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

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: 6.7 out of 10 Reviews: 43
TaylorMade
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
10 / 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 !
Martin O'Connell
Played the Grove yesterday on a windy grey day. The whole exxperience there is very good from service of staff to facilities to out on the course. It is unbelievably expensive and does not represent good value for money. When played with a 2 for 1 voucher though its much better. I played off the blacks on a windy day and we were hitting 3 woods into par 4 greens. Then a pitch also!! Alot of the greens which were sandy yesterday which was a shame. Not normally the case I am told.Its a good course with some great holes and is well worth playing...but it lacks character to a degree. Enjoyable it was, but i only remember about 6 or 7 holes. Enough said...
April 06, 2010
6 / 10
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Simon Rourke
I am amazed at some of the recent reviews of The Grove on here stating how unimpressed they were and how poor the course was, they must have played a different course to the one I played today! The Grove is a fantastic course, the greens were lightening quick and in terrific condition, especially considering it is late Oct and there was a heavy downpour in the morning before we played. The fairways were immaculate and every hole has a unique challenge and I was really impressed by the layout.The facilities were second to none and the staff were always very helpful and friendly, I can't fault any of it.Yes, it is a tad pricey but what top courses aren't, and there are only a handful of courses in the UK that the great Tiger Woods has played and it felt great to be following in his footsteps so to speak.I won't hesitate to head back over there again and wholly recommend anyone to play there.
October 31, 2009
8 / 10
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jack bogan
I would like to say clearly this is a course thats overrated and poor value ,staff have an overtly have a nice day stigmatism goodbye american golf
March 04, 2009
2 / 10
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Nick
March 05, 2009
I have always felt that there was a touch of "The Emperor's New Clothes" about The Grove. Apart from the service (which costs a lot), I could never see what was so special about the place. One cannot help but feel that the current economic crisis will expose the course for what it is, a fairly ordinary but very expensive golf course, on a dull bit of land with great views of Abbots Langley and Watford. There are far better golfing experiences very nearby.
Graham Whitworth
I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about regarding the Grove and think this place is massively over hyped and overrated. I first played here 3 years ago, shortly after it first opened and yes I was initially impressed and thought the fairways were immaculate and the greens were amongst the best I had ever played on. However, having recently returned, I was appalled at the condition of the course and my recent trip gave me the opportunity to refresh my memory of the course itself and I was left feeling utterly uninspired by it.Firstly, the condition of the course was nothing short of atrocious. A considerable amount of the fairways were covered in “GUR” and the greens were slow and covered in pitchmarks and sand. This was a disgrace considering the £135 green fee, and the condition of the course perhaps symptomatic of the fact that it is not a members golf club. The people that use the course are predominantly made up of corporate hackers and so clearly don’t care too much about repairing any of the damage they cause. Secondly, I think there are very few memorable holes, other than the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 17th and 18th. It may be long, but there is so much room for error here and so little punishment for bad shots, again symptomatic of the corporate market it is catering for and, like many American designed courses, especially where tournament golf is concerned, low scores and forgiveness are the priority, rather than providing a real and testing challenge.On the positive side of things, yes, you can’t fault the practice facilities or the hospitality and service levels of the staff. But, overall, and I know this is a controversial view when compared to many of the other opinions of this website, I think this place lacks charm, character and atmosphere and is nothing more than a good place to go if you are attending a business conference with some golf attached as part of the day. It certainly isn’t worth going out of your way to play.
April 15, 2008
1 / 10
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P M
August 20, 2008
I must concur with this. I went there recently to play with my father who had requested this as a present (albeit an expensive one). The state of the course was uttely appalling, the play was too slow, waiting on every shot and sometime 3 on a hole - the marshalls were no help. I felt that I could have gone somewhere else paid less and had a better day.
Simon
November 19, 2009
You were unfortunate to play the course at the time you did, I played there 31st Oct 2009 and the course condition was unbelievable. Best greens I have ever played on, fairways were better than most greens I've played on and the pace of play was fine (4.5hrs with a 4 ball). I would recommend heading back there if you get the chance, I sincerely couldn't fault anything about the place.
Peter
November 23, 2009
I don't think that 41/2 hours for a 4 ball is acceptable!
sandeep
August 05, 2010
i concur, just played there twice in the last 2 weeks, and its in sensational condition.