Kidderminster Golf Club was founded as Comberton Golf Club in 1909 and members played on an initial 9-hole course designed by Midlands professional G.V. Tuck. Ten years later, the layout was doubled in size then the club changed its name to The Kidderminster Golf Club in 1921.
Today, the course measures just over 6,300 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 72, with tree-lined fairways routed across a pleasantly undulating property that extends to around 95 acres. It’s laid out in an old-fashioned out-and-back format so golfers never return to the clubhouse until they reach the home green on the 18th hole.
Highlight holes include the only par three on the front nine at the 168-yard 5th, where the tee is positioned among trees, making any wind speed difficult to judge. The back-to-front sloping green is well-bunkered at the front and both sides, with out of bounds lurking behind the hole.
On the inward half, the 546-yard 13th is the longest of the three par fives on the card, bending gently to the left from tee to green, while the 418-yard 16th is rated the toughest hole on the back nine, playing into a heavily sand-protected green in the southwest corner of the property.
Kidderminster is set in amongst houses and roads, and is in places congested. Most holes are treelined, with much Silver Birch in evidence and I thought the bunkering was good. The par of 72 is fairly generous, with 3 par 5's and only four par 4's over 400 yards (all ocurring between 9 and 16). Only three par 3's and I thought they were all pretty good holes, albeit of similar length; the 5th is well bunkered, the 10th protected by a huge tree on the right hand side, and the 15th protected by a pond short left. There are a number of short par 4's, the pick being the 7th where placement of the tee shot was vital to facilitate a short iron between a narrow gap in the trees and with a pond left. I thought the short par 4's at 1 and 18 were poor holes and just seemed a means of getting down from the clubhouse to the remainder of the holes on the lower ground.
Tends to be a bit concerning when in the first week of September the starter says 'pick and place on fairways'. Course condition was below par, particularly as we were playing in an open competition. Fairways hadn't been cut yet there were still grass clippings, fringes hadn't been cut and it was a bit tatty. Oddly the bunkers were neat and tidy and in good playable condition. The putting green seemed reasonable but like the clubhouse this was at the top of the course and the greens were slower than the putting green, soft, of variable pace and in places worn. Ground was all very soft and as a result of this and the longish grass on the fairways there was little run; hate to think how wet it gets in winter. Sorry but I think the 2.5 ball definition was made for Kidderminster