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. Never happy to rest on laurels, The Grove’s greenkeeping team (in consultation with Kyle Phillips and his shaping specialist Theo Travis) completed a renovation of all 90 bunkers in June 2020.

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Reviews for The Grove

Average Reviewers Score:
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: 6.4 out of 10 Reviews: 45
TaylorMade
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
8 / 10
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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!
Melvin

A trip to The Grove proved to be fantastic, both from the golfing and service point of view. For a discerning winter rate, you get a highly challenging test of golf. Service staff were fantastic. From the moment you drive into The Grove, you could appreciate immediately the amount of effort laid into keeping this world renowned resort in its most pristine state. The grounds staff are extremely friendly and helpful. In short, everything from the golf course and peripheral facilities were just top class. The fact that it is a mere 30-35 mins travel from central london makes this a highly accessible and much more favourable golfing destination around the city. M

March 06, 2011
8 / 10
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Carl Tushingham
I am amazed by some of the negative reviews on here, ignore them and play here. I played here in mid November and the course was in super condition, the fairways 'carpet' like and the greens were smooth as silk and so very quick. Yes the course is modern and lacks the history that others can offer, but its conditioning is up there with the best. The layout is also very good and there are some super holes. It is expensive, but i'm glad to of played it and would reccomend it.
December 01, 2010
8 / 10
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Jack Gilbert
Very simply - the design of the course A1, lots of variety, the location -Superb.The condition of the course -first class.The staff very professional, fantastic facilities -a bit pricey in the halfway hut but apart from that a great experience -these responders are obviously from the tweed jacket and plus four crowd.
September 07, 2010
8 / 10
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Ben McDonald
Overpriced, overhyped. If you want to play a similar course with great staff and facilities for a fraction of the cost go and play Bowood. The Grove was very average IMO
July 05, 2010
4 / 10
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sleats
July 12, 2010
How is the Grove coming in at 49th?? It's not even the best course in Hertfordshire by some chalk. Defo rate Moor Park (High and West), Brocket Hall, Berkhamsted, Ashridge, Hanbury Manor, Hadley Wood...etc above this.
Simon
July 12, 2010
Whilst I agree that The Grove is overpriced compared to other 'top' courses, and that the prices charged for food and drinks is almost criminal, I fail to see how you think the staff and facilties are poor as having played there 4 times the staff can never do enough for you and the range/putting/chipping facilities are as good as anywhere I've played. As for the course itself, show me a course anywhere in the UK with far superior greens and I'll gladly hold my hands up as I've played all the named courses in Surrey and a few of The Open courses and not one has had better greens than The Grove.
sleats
July 12, 2010
Simon, Your comments on the staff and facilities etc are with the reviewer not me. I am just stating that for me the Grove at 49th best course is a shocker!! As for courses with better greens - Royal Cinque Ports, Burnham and Berrow, Royal St David's - are courses I have played in last few months that have far superior greens. I would also say Moor Park High course.
Simon
July 14, 2010
Sleats, I agree with you that The Grove is punching above its weight at 49th, and I have yet to play the other courses you mentioned so I respect your opinion and will certainly make an effort to play them at some point, I was merely comparing to courses I have played as indeed you were. Golf is certainly all about opinions which is why we all love it!
Frazer
July 15, 2010
Having played The Grove in the last 10 days it was immaculately presented, with good greens and very attentive staff without being intruding. If you want to try some of the best greens to be found try Hindhead - stunning.
Sandeep
August 04, 2010

I played the Grove twice in the last 2 weeks, and thought it was in fantastic shape, and i have played there many times over the last 5 years. As for better courses, well everyone has their preferences, but many aspiring courses cost 100+. I love St.George's Hill, Surrey, but is it as good as the Grove? not quite, but its 135...Moor Park is a very decent place, but it's far fetched to claim its better than the Grove. The Shire in Hertfordshire seems good value at 50, and is a proper, tough course.

sleats
August 04, 2010
Sandeep - if you rate the Grove as better than St George's Hill then I am shocked. One has tradition,history, beautiful asthetics, class and top quality golf. The grove has good conditioning but is pretty flat piece of land with a view of Watford!
Sandeep
August 05, 2010
Sleats...i have only played St.George's Hill once, and thought it was brilliant. You may well be right, it is prettier than The Grove, which is not to say the Grove isnt aesthetically very nice. I guess the point i was trying to make is that there are many expensive courses, some worth it more than others. What i do appreciate about the Grove is the lack of airs and graces, you pay and get excellent service, and no one bothers you if your shorts are one inch too long, makes you wear a blazer in the clubhouse, and it has modern facilities, which appeals to me. So a marginal preference for the Grove, partly due to proximity, but partly the all round experience. St.George's Hill does have a special place in my heart though, rest assured.
tilly
August 23, 2010
Moor Park is no where near as good a course as the Grove that is just rubbish , the greens at moor park are a joke in comparrison. The grove is in a totally different league to hanbury manor and brocket hall.
dan
August 23, 2010
I normally much prefer traditional courses to new ones, but credit where credit is due The Grove is a nice course with, when I played there, superb greens. I also really like the holes in the loop over the road, and great facilities even if not cheap ! Much as I like Moor Park, Berko and Ashridge I would rate The Grove on a par with them if not above. West Herts (Cassiobury) however, now that's a course !