Woburn (Duke's) - Buckinghamshire - England

Woburn Golf Club,
Little Brickhill,
Milton Keynes,
Bucks,
MK17 9LJ,
England


  • +44 (0) 1908 370756

  • Golf Club Website

  • M1 J13, south of Milton Keynes

  • Contact in advance – midweek only

  • Jason O'Malley

  • Charles Lawrie

  • Luther Blacklock

It was Lord Tavistock’s brilliant idea to bring golf to Woburn. He commissioned Charles Lawrie of Cotton & Pennink, to design the Duke’s course. After two years, and much tree-felling, the first course at Woburn Golf Club opened for play. It didn’t take long for it to be recognised. In 1979, the Dunlop Masters was hosted, and, since then, the Duke’s has never looked back – playing host to the English Strokeplay Championship, the British Masters and the Women’s British Open. The professional golfer, fashion designer and personality, Ian Poulter, is officially attached to Woburn Golf Club.

With fairways flanked by glorious pine, birch and chestnut trees, the Duke’s is an intimate golf course. Each hole is played in splendid isolation. It’s a serious challenge too, measuring almost 7,000 yards from the back tees and 6,550 from the regular tees. Straight and long driving is the order of the day. This is not a course for the novice golfer – it will beat you up and spit you out.

There are some fantastic holes on the Duke’s but the pick of the bunch is the famous par three 3rd. Framed by rhododendrons and gorse, this is a genuinely delightful golf hole. The green is 100 feet below the tee, and the hard green slopes violently from back to front. Measuring only 125 yards, a short iron must be played to the heart of the green, otherwise, the ball is likely to scuttle off, pronto. The 5th is a wonderful, short par five – a well-struck drive down the right, as close as you dare to the trees, will provide a chance to reach the green in two – anything struck too far left, will scamper down a slope towards the trees.

The Duke’s is an outstanding course, but Woburn’s younger upstart, the Marquess, has threatened it. There may be a benefit to this – the Duke’s will be less busy – perhaps.

Don't miss the third course at Woburn, the Duchess.

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Reviews for Woburn (Duke's)

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Description: With fairways flanked by stately pine, birch and chestnut trees, the Duke’s at Woburn Golf Club is an intimate golf course. Each hole is played in splendid isolation. Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 20

The Duke’s, the oldest of the Woburn trio having being founded in 1976, is around 300 yards longer than the Duchess’ and has a little bit more seniority about it. This layout has hosted several prestigious professional and amateur golf tournaments in its relatively short existence. And apart from a short stretch of holes, just before and around the turn, each hole is memorable and at times breathtaking.

I must admit that by the time I had played the tenth (after commencing at the sixth thanks to a shotgun start) I was wondering what all the fuss was about. Holes six and nine are sound par three’s, played in opposite directions over a deep valley, but don’t compare to the other short holes on the course and whilst there is nothing wrong with the seventh, eighth and tenth – all strong 400+ yard par fours – these weren’t quite up to the admittedly very high quality I was expecting.

However, it didn’t take long for the course to start going through the gears and virtually every other hole from there on in was superb and everything I had imagined and hoped it would be. Each hole is played in almost glorious isolation from the next and the round as a whole is enthralling as you walk the peaceful fairways.

The tree lined nature of the course, each hole flanked mainly by towering pine, silver birch and chestnut, inevitably requires straight driving and you don’t have to be far off the fairway to be totally blocked out from the green. Indeed at times you can actually be on the fairway and still have to work the ball slightly if the hole is located in a certain part of the green.

There’s no denying that the Duke’s course becomes very narrow at times and I must admit that I’m not a fan of ‘strategically placed’ trees but for the whole the Duke’s remains very playable.

Despite many holes being played through mature trees the routing of the course does have a little bit of a feeling of going ‘up and down’ at times and many holes do run parallel to one another but this is a minor point as is my pet hate of the course finishing on a relatively weak hole from a playing perspective (long iron, flick). There’s actually nothing wrong with the 18th hole, except that it is the 18th hole.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

4 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
May 11, 2017


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Ok this review won't go down well but here goes. Played the Dukes today and was impressed with the overall condition. Given the weather and money available I expected it to be in top condition and it was. Fairways and approaches superb and greens true but a little slow. I can see the appeal of the third but come on it's not that great! I was underwhelmed by the front nine and felt the back nine was much much better but certainly not as good as the Marquess or many of the other courses in the top 100. I played Wildernesse in Kent last week which isn't in the rankings and that is a better layout with better greens. I am lucky enough to play most of the top courses in the UK and whilst we had a good day I wouldn't go rushing back. Clubhouse and facilities are very good and staff very welcoming. Last three holes made for great end to our match but don't go on a Monday as it's ladies day and they have no idea when it comes to etiquette for letting people through. I play off 1 and my playing partner 16 and he summed it up perfect - "looks lovely but a lot of the holes feel the same".
5 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
July 21, 2014


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Sam
July 31, 2014
i have now played all 3, and obviously everyone has different views on the order of them, but i would put the dukes as my least favourite of the 3. Still a top course though
Incredible course, incredible place. Honestly dont know how the Dukes and Marquess aren't ranked higher? Best conditioned courses in the UK by a mile and without doubt some of the finest layouts in the country. The Dukes in my opinion not as good as the Marquess but still an amazing course. The smoothest greens you will ever play on and stimping at just over 11, make sure you dont leave yourself in the wrong place otherwise you'll be 3 putting. Then you have some world class holes which mesmorise you, the 3rd is just a dream Par 3 with the scariest green you will ever play on. The 4th and 13th are the other 2 world class Par 4's to watch out for. Trust me when I say if you could pick the 18 best holes from the Dukes, Duchess and Marquess course then you would have one of the best golf courses in the WORLD it really is that good. Simply a golfing paradise, everyone should come and play one of the courses you wouldn't be disappointed!
6 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
July 02, 2013


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Hugh
July 02, 2013
You''ve given the Duke''s the maximum rating but say the Marquess is better. I wouldn''t disagree that the Marquess is the best course at Woburn, but the Duke''s is not quite good enough for a 6-ball rating IMO.
Aidan
July 26, 2013
The reason I gave it a 6 ball rating is because if I could I would give the Marquess a 7 ball rating it is that good. The Marquess should regularly be hosting European Tour events and the Dukes rightly deserves the senior masters every year, just hope to play the Duchess one day and see how good the so called "Third Course" is because I can guarentee it will be better than most the top 100
Hugh
July 27, 2013
I'll assume you meant to give the Duke's a 5-ball rating then!
Absolutely fantastic course, the condition of the course was incredible for November, fairways, greens, rough, bunkers and tees especially were all perfect even with all the rain weve had. Once you step onto the 1st tee you can see it is a special place with holes 2-6 setting the round alight and giving you one of the best 5 hole starts anywhere in the world. Obviously the 3rd is an incredible par 3 with our balls spinning back 30 feet but the 4th and 13th par 4's really stood out with the towering pines flanking the fairways. In my opinion not as good as the newer Marquess as there are a few holes that arent completely tree lined (7 thru to 10) whereas the Marquess is more consistent but the Dukes has more memorable holes. Every golfer should play Woburn in their lifetimes and it will be the best money theyve ever spent with the hole atmosphere of the place being incredible and the staff are exceptional!
6 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
November 03, 2012


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guys - I'm a huge links fan and there are VERY few inland courses I would go back to again and again but this is at the very top of my list 1st is a shortish par 5 but OB left, boondocks right and very well bunkered - 2nd to 5th are all stunning, with the 4th possibly my favourite par 4 on ANY inland course - I'm an 8 h'cap so a half decent hacker but I reckon I've played this hole close on 50 times and I doubt I've parred it 10 times - 6th to 12th all good holes and then you reach 13...another stunning par 4 - 14th is a fiendish par 5 and your closing holes are all strong, with the possible exception of 18 which is a short par 4 but still no gimme play this course at all costs, closely followed by its little sister, The Duchess...shorter, tighter...a true gem for my money, stay away from The Marquess...leave it to the thousands of corporate visitors, while you enjoy the TRUE beauty of Woburn GC - should be ranked far higher
6 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
March 31, 2011


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Mick
December 30, 2014
this is, in my opinion, a perfect summary of the 3 Woburn courses...play The Duke's at all costs...The Duchess is a little gem...The Marquess is not in the same league...it's just my opinion but I'm truly staggered by some of the negative reviews on here re The Duke's...for my money, one of the best inland courses in UK
Just played the course last weekend.Wonderful feel and atmosphere seemd like one of the three W's in Surrey, only thing missing is the heather!Par 3's very strong and the back 9 very testing.Positional tee shots are essential!Despite a corporate image it is very much a members club.
6 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
October 21, 2009


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Played this on the 2nd day of our 3 day stay. Very good course with tree lined fairways that define each hole beautifully. A little more open than the Duchess but they have compensated by adding some fairway bunkers, and it is also longer. Greens on the small side and difficult to find. Can't think of a weak hole - even the very short 3rd is difficult to hit as it is very hard to choose the right club. the overall Woburn experience is fantastic and not one to be missed - each course is very enjoyable. Overall condition of course was first class with superbly defined fairways and fast running firm greens - even in October. My only small complaint would be inconsistency of sand levels in bunkers. Our fourball suffered several plugged balls. Will definately return.
5 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
October 09, 2009


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A great place to play golf. The course is magnificent, as was the carvery we had in between rounds!Expensive but worth it.
5 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
September 26, 2008


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As past reviews have said the holes 2-7 are the best stretch on this course, 4th hole must be one of the nicest in England.. the rest of the course is also pretty special as is the lunch. very friendly welcome and well organised place geared up for coporate golf. Fantastic greens and everything was immaculately groomed such as tees, bunkers etc.. Play here if you get the chance, its as close to Augusta as your gonna get in England due to the massive pines that flank each fairway on both sides.
5 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
May 04, 2008


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Holes two through seven are fantastic with the fourth the obvious standout. Many of the other holes are uninspiring but collectively it is a very enjoyable course to play if you can keep it between the trees.
4 / 6
Woburn (Duke's)
April 16, 2008


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