The Grove - Hertfordshire - England

The Grove,
Chandler's Cross,
Hertfordshire,
WD3 4TG,
England


  • +44 (0) 1923 294266


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Grove

The Grove is one of the newest and most enterprising golf course projects recently undertaken in England. Designed by Kyle Phillips (the man behind Kingsbarns), the course opened for play in September 2003 to rave reviews and it's already considered by some to be the best course inside the M25. This is not your typical golf club. In fact, it isn’t a golf club at all – it’s a pay-and-play golf course open to everyone.

More than a decade on, it's a venture that seems successful. It was hard to imagine a course (and the facilities) of this quality without a club and associated members attached. The Grove has certainly attracted many pay-and-play guests and, what's more, they all receive an exceptionally friendly welcome. All the staff are focused on customer service and they will do their level best to cater for your every whim.

We played here first in mid January 2004 and we were staggered. Despite all the rain, the overall condition of the course was outstanding. We’ll actually go as far as to say that the Grove’s overall mid-winter state is better than the condition that many top courses achieve in late spring.

When you drive up the private road towards the “resort”, your first impression might be that you’ve arrived at a new upmarket municipal. The land itself appears uninspiring, fairly open, a few undulations but nothing much else. However, when you get out on the course itself, you immediately appreciate the quality and you quickly begin to acknowledge the design. Phillips has done a neat job, using the natural contours of the land in an understated way to create a discerning golf course. No doubt the Levy brothers, owners of the Grove, were delighted to host the 2006 World Golf Championships... this was the first time that the American Express event visited Britain and a certain Tiger dominated the field to claim the 2006 title.

Here's what Ernie Els had to say about The Grove after the 2006 WGC: "I loved The Grove. Let me tell you, it is very, very impressive. I would say it's the best-conditioned golf course in Europe, certainly from my experience. Everything was perfect; the course is great, the tees, fairways and greens were incredibly manicured and the practice facilities were amazing. And the food we had at the club all week was magnificent. This was the benchmark for how a tournament should be. It was that good."

Four large teeing areas on each and every hole cater for all golfing standards. Measuring a hefty 7,150 yards from the back tees to a leisurely 5,500 yards from the front tees. The raised undulating greens are simply fantastic, very fast and very true. There are no excuses for three putting here. However, if you miss the green with your approach shot, you can be faced with some very tricky recovery chip shots. The fairways are thickly grassed and very lush; the ball seems to sit proudly on top, giving the handicap golfer loads of confidence and every chance to make clean contact with the ball.

The Grove is certainly a course for the cognoscenti and it was back in the spotlight in October 2016 for the Luke Donald-hosted British Masters, which Sweden's Alex Noren won by two shots from Austria's Bernd Wiesberger.

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Reviews for The Grove

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Description: Kyle Philips has done a neat job, using the natural contours of the land in an understated way to create The Grove...a discerning golf course. Rating: 6.8 out of 10 Reviews: 41
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Andy
I have played here several times over the last ten years and always have a really good day, I enjoy the course and go home with a smile on my face but there is always a little bit of me that is a bit critical but my problems are nothing to do with the course but just the price of everything off of the course. This is a 5-star operation, with 5* prices but in saying that on and off the course it is always busy, so for that reason The Grove has to be seen as a success story. This is a modern looking course with plenty of variety all around; the stand-out observations are the green sites,Grove Golf Course - Photo by reviewer the green side bunkering and the run-off areas that are as good as anything in the country. Presentation and conditioning are near perfect. The first 'big hole' is the SI-1 par-4 3rd (anywhere from 342-446 yards) - bunkers at landing point on the left and the lake starting at 65 yards short and hugging the left of the green make this a super strong hole. The 8th hole is of similar length as the 3rd, dog legging to the right and bunkers on both edges of the fairway protecting. Three more bunkers short of the green plus a severe run off to the left; a measly SI of 13, does not reflect how tough the hole is. The back nine in my opinion is stronger with more interesting holes, including the opener on this nine; a short severe dog-legging par-4 with great protection. The par-4 12th is a tough hole at around 430 yards with a clever false front and a fantastic run-off at the back. The 18th is a big hole too, an inviting drive to a wide fairway but the 2nd shot to this 435 yard par-4 is where there is work to be done as the green is slightly raised with yet more brilliant run-offs. I would say that the course in 2015 is in its best shape since opening. The Grove, it is not cheap but it is very good indeed.
August 10, 2015
8 / 10
The Grove
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Dan Hare
Growing up locally I remember when the plot was a British Rail training college, so they have done a great job fashioning a quality course from a somewhat bland plot of land compared to the nearby and highly recommended West Herts (Cassiobury). The holes in the woods and along the Great Union Canal are great fun, and the greens are a great advert for USGA standards for inland courses being firm and fast. However, the very planned tee boxes and slightly underwhelming land reminded me unfortunately of the PGA Centenary at Gleneagles - a very good game of golf, but it's missing the fun factor.
July 08, 2015
6 / 10
The Grove
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Tom Sleater
Played on Friday in quite a nice 5hr window of good weather. The front nine was somewhat ruined by some hackers slowing up the course - but the marshall respomded very quickly and held them at the halfway hut. Course wise, the greens are very good, the design is pretty good (its pretty much in watford -so only so much picasso can do with a biro) and service is excellent. But the price does not match up to the golf course the grove thinks it is. That said if you can have a nice game off golf here - but its bling before ping. To me Hertfordhsire has some wonderful courses - Moor Park, Brocket Hall, Ashridge etc that i would easily put above the Grove.
November 11, 2013
6 / 10
The Grove
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Rob
January 01, 2015
This review hits the nail squarely on the head. The Grove is essentially style over substance; whilst the service is hard to fault, the course is a bit uninspiring. If you want an excellent corporate day out (ideally paid for by someone else!) then this is it. But if its about the golf, Ashridge, Hadley Wood, Moor Park and Brocket (Palmerston) are all far better courses in Hertfordshire.
Lp
Played in a 4 ball here recently. Some people are too quick to criticise new courses. This is a cracking layout, there are some generous drives, some tight ones and excellent strategy required around the greens. The Rough is unforgiving as it should be and there are plenty of alternative tee areas to keep it playable for all handicaps. The Course was immaculate and probably the finest greens I have ever witnessed (although its a close run between the Grove and Finca Cortesin). It is a touch expensive to play at standard rate which is a shame (and why it does not acheive max rating in my opinion) but also great to have a course you can actually play at the weekend. Food in the Glasshouse is very good, and staff are exceptionally helpful and polite.
October 15, 2013
8 / 10
The Grove
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JamieSmith
Played here 3 times now, each time the welcome has been great. If you play here remember to get here early so you can make use of the complementary range balls and ask for your clubs to be cleaned (for free). Every time I've played this course the greens have been rapid and the condition of the course is also perfect. The most memorable holes in my opinion is the par 3 4th, the par 3, the par 3 7th, and the run in from holes 13-18 are all good. Overall great experience and one of the best courses I've played. However £180 is a lot so make sure that you use the 2 for 1 vouchers so you can play it half price.
July 24, 2013
10 / 10
The Grove
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paul
This is a great venue and probably the best 'young' course i've played. You need semi-deep pockets because its not cheap, but even so i felt i'd got value for money in the end ..... the course condition when i played was fantastic and its manicured golf in the extreme, not a blade of grass out of place. even though in places it lacks the maturity of older courses, the intelligent design and contours of the course make it an interesting test. Some of the holes on the back nine are a little more enjoyable and tree lined. Service as you'd expect at a 5* resort is excellent and the price of food /drink in the Stables Bar is actually very reasonable .... if you're used to the SE England cost of living. if you want a treat also try eating in their GlassHouse Buffet restaurant ..... this is top quality food and at less than £40 pp at times it is well worth it, been there a couple of times over the last year and can't fault it....
June 06, 2013
8 / 10
The Grove
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James
I played here on the back on Black Sunday competition which was very well suppported. I thoroughly enjoyed the tough pin positions and length of the course on a windy day( The SSS went to 77!) I think the course is in fabulous condition, the service is very good in all departments and the course offers a fairly unique challenge in these parts. Where it really stands out is the nature of the Green Complexes. There are deep swales and hollows and runoffs on quite a few of them that make second shots very tough and enjoyable. they made me look silly more than once and I didn't mind that as the next one was fun to play. It is in great condition and has a unique egalitarian pay and play policy. I reccomend it. Its a very interesting and attractive course. JCB LAY
October 03, 2011
6 / 10
The Grove
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Matthew Adams
The Grove does seem to attract a wide range of views including many positive mentions of the customer service. However, I visit a course for the golf, and I don’t think I’m alone in that respect. The course design makes good use of a mildly interesting plot of land. The changes in elevation are used in such a way to not make it too much of a slog when walking. I can only agree with those who think that the Grove fails to offer sufficient challenge from the tee. Grove Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe 15th with its old-fashioned mounding covered in rough on the left side is one of the few examples of a strategic choice off the tee, while the 14th is a good example of a shortish par four infused with great subtlety. The green complexes are the best aspect of the course. They are a little contrived in places, as some need to be, given their less promising sites. Others use the natural contours well (the 7th and 16th). Some greens even allow for the choice between aerial or running approach and the first-time player is not overly disadvantaged if approaching from the wrong side of the fairway. At the end of September 2011 and with some top dressing the greens ran true, at good pace with some subtle breaks. The overall level of maintenance and presentation is high and the course does have some memorable holes which for me included the 3rd, 4th, 14th and 15th. However, for the almost £100 green fee surely golfers have the right to expect more. To charge extra for range balls at that price comes across as being cheap. As others have suggested here, it will be interesting to see how The Grove fares in a weak consumer economy. Overall, it didn’t really inspire or antagonize me either way.
October 01, 2011
4 / 10
The Grove
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matthew walker
Played The Grove 2 weeks ago in a 4-ball off the whites. Collectively we've played 150 courses and the current condition of The Grove makes No.1 in terms of presentation. Being a youthful course, it does not benefit from the maturity of the UK's leading historical courses, but thoroughly enjoyable and plays quite long in breezy conditions. The club accepts 2-fore-1 vouchers so at £92 it was good value.
May 22, 2011
8 / 10
The Grove
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James
Overrated with a capital O. First the good: pure greens in early March (amazing), the service and welcome is fabulous (so it should at the price) and Kyle Phillips has done just about all that could be done with a frankly very ordinary featureless bit of land.Now the bad: literally NO challenge off any tee for a decent golfer: hit it 100 yards off line, and so long as you miss the right side, and it will be fine. SO artificial round the greens, with mounding and run offs that with greens at 10 on the stimp were almost silly for a 7 handicap good putter. I would hate to putt them in high summer, pure though the roll is. The early par 3 over the stream is fun, and there are a couple of good holes at the start of the back nine, but the rest IMHO is dull. Condition of the rest of the course does not match the greens, and the cost of anything at the venue is beyond robbery.
March 29, 2011
4 / 10
The Grove
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Reece
July 31, 2014
Go and play it now!! Best fairways you will ever play off!! and play it off the blacks if you want a challenge in length!