- +44 (0) 1908 370756
M1 J13, S of Milton Keynes
Contact in advance – midweek only
Ross McMurray, Clive Clark, Peter Alliss and Alex Hay
Woburn Golf Club is in an enviable position. It's the only club in England that can claim to have had all three courses continually placed in the Top 100 since we became the first publication to rank England’s Top 100 Golf Courses back in 2006.
The Marquess course straddles the county boundary of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and is set within 200 acres of majestic mature woodland, part of the delightful 3,000-acre Woburn Abbey estate, home of the Dukes of Bedford for over 350 years. Woburn Abbey is presently home for the Marquess of Tavistock and his family, the new course taking the name from his title.
It took a quartet of architects to develop the Marquess: Ross McMurray, Clive Clark, Peter Alliss and Alex Hay, the course opening for play in 2000. The Marquess is different in nature to the Duke’s and the Duchess, but perfectly complementary. The Marquess’ fairways are wider and the land more undulating The trees are more park-like, featuring oak, yew, chestnut, rowan and beech, whereas the other two courses are predominantly carved through pine forests.
The Marquess is a supremely challenging golf course, measuring well over 7,000 yards from the back tees. In 2001 and 2002, it stole the British Masters from its elder brother, the Duke's. Thomas Levet and Justin Rose respectively emerged as the winners.
There is absolutely no doubt that Woburn is a classy place to play golf and now with three superb golf courses – Duke's, Duchess and Marquess – it is one of the most desirable golfing venues in England. The Marquess course will surely mature into one of the best championship golf courses in Britain.
Played the Marquess yesterday in the EMC Technology Corporate Masters and I was very impressed. They have had all sorts of problems with the greens and some were in a poor state, but at least they were true, reasonably quick and undoubtedly the most interesting of the three courses with some cool contours. For me, this is the best course at Woburn. There's one main weaknesses to the Marquess, the par threes are fairly nondescript. There's width to be had on the Marquess which is lacking on the two other courses - width brings options. It's also cleverly laid out and thoughtfully routed between the mainly deciduous trees. The 7th is probably the signature hole and it needs a solid drive to the left of the spinney of pines which sits in the middle of the split fairway. If you go down the right, as I did your ball will kick viciously away to the right and end up in trouble. The 12th is an intriguing short par four with two lakes to negotiate which are connected by a stream...shades of the 17th at Carnoustie here in terms of strategy. No doubt the Marquess is a solid course and I hope they soon get their greens back to championship condition.