Situated four miles west of Reading, Calcot Park was first developed in the early 17th century by Sir Peter Vanlore, a Dutch-born merchant and jeweller who purchased the property from Thomas Crompton then built the existing mansion to replace the original manor house of Tilehurst on the same estate.
When the golf club was founded and the famous design firm of Colt, Alison & Morrison laid out the new course in the early 1930s, the magnificent mansion building was used as a clubhouse but it was sold off and converted into flats in 1960, allowing the club to construct a more utilitarian new building from the proceeds of the sale.
With only two par fives on the scorecard, the course extends to 6,300 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 70. Feature holes include short par fours at the 2nd and 10th, with the 156-yard 7th, which plays across a small lake to a raised green, considered as the “signature hole” on the scorecard..
Clayton, DeVries & Pont were appointed to develop a master plan for the course in 2020 and Edward Cartwright, the firm’s head of operations in UK & Ireland, told us phase 1 of an intended four -phase restoration project was scheduled to begin in October 2021.
Harry Colt designed many excellent golf courses in the Golden Age of course design in the 1920s and 1930s, and Calcot Park is typical with many Colt hallmarks.
In particular, the 4 par threes are all superb holes that would grace most golf courses and there is sufficient challenge in the rest to make for an entertaining round of golf. The course is short at only 6275 yards from the back tees, but there are enough undulations to make it seem longer.
There are only two par fives, both of which are relatively straightforward but with 6 par fours at 400 yards or more, there are plenty of tough two-shotters. There are also two fun short par fours at the second and tenth to provide variety and a good opportunity for a birdie.
Calcot Park is in an agreeable parkland setting, course maintenance is good and the greens of a very high quality even if on the day we played some of the pin placements were quite testing. The members of this popular Club have a good place to play their golf on a course which is eminently fair and highly enjoyable.
We played Calcot Park on the way down to play the New Zealand. We found Calcot a very pleasant golf course in great condition. There were a number a short par 4 which meant that the course did not beat you up. We really enjoyed it, for as a pleasant day out where you are not beaten up by any bad shots.
I would definately ply it again.
Calcot Park lies in the middle of suburbia and with Reading town centre only a mile away in one direction and the M4 motorway equidistant in the other direction, Calcot Park is a good day out with easy access from most parts of Southern England. The greens on the course were well above average and the course condition in general was pretty good.
Sadly, apart from the Par 3 7th hole the rest of the course is nothing more than an average parkland layout and we left feeling quite uninspired to return. The 3.5 review rating is purely for the greens, they were the highlight!
if you get the chance to play it then by all means it is a nice round of golf but as mentioned already, the layout is limited by the space the course sits on.
Calcot gets better every time i play it. The appointment of a new greenskeeper has seen vast improvements of green surfaces and the green surrounds. However there is only so much you can do with the land, and a lot of the holes are uninspiring. A decent parkland course worth playing if you want to putt on good greens