Sandy Herd, the 1902 Open Champion at Hoylake, designed the original 9-hole layout for Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club and the holes were constructed by Charles Willmott, who remained as club professional for over forty years.
When more land became available in the mid-1970s, Bob Sandow – who worked for a spell with Robert Trent Jones Snr in America and was at one time the Director of Golf for the Shah of Iran – set out an additional nine to form a full 18-hole course.
Nominations for standout holes must surely include the two short par fours at the 3rd and 6th. The former plays to a heavily sand-defended two-tier green with the latter doglegging slightly right to a green that sits behind a small stream.On the back nine, the 14th and 18th are terrific par fives but the most memorable hole is played right at the start of the inward half, at the 172-yard 10th. With out of bounds all along the left side, tee shots must carry a small gully in front of a green which is protected by bunkers on three sides.
Not the longest course around but it does have some memorable holes. You won't leave thinking you have just played a world beater but it is a good steady course if your in the area.
This is a delightful course and a welcoming friendly club. My playing partner and I played as Visitors early one Friday morning. Arrival instructions and advice about the "no tee times" starting protocols were provided during a telephone call, as was advice to arrive early and get going before a large society.
Each hole on the course provides interest, beautiful vistas and a thorough test of your game. There are blind tee shots, imaginative use of terrain, water hazards, fiendishly small undulating and challenging greens and numerous hazards and out of bounds to be avoided. Yet it is a very fair test with my 28 handicap partner enjoying himself as much as I did.
The course was in excellent condition throughout. While all holes are fun and a challenge to play, some such as the 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th and 16th really do put a grin on your face.
It's the sort of course that we wanted to plan another visit to as soon as possible as we stepped from the 18th green