Brocket Hall (Melbourne) - Hertfordshire - England

Brocket Hall Golf Club,
Welwyn Garden City,
Herts,
AL8 7XG,
England


  • +44 (0)1707 335241

  • Alex Davies

  • Peter Alliss & Clive Clark

  • Luke Roberts


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Brocket Hall (Melbourne)

A mere 20 miles north of London lies the delightful Brocket Hall Golf Club, set in 500 acres of seclusion. Brocket Hall hit the headlines a decade or so ago when Lord Brocket was sent to prison after being found guilty of a £4.5m insurance fraud. Wild rumours abounded that he’d buried his classic Ferraris beneath the undulating greens of the Melbourne course, or perhaps even ditched them in the Broadwater of the River Lea. The reality was that he’d dismantled them and shipped them into a North London lock-up.

Brocket Hall was built in 1760 and it’s now rented out by the trustees on a long-term lease. Once home to two British Prime Ministers and a favourite country retreat for royalty, Brocket Hall is now a five star golf resort and both courses are named after the Prime Ministers who used to live here: William Lamb (2nd Viscount Melbourne) and Henry John Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston).

The Melbourne course was the first course to be laid out in the grounds of Brocket Hall. Designed by Peter Alliss and Clive Clark, it opened for play in 1992. Many people believe that this is one of the finest designs from BBC television's voice of golf. The layout follows the natural contours of the undulating 18th century parkland and the course belies its tender age.

Measuring 6,616 yards from the back tees, with par set at 72, the Melbourne course is not a slog. It represents an enjoyable but thoroughly challenging test. The holes are varied and interesting, with the River Lea providing a beautiful but daunting hazard. The river is in play right from the off, waiting to catch anything struck too far to the right. The par three 2nd requires a full 170-yard carry directly across the river to a green which is protected by trees on both sides.

As we plot our way round the Melbourne course, each hole continues to entertain and ask questions, but the most telling question is left until the last hole. The 18th is one of the finest closing holes in golf. This teasing downhill par five appears straightforward enough from the tee. A solid drive down the left and over the brow of the hill will leave a dilemma for all but the very best golfers. The question is; lay up or go for it? Whatever the answer is, there will be time enough to spare for reflection when you are carried across the River Lea by a ferry to complete the hole.

Finally, a word about the practice facilities. Brocket Hall is home to The Faldo Golf Institute. This state-of-the-art golf instruction centre includes an indoor teaching school, a long game zone, a short game zone, a chipping and bunker zone, a putting zone and a par three, six-hole approach zone. If practice is your thing, then you cannot fail to be impressed.

Brocket Hall is one of the best golf clubs in Hertfordshire and if you are given the opportunity to play here, we thoroughly recommend it.

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Reviews for Brocket Hall (Melbourne)

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Description: The Melbourne is Brocket Hall Golf Club's oldest course. This challenging layout wends its way across undulating 18th Century parkland. Rating: 4.6 out of 6 Reviews: 23

I'll start by saying that as a lover of links golf I always find it hard to truly appreciate parkland/woodland golf, even on the best courses. I much prefer the 'ground game' to one where the aerial route is usually to be favoured. I did however enjoy my two rounds at Brocket Hall and can see why people are so complimentary about it.

The Melbourne course sprung a real surprise and complements its sister nicely. However, the opening hole is an unusual start and not really one I found to my liking. It plays in front of the magnificent hall alongside the River Lea but the severity of the slope on the fairway pushes this hole close to being gimmicky.

However, once that is out of the way you are in for a treat. The River Lea comes into play at the second and fourth and is strategically placed whilst the third is a wonderful rising par five. You won't see the water again until the final few holes but the middle part of the course is very solid with no really weak holes.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

3 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
March 02, 2017


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I've got mixed impressions. I liked the club house and the general layout of the terrain, the service at the clubhouse was perfect, the lunch was tasty and filling. But on the other hand, the greens were unbelievably slow, the fairways of some holes (e.g. 1 and 18) were literally covered with bird droppings. There were some spectacular holes such as 2, 16, 18, but there were also some filler holes. In general, I expect more from a course where the green fees start at 100 quid.

4 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
October 17, 2016


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By definition, reviews on this site are very much subjective. For me, my golfing experience is defined not just by the course but by its conditioning, its setting and the facility as a whole. As such I am simply amazed how anyone could play here and not rate it top marks.Working back, there are few finer places to play than Brocket Hall. I got a sense of what was to follow as I drove through the grounds, dropped my bag and parked up. We were taken down to the practice ground that anyone who's purchased a green fee is free to use - I've never seen anything like it. 3 huge greens to work on chipping, pitching or putting with Titleist practice balls there for your use. Then a 300 yard long driving range off grass, again with pyramids of Titleist balls, to really hone your swing. There's also a par 3 course that winds through the woods alongside......you can have a day's golf just here and never get bored, and few of us can say that about practice!Now to the course. With my own club still half under water I wasn't sure how it would be, but I needn't have worried. Course was bone dry with the tees, fairways and greens in outstanding condition, at least as good (if not better) than I found The Grove in last week. A last putt on the practice green by the tee, alongside the stunning river with the main hall up to the left.....what a sight. The 1st is a quirky par 4 that slopes viciously from left to right. But the ball settled well but left a frightening 150 yard approach to a long narrow green with the river all the way down one side. A walk up the hill takes you to the 2nd tee, and surely one of the most spectacular/daunting par 3's you'll play. 190 yards with the entire carry over the river. The green nestles on the bank on the far side between 2 giant willows - simply 'wow'.A fair par 5 to a green in the trees before another crackerjack. The par 4 4th hole requires a long drive to open up sight of the green, this time the other side of the river. The vista from here, with the old bridge and racing weir a sight to behold. What a hole. The course then moves away from the water. A short par 5 and mid-length par 3 follow before a fine short par with small raised green and treacherous bunkering. The 8th is a 90 degree dogleg with a fabulous approach over a valley before the nine ends with a short downhill par 3 that sits right by the grand mansion house.A quick stop at the halfway house before you get eased into the back nine with a par 5. But don't get your hopes up as what follows is a brut of a par 4, uphill and into the wind that, at 475 yards, only the biggest hitters will find in regulation. The course then heads back into the woods with a pair of cracking and visually stunning par 4's followed up by a 200 yards plus par 3. Hole 15 is another dogleg with the approach shot down the hill to the green on the waterside. Hole 16 is another that takes the breath away, in effect a reverse of the 4th, requiring a 170 yard shot over the water, again in sight of the bridge and weir. A short uphill par 4, the 17th, with its green surrounded by a sand filled moat gives little warning as to what's to follow for the final hole. I've been lucky to play many great courses, but this is as memorable an 18th as you'll find anywhere. Standing on top of the hill you look straight down at the mighty Brocket Hall, the green in the distance on the far side of the imposing waterway. Follow the winding fairway or boom a drive over the scrub - if you find the short stuff the ball will run down leaving you to decide if to lay up or go for it in two. Most (including me) I think chicken out, but that still leaves a 120 yard carry over the water to a green that slopes from back to front. Find the putting surface and enjoy the pièce de résistance, as a ferry awaits to winch you over the clear water to finish off your round.This is how and where those that can afford it play their golf. Seriously, pick yourself a good day, get there early to use the practice ground and then enjoy a very very special round of golf at one of the UK's most exclusive venues. I can't wait to go back and try the other course.
6 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
March 14, 2014


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We played the Melbourne on Saturday 29th November, having played it quite a few times before I know its a good course and is generally in OK condition for the time of year, I would say that the 'lack of welcome to the visitor' still permeates everywhere as soon as you enter the gates, quite simply the members do not like 'green fee's' and do not hesitate in showing it. Not a course I feel comfortable playing at and only played this time as I was a client guest (the time before that was a match). I would certainly not pay a full green fee as it is not worth the money.
3 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
December 02, 2013


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Richard Strzelecki
December 02, 2013
Each to their own, but I have paid a green fee to play either the Palmerston or the Melbourne at least a dozen times and the staff have been extremely welcoming on every occasion. I have never really had any interaction with any members though.
Played the melbourne yesterday and it was at its sparkling best. Having seen the reviews below it has been a while since someone left a comment. Well things have changed, for the better it would seem! The course was in great nick even after the awful weather in the early part of this year. The clubhouse friendly and nothing too much trouble. Brocket Hall is a golf facility that you can never grow tired of visiting. I wish I could afford membership!
5 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
May 07, 2013


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Played today and I have to say I am impressed by the layout - a real challenge. I am not sure it offers value for money given the high cost of the green fees. The layout, challenge and the beauty of the scenery make this worth playing once. One warning, the members are simply unbearable and apparently do not appreciate non members playing, leave the ferry in the wrong place at your peril. I thought the world had moved on from such archaic thoughts and poor behaviour but alas its alive and well at Brocket Hall.
4 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
May 19, 2011


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Things have changed a little at Brocket Hall, especially the Melbourne course in my opinion. I have played here at least once a year for as long as I can remember and currently the Melbourne is looking a bit sorry for itself. I normally try to look beyond course condition and just concentrate on the design and the test against handicap but after re-visiting this week I was less than impressed. The 2010 summer in the south of England has burnt the fairways on many courses, so that look has to be expected but the Melbourne was looking dare I say it very average. The fairways are all a bit in-consistent; lush in places, burnt in places, totally bare in others and just very scruffy. For a course that was once a mystery to most (because it used to be so private), there seems to be a hint that all is not well - green fees are now available (set a little high I think, so not to upset the members who still have to pay top dollar) but the course conditioning has definitely taken a turn for the worse. There are still the great holes on the course over the water (2, 4, 16 and 18) but now that the conditioning has dropped, some holes have lost some appeal and are looking ordinary - I will return in 2011 and fingers crossed that this is just a blip...
3 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
August 12, 2010


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all of the comments here are around the water holes , but the problem here is that once you get past the sixth you wont see it again until 17 ! These first holes are totally brilliant and get the juices flowing (prob helped by being +1 after 7) BUT then you move up the hill away from the river and into boring unmemorable heathland, such a shame - for me this course has no flow, and also no fairway watering system (played today late june 2010 and yes its been seriously hot and dry but not a single blade of green to be seen anywhere other than the greens - not one ? its a good course overall but the middle is a huge let down for me - stick to ther other offering it flows much better..... 125 quid ? nah - just too much for this level of course.
4 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
June 28, 2010


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Fez
November 23, 2010
No question the water holes are spectacular but to call the middle holes "boring unmemorable" is a bit harsh. the 7th, 8th, 9th are beautifully laid out with some stunning trees and gradients. The 11th is impossible to par and the 15th is a challenging dog leg. There is good risk-reward throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed myself sorry.
I've played here hundreds of times since the week it opened and it's still the only course I know where you have to cross 200 yards of river, with its own strength of wind, four times. Birdies are available at every hole but require the longest and best directed of drives. Choosing clubs for crossing the river inevitably involves adding one for the seemingly non existent wind. The greens are large, undulating, fearsome and yet welcoming to the high iron player. It's probably overpriced for the average golfer but worth the treat if only once.
5 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
January 19, 2010


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The melbourne is now one of my favourite courses played. Crossing the river lee several times and the finishing hole is spectacular. I finely laid out track with some tough holes along the way. Excellent condition for time of year (March 09). The four holes across the river are inmpressive and particularly the 2nd can catch out the best of players. If you get the chance, play it.
5 / 6
Brocket Hall (Melbourne)
July 30, 2009


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