Collingtree Park Golf Club is Johnny Miller’s first "Signature" course in the British Isles. The former British Open champion was no ordinary golfer and Miller’s 18-hole creation at Northampton is no ordinary golf course. After significant earthworks, 275 acres of uninspiring meadowland has been transformed into an exciting golf course, which opened for play in 1990. Luxury homes flank the fairways and over 11 acres of water wait to catch anything but the most perfectly struck shot.
Clearly proud of his creation, Miller said: "Great Britain is sacred ground for me...I've always wanted to design a course on British soil. We tried very hard to design a course that would speak to today's player and, at the same time, preserve the natural beauty of the land and the sense of tradition that's so much a part of golf in the British Isles." The PGA European Tour soon recognised Miller’s achievement. In 1995, and again in 1996, Collingtree Park hosted the British Masters – Sam Torrance and Robert Allenby claimed the titles.
The layout can be stretched to almost 7,000 yards from the back tees, but from the forward tees, the course is very playable and most enjoyable for the average golfer – providing, of course, that the numerous water hazards are avoided. There is a number of memorable holes, but it’s the long par five 18th that everyone talks about and it’s worthy of the excellent value green fee alone. After a solid drive and a lay up second shot, you’ll be presented with your third to an island green – a touch of Sawgrass in the Midlands. Make no mistake, a par at Collingtree Park’s closing hole is one to savour.
Collingtree Park was amongst the new breed of courses that sprung up in the 1990’s and had serious aspirations of becoming one of the premier clubs in the UK. The course has excellent access being situated just off the M1 and in the early years the course hosted a number of tournaments including The British Masters in 1995 and 1996. The course has a few memorable holes such as the 5th a tight par 5 which doglegs slightly from right to left with water right and OOB left…it is quite an intimidating tee shot. The approach to a smallish green is not easy either but it is a hole that grabs your attention from start to finish. Hole 6 is tough par 3 with a green that runs diagonally across the player…again water plays its part protecting the miss hit or pushed tee shot. Hole 9 is another decent par 5 with an element of risk and reward as the player will need to be pin point in their approach as water guards the front of the green and OOB will catch the pushed or sliced shot. Hole 10 is a nice par 4 played back up the hill to a sloping green…distance control is key to navigating this hole successfully. The rest of the back 9 is relatively average before you reach the best hole on the course…the 18th. This par 5 has water running down the entire left of the hole and any shot leaked to the right will find OOB. If the player finds the fairway they must decide to either layup or go for this island green which has many levels and undulations. You cannot help thinking that Collingtree Park could have been one of the more successful clubs in England as it does have its moments but the condition of the course has been up and down for years which is a real shame.
Oh dear what has happened. Played this year for the first time in about 5, the condition of the tees, fairways is awful. Maybe spoilt have played Royal St Georges just a few weeks before, however Collingtree is not the course it once was. It was never the most beautiful course, but it was one with enough interesting holes. The back 9 gets a bit boring until the 18th. Off the back tees the 18th is not as good a hole as it is a bit further forward, the latter means you can have a good go at reaching in 2! If you enjoyed playing Collingtree, 10 or 15 years ago, don't go back, it will only upset you.
A great track which is falling apart. Greens were ok but bunkers were all out of play and the rough long and full of grass clippings.