Top 5 Golf Courses in Herefordshire 2015
Herefordshire Best in County rankings updated
Situated in the West Midlands of England, Herefordshire lies far enough to the west of the country to share a boundary with Gwent and Powys in Wales. It’s a largely rural, rather sparsely populated county and a sizeable proportion of its economy is based on agriculture. Fruit production is a major income generator, with much of the pear and apple crops turned into cider.
Scrumpy drinking golfers who may be interested in visiting producers and retailers on the Herefordshire and Wye Valley Cider Route might also be glad know there are around a dozen courses spread throughout the county, five of which we feature in our updated Herefordshire Top 5 ranking chart.
Retaining its position at number 1, Kington is a course that revels in something approaching cult status, with architect Tom Doak recently becoming a fan. As the architect says in the latest edition of his book The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, “if you enjoy seeing something different, you’ll remember Kington long after you’ve forgotten some of the championship links.”
Reputed to be the highest 18-holer in England, the course lies on Bradnor Hill, with generally wide, largely unshaped fairways playing to bunkerless, narrow greens. It’s a quirky layout that won’t appeal to everybody but if ever a course was designed to afford a fun round of golf then Kington is that very layout.
At number 2 in the county chart, the course at Herefordshire Golf Club dates back to 1931, when James Braid was consulted over the choice of location for the club’s new 18-hole layout. Braid selected the site at Raven’s Causeway then was left somewhat in the lurch when the land owner commissioned C.K. Hutchison, Sir Guy Campbell and Colonel S.V. Hotchkin to set out a course that today remains largely the way it was when first constructed.
Burghill Valley climbs two positions to number 3 and this modern track lies close to the city centre of Hereford, where holes are routed around a couple of lakes and several fairways play through apple orchards in a lovely rural setting. Continual course improvements have obviously made an impression on respondents to our recent survey of golf facilities in the county, leading to a significant rise in the chart for Burghill Valley.
Remaining at number 4, the Rowan course at the 27-hole Sapey Golf Club complex was the original 18-hole layout at the club when it first opened for play in 1990. It has since been joined by a 9-hole, par 27 layout called the Oaks and both courses are maturing into fine parkland tracks.
Bringing up the rear, the 18-hole layout at Leominster falls two places to number 5. The club was first established in 1903 but went into hibernation during World War II, only to be revived again in 1967 when a 9-hole course was fashioned soon after. This layout was modified in 1971 and it remained in that format until extended to 18 holes in 1990, forming the course that’s in play today.
We’d like to thank everybody in this region who contributed to our re-ranking process. To view more details of the courses in our Herefordshire Top 5 rankings, click this link. If you’ve played extensively across this region and would like to help us with the next edition of the chart then please drop Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter an email at [email protected]
28 July 2015 Respond to this article