BB2040 : Good Walks Not Spoiled

Thursday 12th November 2020

Old Tom Morris is a name that might be familiar to golfers, if not to the rest of the population.  

His claim to fame is as a course designer early in the 20th century. Amongst his projects were famous names like Carnoustie, Muirfield, St Andrews and, believe it or not, Kendal.  

Back in 1891 golf was played on the disused racecourse at Bradleyfield near Scout Scar.  The present day course on Kendal Fell was developed in the early 1900s, the design in part thanks to Old Tom.

Unusually, the majority of the holes are actually on land that is designated as Town Green (like a Village Green but for a Town).   

This has, from time to time, led to tensions between members of Kendal Golf Club (which Stan and I used to be) and residents of Kendal town (which I used to be and Stan still is).

The Kendal Fell and Golf Course Management Plan 2019 reiterates that:

Kendalians have a right of access to the whole Town Green, but such access must not be to the detriment of its usage as a golf course, and no person shall cause any deliberate hindrance and delay in the playing of the game......

..... Similarly, golfers will be advised by the Golf Club of the rights of walkers to be on the land.

BOOTboys have, from time to time, responsibly crossed the Golf Course, generally to access Cunswick Scar. However, now that Lockdown 2.0 has prohibited playing golf, it seemed a good opportunity for Stan to exercise his rights for a more extended exploration, with me as his companion.

This would be done in a manner that would not adversely affect the use of the course by golfers when they are allowed back in December (assuming that Lockdown 2.1 is not announced).  There would be no interfering with the tees, the greens or anything else "to the detriment of its usage as a golf course".

We suggested to the other BOOTboys that they too, in permitted Corvid pairings, should include an element of golf in their itinerary, be it at Kendal, Royal Crook, Settle or even Kendal Putting Greens.  Here are their reports.

Robin reminded me of the old saying "Golf is a good walk spoiled".  This is often attributed to Mark Twain but seemingly its origins are from Harry Leon Wilson who in 1904, remarked "Golf has too much walking to be a good game, and just enough game to spoil a good walk".  Robin didn't agree with that sentiment.  He argues:

Golf is good fun and so is a good walk. Today’s was a spectacular walk!

Sunny with a light breeze was the forecast as Holly [Robin's dog- Ed.] and I were blown towards Settle & Giggleswick golf course in swirling rain. Past the school and up Mill Hill Lane to the ancient Club where by chance, Roy Jones, Club President, and his cheerful committee were tending the first tee, Roy proudly pointing out features of the course.

Children should be seen and not heard.

The Club Committee clearing the course at Settle

Not Augusta- in case you were fooled!

We closed the gate!

Then up past the quarry, Holly scattering a bull and over-inquisitive cattle in an unprecedented show of bravado. Through Lord’s Wood, over the river and a climb to high limestone country: Victoria Cave, Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar in sunshine, then home beneath Sugar Loaf Hill and through old Upper Settle.

8 miles, 1,000+ feet

Bryan made no pretence about golf.  He simply records that:

Liz and I had a leisurely cycle ride to Browfoot (near Staveley) where we had lunch on a bench beside the river.

12 miles, 600 feet.

Mike B and Terry went out together.  It's surprising that we didn't see them as Stan & I travelled the same ground in the opposite direction in the Cunswick area.

We got to Royal Crook Golf Course but it was closed, so a great place to park for the day.  

Anyone teed off yet?

And we're off from the Golf Course


Tuppence for your thoughts

The walk’s aim was to get coffee at Renaldo’s at Plumgarths, via Cunswick Hall and the scar.

Not the Hollow Man

And so it was.  Great coffee.  Lunch in the sun and mud.

Most of the way back was different until the last mile.

8.8. miles, 1,348 feet.

Martin and Diana had a prompt start:  11.25 a.m.!

From home we took in Totter Bank, the Jubilee Wood, Lord’s Lot, Low Fold, the edge of Royal Crook Golf Course, The Broom, Redscar and Fell Edge back to Crosthwaite, Watery Lane and home. Padlocked gates, barbed wire and a deep bog prevented us standing on the golf course. A pleasant 6.9 mile, 1,585 feet afternoon walk offering views to Morecambe Bay with a few random conversations en route.

James and John H took their Comitibus picture at Settlebeck Bridge, Sedbergh.

Walked nearly 1.8 miles on very flat terrain but managed a lunch break half-way.

Mike T and Cherrie went south

Having had to spend more time in Burton in Kendal we have decided to try the odd walk from Cherrie’s parents' home and we joined Slape Lane heading northeast in the direction of Holme Park Quarry. We diverted up through Pickles Wood, which is a Cumbria Wildlife Trust Reserve and has apparently been woodland since Medieval times. A Buzzard, Woodpecker, Snipe and several solar panels (?) were observed.

We gradually ascended Hutton Roof Crags, pausing to view the panorama to the west with Heysham and Williamson’s Memorial in Lancaster clearly visible. Having reached the Trig Point, with a good view of Ingleborough to the east, we descended through the woods towards Dalton and then walked the road back to Burton.

Stephen and Tony's expedition took them out to the west of Kendal to the Birds Park reservoir.

Just set off.  Can't see you.

It was that big!

Stan and I (and quite a lot of other folk) walked the Kendal course, .....

..... zig-zagging as it climbed the fell, heading north to Helsfell Nab which was arguably a bit naughty as the 12th and 13th holes are outside the Town Green area.  However it is a great view point from which you can see a panorama of the Lakeland Fells and round to the Howgills.

We took a long diversion before the next hole - crossing over the by-pass to Cunswick Fell summit .....

..... then dropping down to Cunswick Tarn .....

.....and Hall before climbing back up Gamblesmire Lane to rejoin the course where we left it.

My recollection of playing Kendal on summer evenings nearly 50 years ago was that every other hole meant driving into the sun and consequently a lot of balls were lost from sight.  I recall that one evening, at the 14th hole, Ian B, fed up with the situation, determined how to solve the problem.  In his bag he had a yellow golf ball that he had been saving for a special occasion.  This was it.  "I'm not going to lose this ball," he said as he mounted it on his tee.  He then took a mighty swipe with his club and sliced the ball way off the fairway out of bounds into a farmer's field which was full of, yes, golden buttercups.  No chance of seeing a yellow ball anywhere.  He did find a white one, however!

The course winds its way downhill and around the Battleships.  

In the days that I played, to reach the clubhouse from the 18th you had to climb a metal ladder vertically up the cliff face with your clubs on your back in order to reach the clubhouse.  Nowadays there is a buggy friendly track, albeit still steep.

11.5 miles, 1,740 feet.  A good day out and a walk definitely not spoiled.

Don, 12th November 2020

PS: If you are interested in travelling the course virtually, have a look at the Flyover provided by Whole in 1 Golf. Be aware though, that after Hole 1 you need to click on Hole 2 otherwise, strangely, you could be whisked off to Kirkcaldy

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Don & Stan

Mike & Terry

Down in the Zoombar :






Mike B




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