St Pierre (Old) - South Wales - Wales

St. Pierre Park,
Chepstow,
Monmouthshire,
NP16 6YA,
Wales


  • +44 (0) 1291 625261

  • Arnie Pidegon

  • C.K. Cotton

  • Stuart Leech


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at St Pierre (Old)

Just across the Severn Bridge is the resort of St Pierre, set in 400 acres of rolling South Wales countryside. The graceful 14th century manor house doubles up as an impressive clubhouse and a comfortable hotel. For safe keeping, The Crown Jewels were kept in the manor house during the Battle of Agincourt. The hotel sits alongside the St Pierre church, which dates back to Norman times. It's a majestic setting.

The Old course, which occupies a mature, former deer park, opened for play in 1962, and was designed by C.K. Cotton. It was here at St Pierre, in the 1980 British Masters, that Bernhard Langer became the first German to win a major tournament. In total, St Pierre hosted the British Masters no fewer than eight times. Winners at St Pierre include five former Ryder Cup Captains – Tony Jacklin, Bernhard Gallagher, Bernhard Langer, Seve Ballesteros and Ian Woosnam. Greg Norman found the putting surface on the 362-yard 10th with a 3-wood on his way to victory in 1982 and Ian Woosnam, “Woosie”, was St Pierre’s last Masters’ champion, claiming the title in 1983. St Pierre hosted the Solheim Cup in 1996 – team USA retained the cup, beating Europe by 17 points to 11.

Mature, sentry trees lie in wait to stymie the errant tee shot and a lake covering more than ten acres poaches many golf balls. The 7,023-yard par 72 layout is certainly no pushover – accurate positioning from the tees will pay dividends. Without doubt, the most famous and dramatic hole on the Old course is the 18th – a 230-yard par three – which, unusually, is completely devoid of trees. A solid tee shot across the edge of the lake is required. The elevated tee provides an ideal vantage point to celebrate glory... or to commiserate as the ball finds dry land or a watery grave.

The amateur Arwyn Griffiths will certainly remember the infamous closing hole at St Pierre. He walked on to the tee requiring a par three for an incredible course record gross 63. Sadly, he putted out, having taken eleven strokes. The good news was that his score of 71 was good enough to win the event.

St Pierre is a quality resort, now owned by Marriott. The shorter second course, the Mathern, is pleasantly challenging and complements the Old admirably. Ryder Cup 2010 course architect Ross McMurray of European Golf Design remodelled both courses in 2008. Each course has benefited from 18 new tee complexes, reconstructed, repositioned bunkers and also the Old Course has four new greens designed to improve year-round playability.

A visit to St Pierre will certainly be memorable, especially if you see the ghosts. Allegedly, a grey lady spectre and the ghost of the “laughing gardener” haunt St Pierre. The gardener apparently walks through the gate, into the walled garden and then disappears into the churchyard, roaring with laughter all the way.

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Reviews for St Pierre (Old)

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Description: It was here at St Pierre, in the 1980 British Masters, that Bernhard Langer became the first German to win a major tournament. Rating: 4.2 out of 6 Reviews: 15

St. Pierre is dominated by large trees with huge canopies and must be a typical example of a mature parkland course. Played it in July 2017 and the greens were generally in good condition, not quick, but not slow. The course seemed pretty soft underfoot with little run on the fairways making it play quite long. Greens were also soft making it very much target golf. Thought the biggest test was positioning oneself off the tee as it seemed you needed to know which half of the fairway (not huge to start with) to be on to avoid the huge (both in width and height) trees with your second shot. Not knowing the course I found this particularly difficult, if not unfair at times; for example I hit the middle of the 2nd fairway but was totally blocked out for my second to the green, which was a shame because I thought this was a nice looking uphill dog-leg par 4. Also thought the par 4's at 5 and 10 were interesting holes, with the 10th (stroke index 18) being a short dog-leg requiring an accurate drive and short iron to a back left flag located next to a pond. Must admit (unlike other reviewers) didn't think 18 was a good finishing hole as it is just a long uphill par 3, which with the lack of run was all about length. Infact I thought the par 3's generally let the course down and this is partly why I am giving it a 3 ball rather than a 4 ball rating.

3 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
August 01, 2017


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Despite "typical Welsh rain" I really enjoyed the course. Good variety of holes and well presented. Recommend a visit. Only downside (nearly) was that having entered an open AND had a confirmation of my time, om arrival I was NOT on the start sheet ... as I say, it was only nearly a downside and luckily it worked out but after a long drive it would have been VERY annoying had my entry been missed out !

5 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
September 18, 2016


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I'm not usually a fan of resort golf courses, but was here on a Society trip which was enjoyed by all. This is a very pleasant parkland course with mature trees coming into play on most holes giving challenges off tees. Some nice changes of elevation, and as noted by other reviewers the 18th is a great finishing hole. The Forest of Dean is beautiful as is the foodie town itself, so taking advantage of the stay and play deals is recommended if visiting the area.

4 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
July 31, 2016


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The Old Course is built around a 11-acre lake however water only comes in to play on 4 holes – 10, 15 17 and 18. I found the first five holes to be relatively uneventful however that soon changes. The 6th is a beautiful downhill par 3 with a great view but any errant shots to the right are dead. #7 is a sweeping dogleg right par-5 that is well tree lined to a narrow green. #8 is a short par 4 where you need to find the narrow landing area leaving St Pierre (Old) Golf Course - Photo by revieweryou with a short approach. I found out that no matter what your handicap is you can’t play the back tees as it is saved for competition play. Yellow is for members tees, which I played, while the reds are forward. There are no blind shots to contend with here but most greens have swales around them. Bunkering is scarce are not very deep and the yardage makers are to the middle of the green. This course is well manicured and definitely has a parkland feel to it with some trees even encroaching onto the fairway. My favourite hole is probably the 17th a par 4 where a well -placed drive with leave you with a mid-iron to a tricky green perched out on a peninsula. 18th hole is one of their toughest. At 235 yards you have to cross over the edge of the lake to a raised green. With out of bounds are left and long, a precise shot is needed here. Dave Finn is our Canadian Correspondent. To read more about golf in Wales visit http://golftravelandleisure.com/category/europe/wales/
4 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
December 18, 2015


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I have played St Pierre a few times and I was quite surprised to see it not higher on this list! Particularly as it is below The Celtic Manor Roman Road course, which while a nice course has always felt rather soulless and sterile to me. I played St Pierre a couple of weeks ago and it was in fantastic condition. It is lovely place to play in autumn because it has some of the most amazing trees I have ever seen on a golf course. The layout is top quality and the changes made recently mean there are no really weak or easy par holes now. The greens were extremely quick, it turns out they have a new machine which irons the greens! It certainly had made them much quicker than I ever remember. The tees and fairways were also in very good condition for this time of year. The day was a pleasure, the golf shop is well stocked and staff friendly the only downside I can think of was that the prices in the clubhouse were a little expensive, but you expect that when at a Marriott hotel. All in all a really good experience and one that I will continue to return to again and again!
5 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
November 27, 2010


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Expectations were pretty low when I played the Old course for the first time last autumn. I’m not a big fan of resort courses, especially those branded by Marriott, but I have to say that I liked the course and the St Pierre experience much more than I thought I would. The course itself was in good shape with true greens and tidy tee boxes and the Old reminded me a tad of the Arden course at the sister Marriott, Forest of Arden. The main difference here at St Pierre is that the elevation changes make St Pierre more interesting than the Arden but in all honesty there is little to choose between the two venues from a quality perspective. Both are just about capable of hosting a modern tournament (7,000 + yards) and both have the infrastructure to deal with such an event. I particularly liked the par threes at St Pierre and the closing hole on the Old has a great deal in common with the Arden’s finale but the Arden’s 18th is a fraction more dramatic. There are some amazing credit crunching deals to be had a St Pierre and if you shop around you could pay in dry roasted peanuts for 18 cracking value holes. No wonder the car park was full and the clubhouse bursting at the seams when I visited.
4 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
January 05, 2010


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Played the Old Course the week after they hosted the Welsh PGA Championship. Having not played the course in 4 years I was amazed by the improvements which have been made. St Pierre has always been a great layout, but the remodelled greens and bunkers are spectacular. The course was in great condition despite the lousy summer weather and I still believe the last 4 holes are a better finish than any course in the UK. Great value green fee - will definitely be back!
6 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
August 12, 2009


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Simon Baber
August 24, 2009
Just returned after a great 3 days of golf. The Mathen course a second course was in great condition, the greens were as good as most private courses. The old course is a gem and the final 4 holes are superb, the condition of the course cannot be criticised. We will definitely return next year.
HazFaq
August 25, 2009
Played the Old Course for a phenomenal value £15 (booked online through www.teeofftimes.co.uk). Superb round, every hole a challenge, trees and bunkers devilishly positioned. The 17th and 18th holes make up a testing and wonderful finish. the greens were the best I've ever putted on .... couldn't cope with the glass-like surfaces! Go and play it now before winter ruins it!
Just returnd from a golf weekend break at the Marriott St. Pierre with 3 golfing buddies. The Old Course was a pleasure to play, all be it that the greens had top dressing( which you would expect this time of year) and there were two temporary green in play (well prepared). Our only moan of the Old Course was the poor state of the tees. In contrast, the Mathern Course, which was part of our weekend package was an absolute disgrace. The tees and fairways were in very poor condition and the greens were an absolute disgrace. Even allowing for a wet Winter and heavy foot traffic thay should not be as poor as they were. Even the best mainenance in the world will not get these greens up to a standard that would be accepted by any members golf club! They need digging up and relaying. If you are thinking of taking a golf break at St. Pierre insist that you are only booked on to the Old Course, and you will have a great break!
4 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
March 23, 2009


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Am really surprised by some of the reviews in here. Am a Marriot member at Hollins hall, so am used to the lack of club spirit. However St-Pierre is an exception to this. Was made to feel v.welcome by all, and enjoyed chilling on the putting green with the members. Old course a pleasure, and each hole unique. Played pretty well too. Will be back soon.
6 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
July 21, 2008


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This course has all the makings of one where in 10 years time, someone will invest the right amount of money and bring it 'Bethpage Black' like back to life. I played here on a freebie and was sorely disappointed. The tees and greens were like car parks although the fairways were very good indeed.A great layout is let down by a lack of a proper golfing people who care enough about the course to restore it to the challenge that gave tour players the odd sleepless night....a great shame.
2 / 6
St Pierre (Old)
March 01, 2006


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