The golf complex at Hawkstone Park extends to forty-two holes – featuring the 18-hole Hawkstone and Championship courses and a 6-hole par three layout – and it offers golfers of all abilities the opportunity to test their game in lovely parkland surroundings.
Set within an extensive property that attracts many visitors to the caves, tunnels, trails and towers of its 18th century follies, the Hawkstone course is a James Braid design from the 1920s that was renovated by Welsh golfing legend Brian Huggett when the estate was acquired by the Principal Hayley Group in the 1990s.Another famous golfing son associated with Hawkstone Park is Sandy Lyle, whose father was for many years the resident professional at the club.
Really enjoyed the Hawkstone course. In the Shropshire countryside, a nice clubhouse with balcony views over the course, a well organised team event and well presented golf course with good greens, all helped by a nice sunny October day …. what is there not to like ?. A well established mature parkland course but more than that because it makes full use of the natural ground and features and in places almost has a moorland type feel, for example the second green is set in a gulley with banks either side and this extends into a ravine short of the fourth green. It is an undulating course but the design is very clever as you never feel you are hitting uphill, and the many side slopes makes it an interesting driving course where placement is more important than length. The first hole is typical where you need an accurate drive between the fairway bunkers (making sure you don't go too far into trouble), then it is about club selection downhill to a visible flag and when on the green it is a case of judging the slope/line on a well paced green. Only three par 3's and three par 5's, and a great variety of par 4's with no two holes the same and many dog-legs. Not too many straight holes, although the par 4 7th (stroke index 1) is pretty straight but narrow with trees left and OB right. I thought all holes were good, but the par 5 8th was probably just my favourite; a dog-leg requiring an accurate tee shot (gorgeous views of the autumn tree colours on the hill beyond from the tee) although there is a risk (huge I think) and reward tee shot over the corner for bigger hitters, and then you approach a fairly narrow target with bunkers, trees and slopes to negotiate. Generally the course is in a delightful setting but an added feature as you wander around holes 10-13 are the Hawkstone follies which are fascinating to gaze at. Personally I would rate The Hawkstone course higher than Oswestry and at least on a par with Llanymynech, infact possibly higher because I felt there were a couple of weaker holes at Llanymynech. Well worth playing and wouldn't hesitate to play again
Hawkstone Park Golf Club is a venue that benefits greatly from having two 18-hole parkland golf courses. There is also a six-hole par three academy course on site making this one of the most popular venues in Shropshire. Both of the main courses offer something slightly different.
The older of the two layouts, the 'Hawkstone' is a peaceful, tree-lined course which after an 'up and down' start wanders around the historic Hawkstone Follies. And it is the holes just after the turn that come close to these fascinating cliffs, crags and caves that are also the best on the course.
The front nine will test virtually every part of your game with no easy holes with the seventh being the toughest. There are a few blind drives where placement is required rather than length, this is especially the case the first and eighth where the fairway falls away from you at around the 200-yard mark. The first half of the course closes with its best hole, the impressive downhill par three ninth with a tricky green, bunkers to avoid and out-of-bounds close to the putting surface.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.