The course was originally part of the Clapham Park estate which was farmed by Lancelot Clark and he would invite friends round to play golf with him, using roughly cut greens that were wired off from grazing sheep.
A 9-hole course was opened in April 1912 with a 36-hole exhibition match, and one of the participants was Scottish amateur Charles MacFarlane, who took part in the England-Scotland Amateur Match at Royal North Devon that same year.
MacFarlane then set out a new 18-hole course which was called the Mid Bedfordshire Golf Course and this opened with another exhibition match in May 1913 involving MacFarlane and another Scotsman, George Duncan, who would go on to win the Open in 1920.
On 26 April 1923, the course re-opened after it had been redesigned by J. H. Taylor and Fred G. Hawtree and the new layout also saw the introduction of bunkers for the first time. Three years later, the club changed hands, becoming Bedford & County Golf Club.
During World War II, holes 6 to15 were requisitioned for agricultural use and it wasn’t until June 1952 that the full 18-hole layout was brought back into play. Since then, drainage has been improved and tees extended to promote all-year usage of the course.
Today, the course extends to 6,420 yards, playing to a par of 70, with tree-lined fairways, strategically-placed bunkers and manicured greens challenging golfers of all handicaps. A brook can catch the unwary as it wanders through the 7th, 10th, 11th and 15th – with the last of these holes regarded as one of the toughest par fours in the county.
Such a lovely course, just managed to get round as the sun went down across the valley. The views from the par 5 18th were amazing as the sun fell. Really great condition from tee box to greens, with interesting holes, plenty of dog legs with the landscape playing a big part of many of the holes. definitely worth checking out, good practice facilities and club house too.
A great course for five months of the year. Being a mature tree lined course once the leaves start falling miss the fairway and you can lose a ball on every other hole under all the leaves. Very small greens mean you need a sharp game here as it also has some very long holes a tough challenge indeed. It is a terrible winter course so choose when you play it wisely, locally in mid summer there are few better
Bedford & County is a varied and testing course which is very well cared for and presented superbly at all times of the year. It's usually mentioned in the same breath as John O' Gaunt and these are accepted as Bedfordshire's best courses. There is a solid membership but you will usually find that you have plenty of time, mainly through the well-organised tee management system employed. It boasts one of the hardest par 4s in the country as well as excellent greens and being set in glorious Bedfordshire countryside. It's always an enjoyable round, a par 70, and it's well designed to be a tough test for players of all abilities.