52 tournaments in 30 different countries are (co-)hosted by the European Tour in the 2018 season. It’s safe to say that the players on the European Tour know a thing or two about golf courses all around the world. So in this series of interviews they tell you all about the courses they love, the ones they hate, the ones they learned to play golf on and the ones they want to play the rest of their lives. In this episode Englishmen Eddie Pepperell.
Name: Eddie Pepperell
Professional victories: 3
Interests: Football, Chelsea FC, sports
Do you have a favourite type of golf course?
I tend to do best on Links courses, although I’ve also played well on other open courses. I play better on courses where there aren’t a lot of trees it seems to be.
Which are your favourite courses on tour?
I always love going to Kingsbarns for the Dunhill Links. St. Andrews has grown on me over the years, I used to hate it now I love it. When I first played there I wasn’t mature enough to appreciate it. The more I’ve played it, the more I’ve learned there are many different ways to play it. You never get the same shot on different occasions. It’s great like that, very interesting course.
Where did you grow up playing golf?
I first started at a golf course called Drayton Park, which is in Oxfordshire, but I left there quite young and moved to the course where I’m still attached to now: Frilford Heath Golf Club, which is nice. It’s a heathland course and also has gorse bushes and trees. It has three courses actually, all a bit different.
Do you know any hidden gems?
I know of a place called Huntercombe Golf Club, it’s right out by a place called Henley, near Reading. I played there a couple of times and it just sprung to my mind because you wouldn’t come across it. It’s very old fashioned and probably hasn’t changed much since the time it was built long ago, I think it doesn’t have any sand bunkers but just grass pots. It’s quite interesting.
On which golf course did Eddie Pepperell play his best tournament golf?
Well, I won in Qatar on Doha Golf Club and on Walton Heath, so those are obviously courses where I played well. I played really well at Kennemer Golf & Country Club two years in a row, so I was gutted when the KLM Open left there. I loved Kennemer, really enjoyed it. It was windy, a proper links course that suits me. You need to keep the ball flight low there, which I do naturally and you didn’t have to hit too many drivers, which was good for me at that time.
Do you have a favourite country to play golf in?
Probably the UK. I like links golf, so Scotland is great and the northwest has got some unbelievable courses as well. Northern Ireland has also got some pretty awesome courses. Royal County Down is special and I haven’t played Royal Portrush yet, but I’ve heard it’s awesome so I’m looking forward to that. And I was really impressed with Ballyliffin that we played earlier this year.
Best shot in a golf tournament?
The most recent one was my 3-wood into the seventeenth at Carnoustie in the Open Championship on the final day. I had a pretty good 3-wood there. It ended up 20 ft. from the hole and I made the birdie. That was an unexpected three.
When you play well somewhere, does that make you like the course better?
No, not really. I go to courses that I really like and play bad and I go to courses that I don’t like and play well, so it doesn’t seem to be a reason for me. Although I tend not to play well on tree lined courses, I do like the look of them. Good maintenance is also a very important factor.
If I could play one course for the rest of my life, it would be…
From what I’ve said, I guess St. Andrews. Just because of the variety, keep it fresh. You could play there every day and it would be a different game every day.