Farnham Park

...a super little public course with a few devilish little holes...

By Martin Park on Fri, 18 Feb 2000 - 07:02

FARNHAM PARK Park Road Stoke Poges Slough Buckinghamshire SL2 4PJ

Tel: 01753 643332

Green Fees: £10 weekdays and £13.50 weekends.

Where it is: Just off the A355 between Slough and Beaconsfield, only five minutes from Jct. 2 M40.

It's the former ladies course of neighbouring posh club Stoke Poges, now owned by the philanthropic South Bucks Council who almost give the green fee away at just a tenner a round midweek.

First impressions don't do a lot for the place, the clubhouse looks fresh from the set of the X-Files and the Pro shop is just there to provide a service and take your green fees. But if you look a little deeper, you come to realise that this is muni-golf with its best clothes on.

The course is generally in excellent condition, the fairway turf is evocative of a classic heathland layout and the greens on the back nine are smooth and slick. But when I played, the local council forgot to cut the front nine and they were a little hairy. And the tees, well, they are a bit shoddy, but playable nevertheless.

The sand in the many pot bunkers is a delight to play from, but in this suburb of Slough, rake theft is at a peak and in some traps you can count yourself lucky at having half a rake to smooth over the footprints. But what do you expect for ten quid, Sunningdale?

It may be short at 6172-yards, but it's tricky in places and needs some thought. But you can let the big dog eat on most par fours and the two par fives providing you are moderately accurate.

But the par threes are no pushover, the fifth requires a fairway wood for most mortals and the 209-yard tenth is a cracker. The pressure of hitting your shot in view of the Pro and the clubhouse gallery makes even good players head for the nearest bin to put their head in when they top it twenty yards down the fairway. I was that soldier!

I will be back for some more muni-fun, especially during the winter when Farnham is one of few courses playable even in the worst of weather. And at that price, it would be rude not to!