when it is windy or cold and try again,or just come back anyway if you find it easy and it will improve your handicap without too much effort.
I've played everyone from raw beginners to single figure handicappers and they keep coming back time after time. The competitions are friendly and fair and entry is open to every member.
We have a nucleus of about 24 Sunday competition players and even more Tuesday and Thursday veterans, so come up and see us.
I'll be the bloke by the lake on the 3rd looking wistfully in the water at my brand new ball!

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