On Sunday the 22nd of June 2003 we would visit Jelling Golf Club. The course in Jelling is constructed over two periods and the back nine are the latest/newest. These holes are placed in an open terrain with a few holes in the forest, which are quite hilly like the rest of the course. There is no doubt in our minds; the back nine are the best but wait 5-10 years, then all the holes will serve their rights. It takes time for the nature to shape new golf holes - so be patient. It might sound like we don't approve of the first nine holes but this is fare from the truth. They hold a lot of challenges and there are many exciting shots to be played here. All of the 18 holes are in a fine condition and especially the greens and fairways stand out. The bunker sand is nice to hit from so have no fear if you should hit one of the many well-placed bunkers. The weather on that Sunday was fine except from the fact that wind was pretty strong, and this made the course a bit tougher. Well, we cannot reduce our handicap every time we visit a new course!!!!!
The training facilities are placed close to the clubhouse but unfortunately is a long walk to the first tee from here. The constructed path through the woods is uphill all the way so you are nice and warm when you reach the first tee box by the little starters cottage. It would have been nice if there was an oxygen tank here so that you could get your breath back. Here you also find the "boldrende" and it creates some problems if there are many golfers waiting to get on the course. It is impossible to know when it is your turn if you would also like to warm up on the driving range. The facilities on the range are ok without really standing out. The mats are too soft in our opinion especially if you have a steep attack angel on the ball (Lars, you must learn to strike the ball properly!!). There are some fine distance markers on the driving range so this is like it should be. The putting green has lots of slopes and curves. We joked a little with this and said it would just prepare us for the greens out on the course!! Little did we know. There ARE a lot of sloped and difficult greens out there but unfortunately they don't pitch that well. The ball rolls smooth and even on the putting green so the condition of it is fine. The chipping green is placed just left of the driving range and it is complemented with a good practice bunker. The club has got a really fine par 3 course - many Danish clubs could learn a lot from this. Big complements to the club.
Already on the 2nd hole of the course you will get your moneys worth. The hole is a long par 5 (536y/490m) and is almost straight all the way to the green. There is out of bounds along the right side and in the same side of the fairway two bunkers lurks at driving distance some (175-252y/160-230m) from the tee. Approximately (164y/150m) from the green a small stream runs across the fairway - but just as far as to the middle from the left side. This means that you have to be cautious with your lay-up shot. The green is slightly elevated above the fairway and the approach is longer than you just might think. If played in an headwind the hole plays more like (602y/550m) or more!! A par on this monster hole is a really good performance. Congratulations.
The 6th hole - a par 4 (376y/344m) is a nightmare, but only in a good sense. Precision is strongly demanded both in your drive and your second shot. The hole is spilt in two parts with a dogleg left at almost 90 degrees. Between the spilt fairway there is a deep ravine with deep, deep rough. You have to place your drive in the exact distance to give you a clear view towards the green, which is placed down the hill some (164-175y/150-160m) from the hilltop. On the other hand you must be careful not to reach the bunker placed close to the outrun of the fairway (the first part of the fairway). Are you confused now?? Well, just wait until you have to play this very amusing hole, which is really cleverly designed. We lost three out of four balls on this hole so we did really well… Just to mention it - this hols holds stroke 9!! We seriously mean this hole is not fair to the shorter hitters as they haven't got a chance in hell to carry the ball over the area with the "funny" rough. Their (almost) only way to play this hole is to pick up the ball and walk on to the next tee. That is not FAIR!!
The 12th hole is a long and beautiful par 3 (202y/185m). The hole is slightly uphill to the green and in front two small water hazards are placed along with a deep bunker. The water hazards are only in play for the short hitters. The first is placed some (109y/100m) on the left side and the second one is placed some (142y/130m) on the right side, so watch out for them. There are not one but three bunkers protecting the green. The first one awaits you if you hit your ball short. The other two (are out shopping) are placed behind the green and those you will meet if you overshoot the green. None of them are fun to play from especially not the one in front of the green. My God a difficult bunker shot you will encounter. If you don't think the green has got enough protection "they" have chosen to place some white stakes just behind the green - white stakes, is that not something called out-of-bounds or something like that... The green is large and very difficult to putt because of some nasty slopes. Because this hole is placed close to the woods the wind can easily play you some tricks, but if you take plenty of club you just might hit the green. We had to hit a s much as a 5-wood to get up there. There is a long, long way to the green. Superb and simple par 3.
When you reach the 14th hole you will meet a regular forest hole. This hole is an ultra short par 4 (274m/300yards) but there is absolutely no chance to reach the green with your drive even though the hole has an almost 90 degrees dogleg to the right. You simply can't carry your ball over the high trees with a driver. You will have to follow the fairway and this is not without risk. The hole is narrow and the landing area is very small. A fairway bunker is placed some (170m/186yards) from the tee where it can't be seen, and it takes a lot of balls. The best thing to do is to hit a 4 or 5 iron from the tee and aim down the left side of the fairway. Then you will face the best approach to the green which is placed down at the end of the hill. The second shot is difficult because of the bunker placed right in front of the green and the deep rough behind the green. Even though the hole holds stroke 14 the hole is tricky and it has burned itself deep in our memory. A good example that length is not everything.
All in all the course in Jelling Golf club is fine and well placed in a hilly and beautiful landscape. You really feel like being right in the middle of the nature when you walk around out there especially on the back nine where you can see the fields all around you. We missed a course guide as first time visitors due to some blind strokes that can be tricky. The pro shop is well hidden (we couldn't find it) but when we asked some one of the locals, we did find it. It turned out that it was closed on Sundays and Mondays!!!! These days are obviously impossible to sell something on. From the outside it looked like a good little shop with a fine selection but we no nothing of the price range. The clubhouse is small but well arranged and it holds the things needed to serve both members and guests. The only point of criticism is that there was no hot water in the showers when we visited the club!!!! Man; it was cold. The restaurant is self serving (Please remember to pay!!) and you can get many different types of beverages and snacks. There is also a microwave oven to heat up sandwiches and other foods. Nice idea. Try it yourself in Jelling Golf Club and play a round golf as well, ok!!