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Stanmore

Stanmore, England
Stanmore, England
Rankings
  • Address29 Gordon Ave, Stanmore HA7 2RL, UK

The course at Stanmore Golf Club was officially brought into play a year after it was first laid out within Stanmore Park when founder Fredrick Gordon and his associate Thomas Blackwell (of the Crosse & Blackwell food production company) invited thirty-six of the country’s top golfers to participate in a 36-hole Open competition in June 1894.

“It was said to be the largest professional tournament that had so far taken place south of the Tweed,” wrote Bernard Darwin, and it attracted many of the game’s biggest names, including James Braid and J. H. Taylor. Incredibly, the Stanmore professional, a Scotsman named John Cuthbert, shot the lowest score over two rounds to claim the £50 first prize.

The original Stanmore layout extended to twenty-seven holes, comprising a full length, 18-hole Gentlemen’s course and a shorter, 9-hole Ladies’ course, which was largely laid out on land where holes 9 to 11 are situated on the modern day course. A water hazard on the 3rd hole on the old main course is still in play between the current 15th and 16th holes.

Shortly after the end of World War I, Alister MacKenzie was engaged to upgrade the course and today’s 18-hole configuration of two returning nines on a 103-acre parcel of land is all his work. Very little else has changed in almost century since he redesigned the layout, though ongoing work continues to manage the growth of trees around the property and new drainage lines are currently being installed on every green.

Measuring a modest 6,025 yards from the back markers, Stanmore isn’t the longest of layouts but its relatively tight playing corridors place a premium on accuracy off the tee and with the approach shot. It’s one of the most challenging and picturesque courses in the area, with impressive stands of mature trees offering almost total seclusion from the outside world.

Notable holes include delightful short par fours at the right doglegged 1st and left doglegged 14th. Three of the five short holes are played on the front nine and the pick of these is probably the 122-yard 6th, played to the only green on the course that lacks bunker protection. This little gem is then followed by the signature 7th hole, where the views across Middlesex from the elevated tee box are a real highlight of any round here.

The course at Stanmore Golf Club was officially brought into play a year after it was first laid out within Stanmore Park when founder Fredrick Gordon and his associate Thomas Blackwell (of the Crosse & Blackwell food production company) invited thirty-six of the country’s top golfers to participate in a 36-hole Open competition in June 1894.

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Alister MacKenzie

Alister MacKenzie was born in England, but his parents were Scottish and the family holidayed every year close to where his father was raised in the traditional Clan MacKenzie lands of Sutherland.

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