Founded in 1895, Handsworth Golf Club moved to its current location a year later. In 1920, the layout was remodelled by Harry Colt and it remained virtually untouched for almost a hundred years until a flood management scheme from the UK’s Environment Agency in 2018 resulted in the introduction of three new holes.
Jonathan Gaunt oversaw the work – to protect households in the floodplain of the River Tame – which involved the installation of an embankment along the course’s previous par four 12th fairway and the loss of the former par three 11th and par four 13th holes. Two of the replacement holes are now situated in what were adjacent fields.
Overall, this tree-lined course extends to 6,362 yards from the back markers, playing to a par of 70, with only two par fives on the scorecard at the 486-yard 5th and 504-yard 18th. Feature holes include the left doglegged par for 14th, rated stroke index 1, where a stream runs diagonally across the fairway and the approach shot plays uphill to a sand-protected green.
Firstly my confession Handsworth my home course.
Over the last decade or so I have been lucky enough to play at least 50 courses a year. These vary from top 100 courses down to just good solid member courses. No matter where I have been playing when I come back to Handsworth it is an absolute joy to play.
We had three new holes which opened last year (2019) the 11th, 12th and 13th these have certainly added to the challenge of the golf course with the 11th being the signature hole a 380 yard par 4 with a pond in front of the green.
The main thing about Handsworth is that it is not a difficult golf course, with fairly generous fairways you will not play the same hole twice as the course moves in three loops. The other thing with Handsworth is that there are no easy holes, in fact for the lower handicappers the 18th hole which is a 500 yard par 5 downhill towards the clubhouse is probably the easiest hole and a great finish, as eagles and birdies are available but you can also get into a lot of trouble.
Post round you will be able to sit on the balcony and view the 1st and the 18th with the sun blazing in your face while enjoying a well deserved beer.
I have to admit it.... I used to be a member here. Ill be as objective in my review as possible.
Handsworth is a little oasis in the suburbs of west Birmingham. To get there you have to drive through the local housing estates and turn down a dead end street to enter through the modest entrance where you presented with this picturesque Golf Club. The club includes a small driving range (though usually to short for Driving on), chipping area, a pleasant putting green at the front of the clubhouses overlooking the first, a friendly staffed pro shop and a amply sized changing room.
The first is a nice short par 4 opener with water to the right, the bigger hitters could go for a power fade to reach the green but most just play a layup drive down the middle. The 2nd is an uphill par 4 with trees surrounding the right side and a heavily raised green. Most play up to the last bunker and allow a 100 yard odd chip on. Driving it over the last bunker is usually avoided.
My favourite run of holes were from 5 - 7. The 5th is a long dog leg part 5 that has a steeply raised green. A steady drive onto the brow of the fairway is the usual approach leaving you with a long uphill approach. Most big hitters try and carry the trees on the left to make the approach a bit easier. The raised green is also surrounded by dense forrest so distance and accuracy is key.
The 6th is a pleasant slight downhill par 3 with a sloped green. In summer anything past the hole can make for a difficult and quick downhill putt. Following that is par 4 downhill dog leg left with OB on the right hand side, not great for those with the slices!
Other highlights on the course include the par 4 13th, requiring a nice straight tee shot followed by a well defended green. The 14th par 4 (SI 1) provides a risk/reward shot for those big hitters to cut the corner. Playing at 433 yards a par is a very reasonable score.
The finishing hole provides a downhill view of the fairway with the clubhouse in view. The raised tee box provides a great finishing atmosphere which really makes you want to smash you're drive to gain as much distance. Hopefully straight and avoiding the right hand bunker. The par 5 is a birdie opportunity and can make for an exciting finish.
The clubhouse and members are very friendly and approachable and the overall spirit at the club is great. Granted there are stronger courses nearby like Edgbaston and Sutton Coldfield, but I would definitely recommend playing a round at Handsworth if you have the chance!
Did you actually play the course ? The 13th is one of the new holes and is a long par 3.!!!