Final Qualifying - Notts Hollinwell Golf Club
Described by three-time Champion Golfer of the Year Sir Nick Faldo as “not for those with a faint heart”, Notts Hollinwell will provide a daunting final hurdle for Carnoustie hopefuls.
The renowned heathland course, which is located in the rolling hills of north Nottinghamshire, is one of four clubs hosting Final Qualifying events on 3 July for The 147th Open Championship.
It will be the second time the venue has held the 36-hole event, after making its debut last year when Mark Foster, Joe Dean and Laurie Canter booked their places at Royal Birkdale.
Two of the three qualifiers went on to make the cut at The Open and Club Manager Martyn Bonner believes the challenge presented by the Notts Hollinwell course should also be ideal preparation for Carnoustie.
“It’s a classic heathland golf course, it’s fast running, the greens are subtle and it’s all about being in position off the tee so you can attack the pin,” he said. “You can play all sorts of shots, it doesn’t favour target golf, it almost plays like a links course in the summer, so it’s an ideal test for links play.”
“I think it will be good preparation for Carnoustie and, interestingly, Joe Dean and Laurie Canter went on to qualify for the third and fourth round at Royal Birkdale last year.”
The club was formed in 1887 before being moved four years later to Hollinwell, where double Champion Golfer of the Year Willie Park Jr laid out a new 18-hole course in a natural valley within Kirkby Forest.
It has since hosted many prestigious professional and amateur tournaments and Bonner expects the closing stretch to provide plenty of fireworks during this year’s Final Qualifying event.
“The 13th is our signature hole and is a 241-yard par 3 down the hill and then in the final stretch, the 16th and 17th offer reasonable birdie opportunities if you are playing catch-up,” he said. The 18th - you’ll be happy if you’ve walked off with a four as it’s a really demanding par-4 finishing hole.”
“There’s always a scoreboard on the back of the 16th green, and those teeing off on the par-5 17th have an eagle opportunity.”
Sitting within the historic boundary of Sherwood Forest, the course is also heavily linked with the story of Robin Hood – and the stage is now set for another legendary tale to be written on its fairways this year.
“There’s a real buzz around the club and the Claret Jug came here a few weeks ago as part of its tour, which really got everyone excited,” said Bonner. “Last year was a really great day and we’ve learnt a lot from it, so we feel we’re much more prepared this time around. We’re very pleased to be host again.”
Be part of forever at The 147th Open at Carnoustie, 15 - 22 July 2018, tickets available at TheOpen.com/Tickets