Knebworth - Hertfordshire - England

Knebworth Golf Club,
Deards End Lane,
Knebworth,
Hertfordshire,
SG3 6NL,
England


  • +44 (0) 1438 812752

  • Carloline Debnam

  • Willie Park Jr.

  • Garry Parker

Many travelling golfers will reach Knebworth from the A1M, leaving the motorway at junction 7. This road separates the golf club from Knebworth House where Led Zeppelin reputedly performed to crowds in excess of 200,000 in the 1970s. The clubhouse at Knebworth Golf Club is modest compared to its stately neighbour but it’s set on high ground from where there are lovely northerly views across the underrated parkland course.

Two-time Open Champion, Willie Park Junior, originally designed the 6,492-yard par 71 course at Knebworth Golf Club, which opened for play in 1908. Those that think Hertfordshire is a flat county have never played Knebworth. Here the topography is compelling, plunging up and down across pretty valleys and through mature woodland and there’s no finer example than the brutal opening hole.

The 1st tee is set in the trees… in fact the back tee is virtually in the car park. If you can survive this tough 462-yard par four then you’re in with a fighting chance of carding a decent score. The elevated tee provides a daunting view of the fairway that incorporates a wide and deep valley separating the tee boxes from the distant green. Many drives will end up on the valley bottom, from where the approach is blind or semi-blind to a back to front sloping, multi-tiered green, protected not only by distance but also by bunkers left and right. Any golfer that marks a four on their card on this hole should feel very proud.

If you are too far right off the 2nd tee, the London to Edinburgh East Coast Main Line railway will be in play on this par four. The railway is only slightly threatening on the par five 3rd which is placed into perspective by the pharmaceutical R&D facility of GlaxoSmithKline. You turn your back on the GSK giant on the tee of the 199-yard 4th, which is first in the quartet of Knebworth’s engaging and memorable one-shot holes.

Sunningdale (Old) and Huntercombe are considered by some to be the two best examples of Willie Park Junior’s English designs. However, the man from Musselburgh has left a lasting legacy of wonderful golf courses all over the world and while Knebworth may not be one of Park’s better-known designs, it really does warrant close inspection by any student of Golden Age golf course architecture.
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Reviews for Knebworth

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Description: Willie Park Junior laid out the course at Knebworth Golf Club and it’s surprisingly hilly with dramatic elevated tees, large greens and a mainline railway line that comes into play on several holes. Rating: 4.5 out of 6 Reviews: 4

Played here on a beutiful sunny but windy evening this week. A wonderful course with varied holes and good greens. The elevation changes gives the fairways a special character and make the holes look longer than they realy are. It's simply fun to play this Willie Park Jr. classic. Highly recommended in any case.

5 / 6
Knebworth
May 14, 2016


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The only down sides to an otherwise excellent course are the constant drone of traffic from the nearby A1M and the dominance of the Glaxo building at the bottom of the course. The course undulates nicely with good green but only average bunkers. The first is as good an opening hole as you will find and the 3rd an excellent risk and reward par 5. The par 3's are a mixture, 2 fairly ordinary holes (8 & 10) and 2 absolute crackers(5 & 14). The course finishes with back to back par 5's which is fairly unusual. One bonus we had was that when playing from the elevated 2cnd. tee adjacent to the railway The Mallard steamed past, now you dont get that on many courses.
5 / 6
Knebworth
September 26, 2012


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The addition of course rankings now down at county level is a great idea and courses like Knebworth now have a home within the rankings. I have played the course around six times over a twenty year period and have always come away with the same opinion – enjoyable course with a familiar mix of a few weak holes, plenty of strong holes and a couple that stand-out.I think the rankings that place this course towards the top third in Hertfordshire (approx 65 in the county) is about right and if any ‘floating’ golfer in the area is looking for a round, then Knebworth is a decent choice in my book. A very tough par-4 starts the round with an uphill approach to the green being the key shot – pars are rare for most at the opener. Next hole to mention for me is the par-4 5th, a downhill drive that should favour the right-side for the best approach which will be uphill to a tricky green. I am not overly keen on the ultra short par-3 at the 8th, not a lot to it to be honest but the 9th is a decent par-4 to complete the front nine. The first stick-out hole on the back nine would be the par-4 13th, dog legging to the right leaving a short uphill pitch that needs to land from a height, to hold another tricky green. The 14th is my choice of best hole on the course, a pretty tough par-3 that is all carry – anything short will leave a blind chip to the green which will not be easy at all. The 15th and 16th holes are a bit ‘ordinary’ for my liking but the final two holes are strong, especially the last which just like the 1st hole, will not surrender many par 4’s. Knebworth Golf Club is a popular members club with a great atmosphere and welcoming staff…
4 / 6
Knebworth
January 09, 2012


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I know a member here at Knebworth, so I’ve played the course many times over the years. It’s not your usual Hertfordshire parkland course due to the elevation changes and I think it could be a much better course if only the bunker sand consistency could be resolved. The 1st is a really tough opener and I’ve only managed to par this hole once with many bogeys being the norm. Despite Glaxo, I think the ground and the holes at the far end of the course are the most interesting but overall it’s a course that I’m always happy to play, especially in the spring and autumn when the ground is at its best. As the main article has already mentioned, the par threes are really good, even the two shorter ones (8 and 10). While the 1st may be the hardest hole due to the fact that it’s the 1st, I think the 9th is a really tricky par four where position off the tee is crucial. The closing hole is a brilliant par four and many of my approach shots have ended up down in the crater 80 yards or so short of the green. My bogey hole apart from the 1st is the 6th which is more about getting the tee shot through the narrow avenue of trees. Good course, great club, fabulous food – Knebworth is a real member’s club.
4 / 6
Knebworth
December 16, 2011


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