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Brookmans Park

Brookmans Park

Hatfield, England
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Brian Hall
01/09
Hatfield, England
Rankings
  • AddressGolf Club Rd, Brookmans Park, Hatfield AL9 7AT, UK

Brookmans Park railway station lies on the East Coast Main Line and it was brought into service in 1926, four years before the 18-hole layout at Brookmans Park Golf Club opened for play. The busy rail track into London operates a quarter of a mile from the nearest point on the course so it doesn’t affect the peaceful parkland ambience in any way.

The Gaussen family incorporated the original Manor of Gubbins into an enlarged Brookmans estate in 1838, then sold it off in 1923 when the old manor house was divided into four family homes. The golf course opened for business seven years later but the new club had to wait a further five years until these premises were vacated, allowing the old building to be used as a clubhouse.

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Brian Hall
01/09

A couple of exhibition matches then took place on the morning and afternoon of 6 July 1935 to mark the opening of the refurbished house, with W. J. Richardson, the club professional, joined by Percy Alliss and two other local professional players. After opening the front door with a ceremonial key, Lady Clausen officially declared the new clubhouse open and the club was at last truly up and running.

In the modern era, the course measures 6,497 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 71, with fairways set out on a densely wooded, gently undulating landscape. Configured as three par threes, three par fours and three par fives, the front nine is routed around the perimeter of a compact property so it’s no real surprise to discover that out of bounds features prominently on many of these holes.

The 480-yard 5th is the shortest of the par fives on the outward half and it presents the best chance of securing a birdie on that stretch of holes, always presuming Mirror Pond can be avoided at the bottom of the hill before reaching the green and the pin is placed in a favourable position for the approach shot to the two-tiered putting surface.

On the back nine, the water-protected par three 11th and short par four 14th are memorable feature holes, but it’s the par fours from the 16th to the 18th that golfers will remember most when they walk off the home green because they’ll just have completed one of the most demanding three-hole finishes in Hertfordshire.

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J. H. Taylor

J. H. Taylor is rightly regarded as a golfing pioneer. The five-time Open champion was one of the best golfers of his era, he then played a significant role in shaping the way that the game is now conducted.

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