Review for The Grove

Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Review:

The Grove has its market and they’re happy steering directly into it. There is a certain type of customer base in mind here. Within easy reaching distance of the cash rich folk in and around London, the accommodation is luxurious with spa facilities and an excellent set of restaurants. When you head to the course, one of the staff will greet you and make sure that you’re made to feel welcome. The starter at the tee comes with a smile and the complementary goodies, and naturally, the course is in superb condition. But strip all of that back and what do you have? The answer is a slightly better than average course on an average piece of land.

The land at The Grove is gently rolling and the design is solid, it’s well bunkered, it provides a good test of your game and has a variety of interesting greens. The course never really gets out of third gear though. I felt the designer played everything a little safe and likely kept rigidly to his brief; nothing too risky or quirky that’s going to upset the customer base. This is ultimately golf for the mass market whereas I personally want to seek out something a little more inspired or see something original. Despite playing here twice, I never found myself truly engaged with many of the holes blending into one another.

There are some good holes on the outward nine, and I particularly enjoyed the holes in and around the manor. I felt the tempo dropped a little on the back nine, and whilst the downhill par three 12th was the most eye-catching hole coming home, thereafter, the closing holes are slightly lacklustre to meet the high expectations I have for an England top 100 venue. Ultimately, I like to play a course that leaves me with some sort overriding emotion, but I found The Grove a little soulless. It’s a good day out and the course is plenty enjoyable, it’s all just a little too clean, corporate and safe for my tastes.

Date: September 26, 2021


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