Porters Park - Hertfordshire - England

Porters Park Golf Club,
Shenley Hill,
Radlett,
Hertfordshire,
WD7 7AZ,
England


  • +44 1923 854127

  • Tim Knight

  • Cuthbert Butchart, C.K.Cotton, Neil Coles

  • David Gleeson


Located in the village of Radlett, a mere 15 miles northwest of London city centre, the course at Porters Park Golf Club has hosted Open Championship Regional Qualifying in the past, which gives a good indication of the quality on display at this lovely Hertfordshire track.

The golf club was founded in 1899, when a golf course was set out within the grounds of the Porters mansion house, which was then owned by MP Grace. The Porters property also boasted a cricket pitch within the grounds, laid out by by the renowned WG Grace. Three years later, the land was sold to Cecil Raphael, who became the club’s President and Patron.

According to the book Centurions of Golf by Mike Berners Price, Raphael “performed the dual role of benefactor and dictator for twenty years until 1923 when he offered the club the opportunity to purchase the course and clubhouse for £18,000”.

The author continues: “Unfortunately, funds were not available and the land was purchased by Middlesex County Council. Shortly afterwards, Raphael resigned from the club when his sons were asked to pay green fees while playing on the course.”

We don't know for sure who originally laid out the course, but according to The Golf Course by Geoffrey Cornish and Ron Whitten, Scottish professional Cuthbert Butchart either designed or redesigned the course. Indeed, Butchart listed Porters Park as one of his designs in an advert published in the German Golf Federation yearbook of 1911 alongside other courses, including his most famous creation, West Hill.

The course was used during World War II for crop production and anti-tank obstacles by the 10th and an old pillbox by the 14th can still be viewed today. C.K. Cotton became the club secretary in 1945 and he’s credited with a number of course improvements during his short tenure.

Past members at Porters Park include Peter Townsend, who became a junior member in 1959 then went on to participate in both the Walker Cup as an amateur (1965) and the Ryder Cup as a professional (1969 and 1971) before eventually becoming Captain of the PGA in 1994.

Today, the course can be stretched to 6,529 yards, though the par of 70 for this distance is two full stokes less than the standard scratch score from the back markers so don’t expect an easy walk in the park if playing from those tees.

A round here starts with five par four holes, the toughest of which is the left doglegged 4th, played across the brook that runs through the course to a three-tiered green which is well protected by three large, menacing bunkers.

The 448-yard 8th is another fine par four on the front nine, where the brook comes into play again and a little gully eats into the right side of the fairway as it climbs gently uphill towards a blind green perched on top of a ridge.

On the back nine, the par three 14th is the pick of the short holes, with a back-to-front sloping green positioned behind the brook, while the 472-yard 18th provides a strong finish to the round as the tree-lined fairway narrows considerably on its way to the home green.

Neil Coles & Associates are currently consulting at the club and the design firm has overseen a recent bunker renovation.

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Reviews for Porters Park

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Description: Located in the village of Radlett, the course at Porters Park Golf Club has hosted Open Championship Regional Qualifying in the past, which gives a good indication of the quality on display at this lovely Hertfordshire track. Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 9

I took our School Golf Society, made up of former students, parents and staff to Porters Park in October of this year. There had been torrential rain over night and the start had to be delayed. However we were very well looked after with bacon rolls and coffee and were given regular updates. The ground staff worked tirelessly to sponger greens etc. When we did get out the course was in fantastic condition despite the weather and we all enjoyed a beautiful and challenging course. This was followed by a great lunch. Peter Marshall and his team took really great care of us all day.
6 / 6
Porters Park
November 25, 2015


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This is a strong 4-ball rating and some may say that the recent positive move from 16th to 11th in the Hertfordshire rankings is not enough – possibly… One of the first things to notice at Porters Park is that this is a classy club/course, well maintained and very pretty in places. The opening hole may split opinion; a 254 yard par-4 that will see more bogeys than birdies but is a great talking point of a hole – certainly a lot stronger than a par-3 to start. The 2nd is a good looking hole; from an elevated tee the fairway is mainly out of sight but do worry there is plenty of it and then an approach to a kidney Porters Park Golf Course - Photo by reviewershaped green over water. The 3rd and 4th are both strong par-4’s that collectively cover 865 yards, so a couple of bogeys here is pretty common. The two par-3’s on the front nine are really good; the 6th at 156 yards, slightly uphill with trouble on all sides and the 9th which plays much shorter even though it is of similar length as it is severely downhill. The back nine opens up with the first par-5 on the course and at 480 yards is a ‘gimmie’ of a par to be honest, SI-18 echoes this point. The course bites back at the very next hole; 428 yards and SI-2, this hole has perfect fairway bunkering; three on the right and two on the left at landing point for most. My only criticism comes at the par-3 12th; decent length at just over 200 yards but a little straight forward – maybe a little shorter and a raised tee to make it more of a target hole, just a thought. The course ends in a big way, three par-4’s of real quality; the 16th is my favourite hole on the course with just a fantastic green-site that does not have any bunkers, just brilliant undulations. The last hole is a favourite contender too and is much harder than the SI-10 says – 450 yards turning slightly left at halfway and then some superb dead ground just short of the green. This course is close to a 5-ball ranking – and could get it from me in the future, maybe with a couple of small tweaks. Very enjoyable club atmosphere here too.
4 / 6
Porters Park
September 08, 2015


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Jeffrey Wood
October 20, 2015
Our golf society played the Porters Park course on the 15th October 2015 and found it to be not only a most challanging cousre but one that was in great condition. All our members who were present immediately asked our secretary to book it again for next year. Even the evening meal was first rate. Well done to all at Porters Park.
David Gadsdon
November 04, 2015
Recently took a Society group to play Porters Park for the first time. Our Society, The Association of Consulting Engineers play many quality course throughout the year all over the UK and Ireland including several open championship courses. We therefore know a good course when we see one! Porters Park falls into this category and we shall definitely be returning for our October meeting next year. When we played the course this year in October,itt was in brilliant condition and the holes were nicely varied and gave golfers of all abilities an interesting challenge. The welcome at the club house was also exceptional and the lunch of high quality. All together a thoroughly good day out and good value . David Gadsdon Hon Sec ACEGS
What a great golf course and a wonderful clubhouse. My pals and I really enjoyed our day at "Porters". The course was in brilliant condition and clearly the green staff had been working hard to prepare it for the up and coming season.Our lunch was very good with great service from the catering team. The caterers are new this year and it seems they are working really hard to deliver great food and very good service.Thanks for a brilliant day, we will be back to play again.
6 / 6
Porters Park
April 15, 2014


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Tom
April 15, 2014
Looks like the club secretary is planting a review here!!
Played there in early autumn,lovely course in good condition.Shame about the poor value for money so called lunch
4 / 6
Porters Park
December 15, 2011


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Porters Park is one of many courses parkland courses located to the north of the capital and it’s one of the better ones for my money. This regional qualifying course for the Open Championship is certainly testing with many tough and long par fours on the card. The card suggests it’s short but from the back tees it is a genuine test for all golfers, especially when they have the greens cut short and fast. With two Walker Cup players in the club membership, it’s certainly a course that grows great golfers and it’s a club that I would be very happy to be a member of if I lived in the area.
4 / 6
Porters Park
June 05, 2009


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This is a tough course, for a par69 there are many long par4's, so take advantage of the shorter par4's! The greens had been spiked so weren't at there best on our visit however they were still very quick and must be rapid in the summer months. Some great holes and everything seems very secluded from the outside world. Also the food was great in the clubhouse!!
5 / 6
Porters Park
November 02, 2008


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I was a member at Porters Park about 25 years ago. It is most definitely the best course in Hertfordshire and certainly has one of the finest finishing holes. The 4th is a tough par 4, followed by the demanding 5th which requires a precision tee shot and then correct club selection over the wide ditch that runs in front of the green. The 7th is a wonderful test from the tee shot to the narrow approach shot to the green. The 9th tee looks down on a narrow green bunkered left and right with the trees behind the green. The ditch awaits a ball short of the green. 11, 16 and 17 are demanding par 4's intermingled with short par 5's at 10 and 13 with a wonderful testing short par 4 at 15. It is a gem even at 6200 yards. A must play.
6 / 6
Porters Park
September 15, 2008


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Played this course many times and whist it is not a long course it is a course that is hard to score well on because of its hills and hazards. A ditch runs across the course coming in to play on 8 holes which punishes bad shots or bad club selection. The greens are quick and the bunkers are excellent. There are many challenging holes especially the par 4 18th being over 430 yards with a very challenging green which has a 10 ft dip in front which will help to make high scores. Other long holes include (Par 4s, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 11th, 16th) This is a magnificent course and in my opinion is one of the best in the county if not the best.
6 / 6
Porters Park
November 05, 2007


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Have played this course a few times with a member. Definately a hidden gem. A touch short compared to some (who cares anyway if you aren't a pro) but some lovely holes to look at and play. The shorter holes are always interesting and fun such as the 1st, 2nd and 15th. 18th is an incredibly tough par 4. One of those courses that you would return to time and again. Nice clubhouse and good spike bar.
4 / 6
Porters Park
November 17, 2006


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