Came here with my Dad as part of a weekend rugby trip and I must say, having read some glowing reviews beforehand, that we both left pretty disappointed.
The house is of course magnificent and the grounds as picturesque as you would expect in this part of the UK. The long, atmospheric driveway past the 1st and 2nd into the car park and signing in to a welcoming and helpful pro shop taking up a wing of the awesome house gets it off to a good start, but from the portacabin like clubhouse onwards things were less inspiring.
The first and second are straightforward and solid enough opening holes, with blind tee shots down and then up a hill with short iron approaches though the handsome grounds, but from then onwards the plot of land didn’t really seem to fit a golf course, with an unconvincing layout and a few too many so so holes. The 3rd saw my dad and myself both lose what we thought were decent drives, running out of fairway on what turned out to be a near 90-degree dogleg left up one of many slopes, setting the tone for what was to be a frustrating round. While it seems a stupid criticism, the frequency and severity of the hills does get boring – the fairways slope down, up, left and right, with trouble in often unfairly penal places and a ridiculous lack of marker posts, making for some weird holes, a lot of blind shots (including to greens) and in our case a handful of lost balls. However, the lowlight of the day came after the 18th, with some of the worst food I can remember eating since my school canteen in a monstrosity of a building that would be better described as a plastic and concrete tumour on the main house than a clubhouse.
The courses main defence are its greens, which were consistently good throughout the round, and a strong collection of par 3’s, along with the phenomenal manor house. All in all, it’s worth playing if you are up in the area and after a round, just remember your packed lunch.
Date: November 28, 2017