Buxton & High Peak Golf Club was founded in 1887 after Jack Morris, the nephew of Old Tom Morris and professional at Hoylake, had set out a 9-hole course on Fairfield Common the previous year. The course was then doubled in size during 1893.
Jack Simpson, the Open champion who had won the event at Prestwick in 1884, was appointed as the club’s first professional but it took a little more time to establish a clubhouse, with this building not appearing until 1905.
Nowadays, the layout extends to 5,993 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 69. There are only two par fives, one on each half, and three of the holes (#8 to #10) are played on a separate compartment on the other side of the A6 road, on the site of the old racecourse.
Highlight holes include the first of the par threes at the 168-yard 3rd, where the green is protected by no fewer than six small bunkers, and the right doglegging 454-yard 11th, rated stroke index 1 on the scorecard and easily the toughest test on this delightful track.
I've just finished my round at High Peak & Buxton and I've mixed feelings about this course. For one I feel reviewing a course in the depths of November is likely to render lower scores than on a warm summer's day, though I would hesitate to suggest my feelings are not a result of course maintenance.
To begin, the clubhouse is one of the more peculiar buildings I've encountered, set in a cul-de-sac next to a series of residential properties and lacking any real character. Though upon entering we were greeted with an informal, relaxed and welcoming hello before being given our tee time - after the morning Senior roll up. From there, we were told that there is a practice facility, around the corner in the car, but that it did not open until midday between November and March. So a few shots in the practice net next to the lawnmowers and some putting on the practice green were what got us going.
Now on to the course. The course does not play long, especially with winter tees in play, and it can prove to be an enjoyable challenge without ever really punishing poor shots too much. Errand approaches will often find a relatively light rough allowing you to recover with relative ease.
And broadly the course was in excellent condition, the greens ran true and at a good speed for this time of year, while the fairways had solid grass coverage and generally allowed a good lie. Though how long that stays the case with buggies still allowed on the sodden ground remains to be seen.
The course has some wonderful holes that seem to come in bursts. The first burst being the 4th, 5th and 6th which sit in their own smaller field. The 4th's tee shot in particular is a lovely one as the hole dog legs from left to right. Whilst the 5th and 6th coming back make for a varied and interesting challenge in golf. The 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th are also stand out holes for me, combining a range of angles, lies, elevation changes and distances to make for an excellent test of golfing skills. Indeed, the tee shot off of the 14th has to be the premier view on the course, looking back over Buxton and the Peak District off of an elevated tee to a beautiful par 4.
There are, however, insidiously characterless holes on the course, not least the first par 5 of the course, the 9th, which is a wide flat, expanse of nothingness. In fact all three holes that side of the main road, lack anything to distinguish them and make them a worthwhile addition to the course. Added foliage, landscaping or the placement of bunkers would help make these holes feel like something more than bolt-on holes to make up the numbers.
Similarly, the course seems to lack a strong cadence, feeling disjointed and repetitive in places. There were a few too many blind tee shots that played to an open fairway that levelled off and allowed a short iron in to the green.
Overall I feel this course misses the variance and nuance of a truly great course, but is well worth the relatively inexpensive green fees for a visitor. Would I return, unlikely given the range of other courses that have greater reviews in the area.
On reading this review my first thought was why bother when you’ve got the wonderful Cavendish on the other side of town . On reading the rest of the reviews I’ll stick with Mackenzie greens masterpiece of Cavendish
Cavendish is definitely on the list for next time I’m up. Its currently got a fair few holes closed for renovation so I’ll be waiting til the course is fully open in the new year.
Buxton is blessed with two great golf courses; Buxton & High Peak and Cavendish. Having recently played Cavendish, which was excellent, I played Buxton & High Peak today, and it was excellent too – the course condition is a credit to the greenkeepers. If you're in Buxton or planning a visit, I would certainly have a round here to see for yourself. Not the longest, but one worth ticking off.
I really enjoyed my round at Buxton and High Peak. It very much felt like a course of two halves. It starts along one side of a hill line that is quite quiet and you can definitely tell its an older course. The back 9 includes holes on the other side of the road which cuts through the middles of the course and the road noise was sadly a distraction from the otherwise beautiful scenery. You certainly know you've played a round here as the course sits within the hills, there is alot of up and downs. Course condition was great, the heavens did open while we played and the 18th green was saturated by the time we finished but it was a memorable round and worth seeking out the course.
Stopped off here again a few weeks ago on a lovely summers evening to grab a late night round. A few quirky holes that local knowledge clearly benefits but really enjoyable game.
I played the last 6 holes with a proud member of 30+ who said it was as good a condition as he had seen it. I was certainly impressed with the presentation.
All in all a very pleasant gentle course, I would suggest perfect for a day out with friends or a society. Very good value for money.
Located on the hills outside the spa town of Buxton, set in the High Peak, split by the A road coming over from Castleton and Sheffield sits this lovely little course.
The club claim that the course has links like holes, and I get the point they try to.make around holes 4 - 6 with humps, bumps and hollows aplenty. I played early morning with dew and the sun low over the course. It looked wonderful.
The course is itself not hilly despite being set at 1100 feet above sea level. Its a pleasant short course, with good draining turf, but the wind can make the test quite severe.
I found the holes across the road a bit bland, with exception the delightful downhill 8th, 2 par 3's sandwiching a par 5.
Once back across the main road, there is a tough SI one 11th, a long, uphill par 4 that dogs to the right and a heavily bunkered green. The 12th runs in the opposite direction, back down the hill and round an old quarry.
The final par 3, the 13th, is a lovely and natural looking short hole played up to a hidden green with trouble all around.
The course finishes with 5 solid par 4s, one long, a couole short, the last of which is seemingly the simplest at 331 yards,but beware the road running along to the left of the green!
Buxton and High Peak is not a course on the radar of many golfers, the same can be said about Derbyshire as a whole. This is a pity as the green fees offer extremely good value and there is plenty of entertaining golf on offer.
If youre en route through Buxton, put your sticks in the car and give it a try.
I’ve played Buxton High Peaks on many occasions and it is always in very good condition. Holes 1-6 are a great holes to start any round and have a distinct links feel to them due to the old quarry they are routed around and the blind shots this creates. Holes 7-10 (par 3 eighth a possible exception) are a little bland but then the course gets going again from 11 onwards. In summary a good golf course if you are in the area and a green fee that won’t break the bank. Unfortunately doesn’t meet the heights of nearby Cavendish but in this writers opinion very few courses in the area do