Park Langley is a beautiful Beckenham suburb in the London Borough of Bromley that was envisaged by H&G Taylor Builders at the start of the 20th century. A main feature of the development was the construction of an 18-hole golf course and the verdant fairways of Langley Park Golf Club now form something akin to a metropolitan oasis on the outskirts of the capital.
J. H. Taylor, five-time Open Champion – and one of the famed Great Triumvirate that claimed 16 of the 21 tournaments played between 1894 and 1914 – was commissioned to design the layout. Naturally, the course has been modified down the years but it’s essentially still the same layout that was fashioned over a hundred years ago.
Set within a 120-acre tract of subtly undulating parkland, this wooded course doesn’t unduly burden players with demanding terrain but the tight fairways do call for pinpoint accuracy, both off the tee and with the approach shot. Water, in the shape of ditches and small streams, comes into the reckoning on several of the holes.
Extending to 6,453 yards from the back tees and playing to a par of 69, Langley Park attracts a substantial standard scratch score rating of 71 so golfers shouldn’t necessarily expect a stress-free stroll in the park when teeing it up here. As a matter of fact, it’s a tough test of golf that’s been used in the past as an Open Qualifying venue.
A round here gets off to a strong start with four par fours, three of which measure in excess of 410 yards. This sturdy stretch is followed by the longest par three on the card at the 196-yard 5th hole, playing to a tricky, multi-tiered green. The remaining front nine holes are all stout 2-shotters, highlighted by the left doglegged 7th, rated stroke index 1.
On the inward half, the 341-yard 11th might seem like a birdie opportunity as it’s the shortest par four on the course but it’s also the tightest, which rather evens things out. An easier chance of a sub-par score is probably to be had at the 472-yard 14th, the only par five hole on the layout. The round then ends with the final short hole on the back nine at the 162-yard 18th, where the home green sits behind a rather intimidating little lake.
Interestingly, Sir Henry Cotton became the professional at Langley Park when aged 19 in 1926, replacing Frank Bell who emigrated to America. Henry was with the club for seven years before moving to Royal Waterloo in Belgium. Later on, he would win three Open events during the 1930s and 1940s.
Langley Park is my home golf club and I believe it to be a very strong parkland with many good holes. There isn't as much water here as on other parklands, but the course is still good without much.
1 - a par four of 416/397/375 with a narrow fairway and an uphill approach. This is a good hole.
2 - another par four of 364/362/356 with a large target area. Not the most impressive hole, but a good chance of a birdie.
3 - a very good par four of 440/434/405 that demands a straight drive. This is the first long par four on the course. One of my favourite holes on the course.
4 - a long par four of 448/445/447 with lots of bunkers to speak of. I prefer the 3rd, but the 4th is a good hole.
5 - one of the toughest par 3s I have played, 196/192/160 uphill to a large two tier green. My least favourite of the par 3s, but still a good hole.
6 - a good par four of 376/374/311 with a downhill drive. Good players should cut the corner with the drive. I like the hole.
7 - my favourite par four, 446/444/405 uphill with a right to left dogleg. This is essentially a par 5 for most, but a good hole nonetheless.
8 - a good par four of 411/411/401 that has a similar look to the fourth. The bunkers make this a good hole.
9 - a tranquil par four of 367/358/319 with a mound short of the green. The peaceful feel on this hole makes it better.
10 - a very special par 3 of 158/146/134 to a tabletop green with cavernous bunkers near it. A great hole.
11 - a short par four of 341/329/301 with a fairway pinched by a conifer on the right. A good hole, but it was better with both conifers.
12 - a par four of 459/448/427 that lacks many features to make it better. Seems to just have length.
13 - a par 3 of 163/161/160 with a long narrow green pinched by bunkers. Doesn't get much attention as a golf hole, but a very good par 3 indeed.
14 - the only par five on the course, 472/470/412 uphill with a relatively wide fairway. Better than 12, but not anything impressive.
15 - a tough par four of 446/442/423 with a well-sited green tucked in between trees. There is a hollow about 100 yards from the green. A good hole.
16 - a sharp dogleg par four of 367/365/324 where long hitters can cut the corner. The hole feels different to the 6th though, and is a good hole.
17 - a par four of 435/371/372 with a very wide fairway. It isn't too tough from the yellow tee, but has a well positioned green guarded by deep bunkers.
18 - a lovely par 3 of 162/148/146 with a large lake short and right of the green. A good finish, but it would be better if the green was closer to the lake.
Overall, Langley Park is a strong parkland that is a great track in the summer. The club is fixing drainage, so it will become better in winter in future.
This is a very honest review from a club member. It’s refreshing to see you haven’t gone overboard with your home club rating.