Founded in 1897, Chesterfield Golf Club moved to its current location a decade after its formation. Known locally as Walton, the club’s original 9-hole course was expanded to an 18-hole layout by Tom Williamson, the Hollinwell professional.
It’s understood that Harry Colt (or one of his associates) may have modified the layout at some point but we’re actively investigating the course’s provenance with the club and a number of other interested parties, one of which includes the Colt Association.
The course is divided by a lovely woodland area called Riggots Plantation, with holes 1-7 laid out on terrain that’s quite different in character to the other eleven holes on the lower western side of the course, where the wandering Birdholme Brook affects every hole on the back nine.
Stroke index 1 on the scorecard is the 453-yard 13th, a right doglegged par four which is bounded on the left by Walton Wood. With a sand trap to be avoided at the kink in the fairway, the hole then plays to a green that’s protected by a couple of strategically positioned front bunkers.
Also known as Walton Golf Club, Chesterfield is a tough course played over well established parkland. The clubhouse offers excellent views over the 9th green, 10th tee and 18th green.
The course is split into 2 parts, with the 1st 7 holes played over hilly terrain, quite different from the other parcel of land holes 8-18 which are over flatter land with a brook coming into play on those holes.
And it is perhaps for that reason i.e. flatter, that I have never been hugely impressed with Chesterfield as a course that I want to return to regularly.
The 1st is a short uphill par 4 where a par start is the order of the day. A benign start, but then the 2nd is better and the 3rd a good par with a hawthorn tree in the fairway to either go over or around with your tee shot.
Best of front 9 is the par 3 8th which is a lovely downhill to a nice green and can play harder than the 18 index suggests. The par 5 9th sweeps round right to left to a green positioned in front of the clubhouse and halfway hut.
Then you head into the flatter 2nd part of the course and what I find a less interesting half. The 18th is a good finish however to a Mackenzie green just under the clubhouse so you can finish your round off in style to any watching golfers having a drink after their rounds.