The Challenge

For 2019 we will continue with our allegiance to the China Fleet Country Club. For those new to the course, expect a tough test. This one doesn't take any prisoners.


The China Fleet Country Club has a remarkable history. Born in Hong Kong, to benefit the serving ratings and other ranks of the Royal Navy, our trust continues to serve not only them but their immediate families too, who are all members by right.

Hole by Hole - A Personal View

The 1st - A gentle, downhill Par 4 to get you underway. Avoid the wall left and the driving range right with your tee shot. You may want to leave the big dog in the bag for this one. Rough long and right of the green is best avoided. The sloping green will focus your attention early in the round.

The 2nd - Straight drive required for this blind tee shot over the crest of the hill between the Cornish walls. Play a provisional if you leak it left or right. Try to stick to the fairway with your second to give yourself the best approach to a well-protected green.

The 3rd - A straightforward dog-leg Par 4. Choose the right club on the tee to give you a full iron into the green. Try to avoid the woods on the inside of the dog-leg.

The 4th - Hopefully you are in the groove now, because the going is getting tougher. Feed your drive around the corner, avoiding woods left and right, if you are going to have any chance of being on in regulation. Walk away with your card intact and you will be in the minority.

The 5th - Stroke Index 15 - I kid you not! 170 yard Par 3, over a ravine, overhanging trees left and right and a steep bank behind the green. Club selection is imperative. As is a pure strike. And a bit of good fortune. Thank your lucky stars and move on.

The 6th - 268 yard Par 4. What's not to like? Oh yeah, it's a blind tee shot up over a cliff. Drag yourself over the crest, catch your breath and fizz half a wedge to a couple of feet. Then wake up and thin one through the back. SI 17????

The 7th - Probably the easiest of the Par 3's, if truth be told. That doesn't mean it's easy, mind. Over another ravine with big trouble right. Keep left and hope anything wayward gets a kindly bounce.

The 8th - Time to unleash the beast. Generally downwind, and most definitely downhill, keep it straight and a par beckons.

The 9th - Back towards the complex, three good tonks will get you there or thereabouts. Two jabs. Mark your card and grab a well-earned beverage. Don't start to think you've cracked it though.

The 10th - A gentler start for those in the other half of the draw, this should not prove too troublesome after nine holes practice……………if you keep it straight. Driver not compulsory if you want a full shot in.Through the hole in the wall to…….

The 11th - A personal favourite - NOT!!! SI 1 for a reason. A well-smote driver may put you in reach of the green. Anything but, will need a lay-up short of the hollow, and left of the shrub-filled ravine. Uphill approach avoiding the overhanging tree and Cornish wall. Best of luck chaps!Wipe tears from eyes……..Maybe next year eh?

The 12th - A gentle Par 3. Difficult to judge distance from the tee. Bunkers short, rough long.

The 13th - Chicanery. Choose the right club (and hit it properly) to give a view through the gap. (Some big hitters may take the gap on. Many of these have regretted doing so!) Tease your second into position. Hit the green and two-putt. Cast eyes to the right for glimpse of reservoir………take long, doom-laden walk to……

The 14th - Quite a carry over water to find dry land. Mere mortals have been known to lay-up on the ladies tee before going for it. From memory, 11 off the tee is the Engineers Open record. (Won a lifejacket!) Make dry land and it's an uphill shot to a gathering green.

The 15th - A very downhill Par 3. Difficult club selection to make sure you land in your bunker of choice. These are liberally applied.

The 16th - Probably the last scary one. Choose your club wisely master, as the fairway funnels sharply at the bottom of the hill. Those of an excessive length can take the reservoir on and land on the wider reaches further up. Uphill approach to another well guarded green.

The 17th - Quite often the "Longest Drive" hole. Plenty to aim at. Anything left though will be punished.

The 18th - Par 5 to finish (you off). Keep left on the drive to avoid the wall, but not too far left, because there's……….. a wall! A good second can feed nicely down towards the green. A real birdie opportunity if, unlike me, you can play this blessed game!

Breathe sigh of relief, shake hands with your fellow strugglers, admire your tidy scorecard and head in for lunch. Only another 18 to go.

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