Founded in 1893, Kirby Muxloe Golf Club started out with a 9-hole course designed by Old Tom Morris and members are said to have competed for the first monthly medal in February 1894. It took another fifteen years for a clubhouse to be built then the course was extended to an 18-hole layout in 1926.
A number of holes were used for agricultural purposes during World War II but the course was brought back into full use in 1951. Three new holes were introduced by Simon Gidman to replace the old 1st, 7th and 9th in 1988 and he returned to the club in the new millennium to work on a number of the greens.
One of the most unusual holes to be found anywhere is the short par four 5th in the southwest corner of the property which is played through trees from a tee position almost 100 yards into an adjacent field on the perimeter of the course, accessed by a long grass strip that’s only 15 yards wide.
Other holes of note include the left doglegging short par four 8th, the tough par four 11th (rated stroke index 2 on the scorecard), and the par three finishing hole which is played over water to a heavily sand-protected home green, with a railway line running along the left of the hole.
Last year I wrote a brief review of the course, having played it earlier that year. I'm writing an update as I played it again on Friday and playing it for the 2nd time I was able to appreciate the course design and challenges better than the 1st time around.
This is a parkland course, relatively open with tree lined fairways. But to say it is totally uninteresting would be unfair. The course is laid out over a front nine which includes rises and falls in the landscape and the back nine over flatter land, but there are some nice holes on the course and I'll highlight these below.
The 1st hole tees off from directly outside the pro shop and is a sweeping right to left gently uphill par 4 opener. Playing into a stiff breeze this was not an easy opening hole. But the fairways were firm and the ball bounced and ran, despite the recent rains. Off the fairways another story with the rough being pretty wet and boggy in places.
The 2nd is a par 3 downhill, which off the winter yellows, played longer than the Summer whites. With a vicious left to right wind you needed to play a holding shot to try and make sure you hit a green which sloped from back to front.
The 3rd is then played uphill and the 4th back down the other side of the hill. The 4th plays down to a nice green with a small brook 20 yards short of the green to catch any shots which are not hit perfectly.
The 5th is a pleasant yet relatively straightforward par 4, played off tees which are outside of the main course, mainly to add some length. The opening off the tee is narrow and strategic shot shape required to leave a very short iron shot to the green.
The 6th is another long par 4 which gently plays down hill to a flat green. I think the next 2 holes are really nice. the 7th plays a sweeping left to right, with a brook running down the left hand side. Don't be too long or trouble awaits. But a gentle fade off the tee leaves a 2nd into a green surrounded by trees. The 8th then plays across the brook and over a hillside. Big hitters will be able to reach the green which then falls away to the left. A pretty couple of holes.
The 1st half of the round finishes with a par 4 back to the clubhouse.
The 2nd nine starts with a straightforward par 5 playing straight in front with the 17th fairway to the right and 11th fairway to the left. These two holes (10th and 11th) are rather bland. The 12th is a lovely 170 yard par 3 and this again is followed by another nice couple of holes, the 13th, not too disimilar to the 7th and a long par 4 14th. Then you get a par 5, par 3, par 5, par 3 finish.
The par 5 15th is ok, the short par 3 16th again straight forward, but the 17th is quite intimidating as the tee box sets you up to hit your ball at the trees on the left hand side of the fairway, so you need to position at an angle to it, and then the trees on the right hand side, really do close the fairway in as visualised off the tee. The green is played to over water.
And this water comes into play on the par 3 18th - on Friday they are rebuilding the 18th, so the 17th had a temp green short of the water and then the 18th was played as a 100 yard shot over to the what is the 17th green,
All in all, I enjoyed this round better than in 2019 and would say there a few nice holes which I can remember and appreciate more for having played it a 2nd time.
The clubhouse is nice and friendly and quite modern inside, with putting area, driving nets, practice area and short chipping area as well.
I played this really old course earlier this year and whilst a pleasant round of golf was had i would not want to be playing this course week in week out.
Its parkalnd and too samey for me. Uo and down fairways and no real challenges aoart form the greens which were very quick. There is also some water on a couple of holes
Dont get me wrong, its a nice track but so like so many other parkland courses with no real standout holes that stick in the memory.