Kedleston ParkQuarndon, England
- AddressKedleston, Quarndon DE22 5JD, UK
Kedleston Park Golf Club was established in 1947 but its origins can be traced back to the mid-1890s and the formation of Markeaton Golf Club. This now defunct club, one of nine founding members of The Derbyshire Union of Golf Clubs in 1913, did not survive the expansion of the city of Derby immediately after World War II, but many of its members continued to play by switching their allegiance to the newly formed Kedleston Park club.
The intended move to the grounds of the historic Kedleston Hall, ancestral home of the Curson family since the 12th century, had actually been planned in 1939 – when James Braid pegged out an 18-hole layout in the hunting grounds of the estate – but the war intervened, preventing a new course being built. When hostilities ceased, John Morrison, the design associate of Harry Colt, worked with construction company John R. Stutt to complete the course.
The course remained intact for all of half a century until David J Russell collaborated with European Golf Design to remodel the layout, building several new holes and reconstructing all the greens to USGA standards. Architects Mackenzie & Ebert advised on a three-year bunker renovation project in 2013 and Head Greenkeeper David Leatherhead – who started out with the club in 1974 – led the in-house team carrying out the upgrade work.
The toughest hole on the front nine arrives early in the round at the left doglegged 2nd, ‘Abell’s Forest’, where a single bunker protects the raised green on the front right hand side of the raised putting surface. On the back nine, the 417-yard 15th, ‘Oak Corner’, is another strong par four which doglegs right this time to a green guarded by sand on either flank.
The spectacular neo-classical Kedleston Hall mansion lies to the south west of the course, on the other side of the Cutler Brook, and it can be viewed from many of the holes on this beautiful parkland track. Designed by architect Robert Adam, this magnificent building was completed in the 1760s and it’s well worth a look around if visiting the golf club for the first time.
Course designer DJ Russell commented as follows:
I am thrilled that you are recognising Kedleston Park on your website. It is a major part of my life as I was assistant professional there for two years then represented the club whilst playing on the European Tour for twenty years years before becoming the Club Professional in 1996, a position I proudly held until I took on Archerfield Links in 2001. I redesigned Kedleston Park with European Golf Design in 1996/7, reconstructing all eighteen greens and approaches to USGA specification.
Holes 5, 6, 13 and 14 were completely rebuilt to give the course a better balance, turning the 6th from a par five to a par four (the 5th and 6th were both par fives originally) and the 13th from a par four to a par five. All of the remaining fourteen greens were modified to enhance the way that the holes were traditionally played.
It was a great opportunity that gave me the stepping stone to become a recognised golf course designer and I thank the members of Kedleston Park for trusting me with their course and hope that golfers will enjoy the wonderful surroundings of Kedleston for many years to come.
Head Professional Ian Walley describes his two favourite holes:
Hole 5 – Par five, 527 Yards
The 5th is a hole that requires distance and accuracy, providing a birdie opportunity for longer hitters whilst still rewarding those that play it sensibly. It has no bunkers but strategic groups of trees make the fairly straight hole feel like it somehow doglegs. This hole opens onto some beautiful scenery at Kedleston Park with the historic bath house set in position by the tee. On approach to the green, you’ll gasp at the grandeur of the imposing Kedleston Hall and just to the rear of the putting surface there’s the fantastic Adam Bridge, which was designed by the famous architect Robert Adam.
Hole 10 – Par four, 375 Yards
The 10th could be considered one of the shorter par fours on the scorecard and it’s a doglegged hole that veers to right from a slightly elevated tee box. The fairway is guarded by two strategically placed bunkers that will trouble both the shorter and longer hitters. The approach shot carries most danger with a large pond situated just a yard or two from the left fringe. The hole is tree-lined and the undulating green is framed by rhododendron bushes, providing a beautiful backdrop during the early part of the season.
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Course ArchitectView All
James Braid was born in 1870 in Earlsferry, the adjoining village to Elie in the East Neuk of Fife. He became a member of Earlsferry Thistle aged fifteen and was off scratch by his sixteenth birthday.