Golf in The Shire

Words by: Alex Ames

In a field in the The Lake District, is where hobbits would play their golf. Not a simple, plain, wet field with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry bare, sandy field with nothing to swing or to aim at. If the shire had a golf course, this would be it, and that means; it’s magical.

Windermere Golf Club is set in the gentle heart of the verdant Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the North of England, where blue hills hug the horizon and sunlight dances on emerald blades. Tucked amidst its gentle slopes and babbling brooks, this haven of sport and merriment beckons golfers from far and near to partake in what voters have decided is one of the most fun courses in all of middle earth.

Despite measuring little over 5,000 yards, Windermere is no walk in the park, particularly if you’ve never played it! The meticulously groomed fairways, with their climbs and descents are nestled within the land's contours, behind mountains and slopes. When the fairways do appear beyond Windermere's many white and black marker posts, it’s as if they were coaxed into existence by the hands of the earth itself.

Ah, and the greens, Hobbit sized as well. Set high upon hillsides or tucked in deep ravines - they’re USGA Specced! Small, fiddly, hard to hit and as fast as a hare out a cabbage patch. They tie the course together and ensure Windermere's reputation goes far beyond novelty golf.

Throughout the round players are exposed to wonderful 360 degree panoramic views from Morecambe Bay in the South, Coniston Old Man in the West, the Langdales and Fairfield Horseshoe in the North (yes, these are real places in England) before sweeping round to High Street in the North East and the Pennines in the East. The Mountains stand sentinel against the horizon, their silhouette a constant reminder of the vast and dangerous world beyond the Shi - I mean - Lake District's borders.

Yet, within Windermere's embrace, worries melt away like morning mist. Just as tales are woven around the hearths of hobbit holes, stories are spun and legends made amidst the fairways and greens of Windermere Golf Club.